The Tale of the Olive Tree, Etz Ha-za-it עץ הזית

When King Solomon died, the animals grieved him humming and crying. The trees went into a deep sorrow, their leaves changed their colors and fell off,  their branches bowed towards the ground, the sun did not shine and heavy dark clouds covered the sky.

Only the Olive Tree continued to flower in its ever green leaves, like nothing really happened. The trees started whispering to each other: “Look at this olive tree, it continues to bloom like if nothing had happened, what an arrogant attitude”. Their leaves flying in the wind spreading around the olive tree an air of envy and anger. The Olive tree was listening carefully to the other trees’ tirades, keeping itself silent inhaling and blooming with ever green leaves, giving olives and oil to mankind.

One winter night when a dark storm was blowing, all the trees were moving and branches flew in the air. Suddenly a strong crack, a painful sound was heard in the olive grove.

None of the trees knew what was happening.

In the morning when the storm was gone and the sun was shining, the trees looked in the direction of the olive grove, where the great sound was coming from that night. They looked into the olive tree trunk and they noticed a big crack inside. The olive tree’s heart was broken.

At that moment the trees understood that their grief was exterior (the changed their leaves colors and let them fall), while the olive tree’s grief was interior: that’s why its heart was broken, and the its trunk was cracked.

Deuteronomy 29

29:28 Secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those that are revealed belong to us

דברים, כט כח

הַנִּסְתָּרֹת–לַיהוָה, אֱלֹהֵינוּ; וְהַנִּגְלֹת לָנוּ וּלְבָנֵינוּ

img credit: CC Attribution-ShareAlike Rodrigo Nuno Bragança da Cunha
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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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