Friday, August 19, 2011

Eqev - Seven Symbols of Security

As my late summer haul of tomatoes ripens on the vine, I can't help but reflect my backyard bounty through the lens of the "seven species" identified in Parashat Eqev this week as symbols of the land of Israel (Deuteronomy 8:8):

אֶרֶץ חִטָּה וּשְׂעֹרָה, וְגֶפֶן וּתְאֵנָה וְרִמּוֹן; אֶרֶץ-זֵית שֶׁמֶן, וּדְבָשׁ.
Eretz hittah us'orah, vegefen ut'enah verimon, eretz zeit shemen udvash.
A land of wheat and barley, of vines, figs, and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey.

From the vantage point of my window, I can watch my tomatoes grow in peace, a peace that we in the Diaspora often take for granted. The attacks on Israeli civilians near Eilat yesterday, on the very road that I traveled during my visit there last December, remind me that the figs and pomegranates cannot ripen on the vine if Israel does not have secure borders.

Let's hope for an olive branch soon.

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