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Study and Theory/

Dov Halevi

Nature Adorns Itself

Sha’ar Hagolan

Colors and sounds of spring 

When repeating the slogan: “when Adar enters, joy increases,” even the fields and slopes of mountains assume a joyful countenance. There is the yellow of mustard plants and Chrysanthemums all around, within which the fire red of the buttercups stands out, as well as the last of the anemones and the first poppies. The gentle purple of the pink mustard has also taken over large areas within which, as if for the sake of variety, the blue spots of the ox-tongue and large beak of the stork peek through. Laden with bouquets, children return from their hikes, with the blush of their cheeks complementing the abundant colors of the wild flowers...

The trees too adorn themselves in wake of the grassy vegetation. The almond and peach trees have finished their brief blooming period, and now comes the turn of their relatives – the plum, the apple and the rest of the rose family.

The same applies for the woods and landscaped areas. Those that made it through the fall have already awoken from their brief slumber: The birch is already covered in fresh new foliage, and budding flowers can also be seen on the branches of the Mount Tabor Oak and terebinth trees. If we pass through some pine woods we’ll be treated to some golden rain, that comes down on us from the male flowers. A large part of this forms a yellow carpet covering the earth, or floating upon puddles; however, at least some of the grains of powder are blown in by air currents rising up to its destination too, to the tiny reddish pine cones at the ends of the upper branches.

One of the trees in the woods put on real festive clothing – the Judas tree. The Hebrew name for this tree is Klil Hachoresh; Klil means bouquet or coronet of flowers, an expression of an adorned bride, of perfect beauty. Is it really worthy of this name? Over most of the year probably not, as it stands modest, low in stature, just one of many other trees. But now, after fall and winter it is covered entirely with pink flowers, and can serve as a symbol of freshness and vigor. This being the case, it is really worthy of its name, due to its spring attire. It fruit is a long flattened pod containing many seeds, like silver coins. Perhaps these are the grounds for the old Christian legend, according to which the treasonous disciple of Jesus, Judah Iscariot, hung himself between its branches. Accordingly, the seeds signify the silver coins he received as payment for his betrayal. The tree is indeed called the Judas tree; Judsbaum in German.

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