A Parable of Two Plants: Myrtus and Ruscus

the Myrtus bloomed and raised its scent

There’s a parable in the Midrash which goes as follows:

Myrtus and Ruscus used to grow next to each other, and they use to resemble to each other till nobody could distinguish which leaf belongs to the Myrtus and which one of the leaves belongs to the Ruscus.

But when the the Myrtus and the Ruscus grew and bloomed, the Myrtus gave its scent and the Ruscus gave its thorns.

and the Ruscus raised its thorns.

Questions For The Road:

* The Myrtus and the Ruscus looked alike, in what stage of their growth can we distinguish them ?

* This Midrash is an allegory of Jacob and Esau. Do you know which plant symbolizes Jacob and which one Esau ?

Please feel free to write an answer in the comments, below!

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Source: Genesis RabbahChapter 63, sign 14

img Myrtus: AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by .Bambo.

img Ruscus:AttributionNoncommercialShare Alike Some rights reserved by Xevi V

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About Eti Shani

Eti Shani was born in Israel and has been teaching Hebrew for more than 10 years with a special interest and experience in ancient Hebrew scriptures and culture. She's also the author of a series of books for novice and intermediate Hebrew learners.

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