Photo Credit: Jewish Press

Yehuda Halevi wrote a poem in the 12th century, “Turn aside from mines and pitfalls. Let not Greek wisdom tempt you, for it bears flowers only and no fruit.…”

To me he was saying, ‘Sure, Greek wisdom looks and sounds beautiful, but can you eat Greek philosophy for breakfast? Will it sustain you throughout the day?’ Actually, it might get you through the day, but not beyond. What that phrase, Yesh prechim ve’ein bo peirot, means to me is, certain isms out there may look attractive and draw you to them – think of Jews in the 1920s flocking to Communism – but don’t expect to successfully transmit these ideas onto the next generation. They won’t take root. Enjoy the flowers for a bit if you must, but don’t get too distracted. It’s the fruit you want.


On a different note, I do love flowers and I love Trader Joe’s for making them so affordable. The trick is to get there first thing in the morning, when the selection is greatest and freshest, before everyone has taken the best.

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