The crying olive

"The crying olive" is a children tale I keep hearing/reading on my research into the olive.

It is interesting to note that all the three main monotheistic religions adpot a similar story to fit their history and culture. However one thing is contant, the unique way for the olive (King of trees - that's already another tale) to cry and the importance the olive plays in all three monotheistic religions.

The following is an original version from a children stories book titled: The Seven Species, Stories and Recipes Inspired by the Foods of the Bible, by: Matt Biers-Ariel.
For hundreds of years, olive faithfully served Israel until the tragic day when the Romans conquered Israel and destroyed the Second Temple.
The Ner Tamid (the Eternal light) was extinguished and Olive was no longer needed.

The Jewish people mourned their tragedy by replacing their fine clothing with scratchy sackcloth. They sat in ashes, fasted, and cried out to god. Perhaps God would change the decree and speedily bring the Messiah to set things right.

The plants of Israel also mourned the destruction by dropping their leaves. The land was no longer green and fertile, flowing with milk and honey. It was brown and lifeless. In all the Land of Israel there was only one tree whose leaves remained on its branches: Olive.

Word quickly spread that proud Olive was too vain, too uncaring to mourn the disaster thet had befallen the Jewish nation.
Olive said, “it is not that I do not mourn. Who but God can look inside and measure a being’s suffering?”

The plants were unmoved.
“All of Israel sits in sackcloth and ashes. We have all shed our leave, while you stand tall and proud, as if nothing happened, as if the Temple still stood, as if our kings still reigned.”

Olive replied, “Some mourn on the outside and it is easy to see their tears. Others cry inside. Look closely and you can see that my tears are shed from within.

Yes, my leaves and my fruit remain. They remain for one purpose. They remain in the hope that the Messiah will come speedily in our day. When the Messiah comes, my oil will be ready to anoint him or her. Perhaps the Messiah will desire a garland leaves to signal to the world that peace has arrived.”

The plants had to agree that Olive spoke the truth.
Eventually, the leaves returned to the plants of Israel. The only tree still shedding tears for the destruction that took place two thousands years ago is Olive.

To this day, olive trees do not hold themselves tall and proud. As they age, their tears hollow out their insides, making them gnarled and bent over.

Thus they will remain until the Messia arrives and Olive will once again be called upon to serve Israel.

1 comment:

Bill said...

What an interesting story! Thanks for sharing.


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