25 Nov, 2020
JERUSALEM WEATHER

Israeli journalist Nir Dvori tweeted a startling image of a tree bent in the wind but it took the eyes of right-wing leader and Torah scholar Dr. Michael Ben Ari to see the prophecy that was embodied in the spectacle. The photo, posted on Twitter on Monday, showed a tree on Mount Ebal bent over in strong winter winds. 

Dr. Ben Ari cited the verse in Isaiah.

“But while a tenth part yet remains in it, it shall repent. It shall be ravaged like the terebinth and the Alon (oak), of which stumps are left even when they are felled: its stump shall be a holy seed.” Isaiah 6:13

Ben Ari explained the connection between the verse and the image in the post.

“The meaning of the word ‘fall/felled’ in this context is not that the leaves fall, since there is virtually no foliage in these Alon trees. But the implication is that the tree is uprooted from its roots, as a result of the winds such as the one in the picture.”

He told Breakin Israel News that the image was a small, yet powerful manifestation of what the Jews embody,

“As a nation, we were entirely uprooted from the land of Israel,” Ben Ari said. “Yet we have the special ability to reestablish roots in the land.”

Several comments on Dvori’s Twitter feed indicated that the unusual bend of the tree was its usual shape and not a temporary result of the wind. 

It should be noted that Mount Ebal is one of the mountains flanking Shechem (Nablus), the burial site of Joseph, as noted in Deuteronomy.

When Hashem your God brings you into the land that you are about to enter and possess, you shall pronounce the blessing at Mount Gerizim and the curse at HarEival. Deuteronomy 11:29

In the Book of Joshua, after the Battle of Ai, Joshua built an altar of unhewn stones there, the Israelites then made peace offerings on it, the Law of Moses was written onto the stones, and the Israelites split into the two groups specified in Deuteronomy and pronounced blessings and cursings as instructed there.

All Yisrael—stranger and citizen alike—with their elders, officials, and magistrates, stood on either side of the Aron, facing the levitical Kohanim who carried the Aron Brit Hashem. Half of them faced Mount Gerizim and half of them faced Har Eival, as Moshe the servant of Hashem had commanded them of old, in order to bless the people of Yisrael. Joshua 8:33