The Blossoms

Avraham Tzvi Schwartz

"The blossoms appeared on the land, the time of pruning has come, and the voice of the dove is heard in our land." (Shir HaShirim 2)

On this verse, R' Shimon [1] taught, "The blossoms appeared on the land..." The blossoms are Creation. They "appeared on the land" -- when? -- on the third day of Creation, when grasses and trees sprouted from the ground."

The verse indicates that Creation started with little flowers. Why though does it ignore the grander creations -- the earth, heavens, waters, light, air? The reason is that the special quality of blossoms is that they grow, even becoming delicious fruit. This then points us to the first goal of Creation -- we need to GROW.

"The time of pruning has come." This was on the fourth day, the day the sun, moon and stars came into being. They appeared glowingly, beautifully. But then they were pruned. The moon, large and bright at first as the sun, shrunk -- its light lost from it.

"Can two kings rule over one world?" the moon had asked of Hashem.

"You're right," said Hashem, "so go now, and make yourself little."[2] But the sun, that did not regard itself as a king, was not commanded to shrink.

"Me'oros" are luminaries -- great bodies generating bright light. Still, the Torah spells their name as "Me'aros" -- curses.[3] Why? For, to grow straight, tall and handsome -- we need to stay alive. And to stay alive we must CONNECT OURSELVES to the Source of life -- we must acknowledge and recognize that only Hashem is King.

"The voice of the dove..." refers to the fifth day when fish, insects and birds swarmed the earth. What idea do they add to our goal-growth? This is that they reproduce. They can INFLUENCE OTHERS TO BE LIKE THEM, thereby extending the power of their good thoughts and deeds.

"Is heard..." refers to the sixth day when man and woman entered this world, the crown of Creation. Why does Hashem so want people, so desire them? For, they are able to receive His gift. They are the ones who can hear His word -- follow His example -- and rejoice in Him. They are the ones who could stand at Sinai and say -- we see Your greatness -- all You tell us we will do -- even before we understand it.

"In our land" -- is the holy Shabbos -- a taste of the world-to-come. We strive to grow, emulating Hashem, flexing our muscles, working our way closer to eternity, that we may rest at the heights of all heights.

Another Explanation

"The blossoms appeared on the land, the time of pruning has come, and the voice of the dove is heard in our land." (Shir HaShirim 2)

"The blossoms" are our fathers, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yakov -- our mothers, Sara, Rivka, Rochel and Leah. They are the people Hashem had in mind when he created all -- individuals who would rise to the highest ideals -- to the loftiest of worlds. Even after their deaths, they live on in the highest spheres, showing us what we can achieve -- symbols of eternal success and joy.

The prophets after them, others who learned to hear Hashem's words and speak with Him, captured these images. They relived them. Thus, Yakov's son, Yosef, recreated them within himself, to become the magical Yosef, whom the Torah so praises. He brought these qualities into a lofty new area, establishing further marks of excellence for us to achieve. This excellence is what the verse refers to when it says that the blossoms "appeared on the land."

Still, we might look at Yosef's glory, majesty, power and wealth, in the wrong way. We might confuse it with the power and wealth of the world's cruelest princes and kings. We must learn then to see the magnificence of our greats through the right lenses. We must enjoy their beauty in a true light.

Simply white light beamed through a prism becomes a rainbow. Looking at our fathers through the prism of the Torah reveals their golden qualities, their heavenly attributes. Only with such a truth, may we cut away the ugliness and evil in our lives. Only when "the blossoms appear on the land" can "the time of pruning come."

Were it not for the blossoms, the weeds would choke us -- ugly, excess growths would strangle us, rob us of our lives. But, the brilliance and charm of the blossoms inspire us to clean out and remove the filth that muddies our paths and prevents us from reaching our dreams.

The Children

How may we encourage these blossoms? What is the source of their growth? It is the voice of children, learning Torah, hearing of their heritage, absorbing into them the ways of our fathers and mothers. Through teaching the children, the blossoms appear anew, in a brighter light, with a new understanding. Through the children, the world lives on, flourishing, progressing.

This then is "the voice of the dove" -- the golden cherubs that stand over the aron hakodesh -- the Torah learning of the children.[4]

[1] R' Shimon bar Yochai

[2] Chulin 60b

[3] While we read the word from the Torah as "מאורות", we spell it "מארות".

[4] The word "Tor" in this verse, which means a dove, can also mean a pillar. With this meaning it appears a few lines earlier -- "Your cheeks are pillars of gold..." (Shir HaShirim 1). What are these pillars? They are the two golden cherubs who stood on the aron hakodesh. The faces of these cherubs are the faces of children.

[ Homepage / We appreciate your donation - please click here ]
All rights reserved (c) Avraham Tzvi Schwartz

var wc_version=1;