Friday 3 May 2013

Zatar!




Next the hyssop, also sometimes known as thyme, better known to us by its Arabic name, zatar; in Hebrew EZOV. The hyssop, Miryam explained, was a symbol of humility, while the cedar was a symbol of pride. Solomon the Wise knew all plants, from the cedar of Lebanon to the humble hyssop. Jesus on the cross was given vinegar to drink on a sprig of hyssop. And when someone was afflicted with leprosy, it was considered a punishment for the sin of pride. When the person was cured, he had to make a sacrifice and carry a sprig of hyssop and a branch of the cedar, to symbolize his cure from pride and his coversion to humility. And David after his sin with Bathsheba prays: cleanse me with hyssop. The cedar is proud. It needs 70 years to reach maturity, and then it gives only wood. The hyssop grows anywhere, and easily; it is food, it is also medicine. The message is that appearances are not everything. God does not see the exterior; he sees the heart.

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