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What Is Unique About the Fruits of Eretz Yisrael?


Rabbi Stewart Weiss

Shvat 10 5782
The fruits of Israel have special qualities, specifically the "7 Minim" (types) listed in parshat Ekev: Wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives & date (honey). These fruits create Kedusha within us & enhance our love of Hashem & Israel. Each type of fruit symbolizes a different aspect of the Jewish People: the pomegranate/rimon, is filled with many (613?) seeds, just as each Jew is chock-full of merits; grapes bring people to higher levels of joy, just as we Jews bring joy to our G-d; olives must be crushed to produce its pure, holy oil, even as we endure crushing difficulties yet produce purity & holiness, etc. The last letters of "zavat chalav u’dvash, a land flowing with milk & honey," form the word Shabbat. Just as Hashem infused one special day with unique holiness & a special mode of behavior, so, too, G-d declares one land only - Israel - more unique than any other, assigning to it the unique Mitzvot dependent on the land, as well as a special bracha for these 7 fruits. A special "Tu B'Shvat Seder" highlighting these fruits and the bounty of Eretz Yisrael is a wonderful custom - just google it!
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