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Study and Theory/
Rosh Hashana

Amotz Cohen

Nature in the month of Elul

In Elul, which coincides with September, you can tell the difference between the beginning and the end of the month. Its beginning still belongs to the midst of summer; The dryness and heat continue and sometimes even intensify. In contrast, the temperature drops at the end of the month and the dewy nights' season begins, and often the sky will be covered with clouds that merge into one piece, and the first rain falls, futile rain, the traces of which are quickly erased, and a winter atmosphere takes over for a short while.

First to wake is the beach lily. It is a citizen of an area closest to the seashore, a few steps from the beach, on flat sand mounds and on the slopes of limestone that abound on the edge of the coast. There you would find its pure, fragrant flowers, carried on a thick juicy stalk; on its side - several leaves with the summer heat apparent on their edges. An atmosphere saturated with salty water shreds from the sea near the crashing waves - that is this plant's favorite place.


A second typical plant is the squill.


It starts blooming as early as Av, and in Elul it is in the peak of its blossom. You can meet its flowers all over the country. Its stalk rises to a height nearly as high as a human and is filled with dozens and dozens of flowers. 


The bloom is astonishing: it is all dry and dehydrated, and rising from the dryness there are water-soaked stalks with fresh flowers, filled with life. The astonishment grows further when no green leaves are seen at the base of the stalk. It is enough to dig just a little or even not dig at all to discover the large bulb - this is the largest bulb among the country's bulb plants - from which the stalk and its flowers draw their water, food and building materials. Because of this bulb, the squill is able to hold on to the dry ground and even if it is uprooted by the plow and is stuck on the surface of the ground, it can still stand the heat and dryness for a few months, and even grow flowers. The density of the scale leaves provides a lot of protection against evaporation. The bulb can be sustained for up to ten years, but under these conditions it does not produce flowers but only leaves.

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