Flowers + Greenery & “SHAVUOT/WEEKS/PENTECOST”

SHALOM!

FLOWER in Hebrew = PERACH/PERAK

 

Song of Solomon 2:12 King James Version (KJV)

12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

 

WHAT MATTERS MOST ON SHAVU’OT IS NOT ABOUT DECORATING WITH FLOWERS BUT RATHER TO HEAR THE TORAH particularly THE TEN COMMANDMENTS BEING READ OUT ALOUD!

 

All men, women and children are encouraged to attend their Place of Worship to hear the reading of the TEN COMMANDMENTS ON SHAVU’OT!

 

It is customary to decorate the Place of Worship and home with Greenery and Flowers in honour of the Joy of the Holy Day of SHAVUOT.

It is said that although Mount Sinai was in a barren desert, when the TORAH was given there was a blossoming… Since SHAVU’OT is also called a “Harvest Festival,” it is customary to adorn the home and Place of Worship with fruits, flowers and greens.

It is said in Jewish literature that the custom possibly goes back as far as the very first Purim story time.

SHAVU’OT is about a special wedding between YAHUVEH GOD and mankind!

What would be entailed in weddings?

Well, one very important things is FLOWERS! Usually the venue or the wedding ceremony and the reception are decorated with flowers all over.

Flowers are generally a symbol of love. Flowers are used to communicate in various ways, for example:

 

 

ROSE FLOWER

Long a symbol of love and passion, the ancient Greeks and Romans associated roses with Aphrodite and Venus, goddesses of love. Each color offers a distinct meaning:

  • red, the lover’s rose, signifies enduring passion;
  • white, humility and innocence;
  • yellow, expressing friendship and joy;
  • pink, gratitude, appreciation and admiration;
  • orange, enthusiasm and desire;
  • white lilac and purple roses represent enchantment and love at first sight.

The number of stems in a rose bouquet can also express specific sentiments.

The June birth month flower and the 15th wedding anniversary flower, roses are also the national flower of the United States and the state flower of Georgia, Iowa, New York, North Dakota and the District of Columbia. And, not surprisingly, June – the month so often associated with weddings – is National Rose Month.

 

 

 

LILIES 

Symbolizing humility and devotion, lilies are the 30th anniversary flower – while lilies of the valley are the 2nd wedding anniversary flower.

As the flowers most often associated with funerals, lilies symbolize that the soul of the departed has received restored innocence after death.

 

Note that in Judaism, flowers can not be and are not meant to be used at funerals or even after funerals. Flowers are symbol of life and beauty.

There is nothing beautiful about death!

 

 

 

SUNFLOWER

 

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While their distinctive and brilliant appearance makes it easy to see why sunflowers have long held our fascination, when they were first grown in Central and South America, it was more for their usefulness (providing oil and food) than beauty. And perhaps this unique combination of striking beauty and utility is, in part, why sunflowers have appeared as such revered symbols throughout the ages.

The Impressionist period of art is famous for its fascination with the sunflower, and this striking flower remains today a commonly photographed and painted icon of uncommon beauty.

The 3rd wedding anniversary flower and the state flower of Kansas, sunflowers turn to follow the sun.

Their open faces symbolize the sun itself, conveying warmth and happiness, adoration and longevity.

 

 

 

TULIPS

 

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Originally from Persia and Turkey, tulips were brought to Europe in the 16th century, where they got their common name from the Turkish word for gauze (with which turbans were wrapped) – reflecting the turban-like appearance of a tulip in full bloom. By the 17th century, the popularity of tulips, particularly in the Netherlands, became so great that the price of a single bulb soared to new heights, causing markets to crash and putting into motion “tulip mania.”

Although different tulip colors carry distinct meanings –

  • yellow tulips symbolizing cheerful thoughts,
  • white conveying forgiveness

and

  • purple representing royalty –

a Turkish legend may be responsible for the red tulip’s symbolism. The story goes that a prince named Farhad was love struck by a maiden named Shirin. When Farhad learned that Shirin had been killed, he was so overcome with grief that he killed himself – riding his horse over the edge of a cliff. It’s said that a scarlet tulip sprang up from each droplet of his blood, giving the red tulip the meaning “perfect love.”

The 11th wedding anniversary flower, it’s said that the tulip’s velvety black center represents a lover’s heart, darkened by the heat of passion. With the power to rival roses in their red variety and the sweet charm to express simple joy when yellow, it’s no wonder that in addition to all its other symbolism, in the language of flowers, a tulip bouquet represents elegance and grace.

 

 

 

ORCHIDS

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The most highly coveted of ornamental plants, the delicate, exotic and graceful orchid represents

  • love,
  • luxury,
  • beauty

and

  • strength.

In ancient Greece, orchids were associated with virility.

In fact, Greek women believed that if the father of their unborn child ate large, new orchid tubers, the baby would be a boy. If the mother ate small orchid tubers, she would give birth to a girl.

During the Victorian era, orchid symbolism shifted to luxury, and today this sense of magnificence and artful splendor continues, with orchids representing rare and delicate beauty.

The 14th wedding anniversary flower,

  • pink orchids convey pure affection,

and

  • the popular cattelya orchid represents mature charm.

 

 

 

 

DAFFODILS (NARCISSUS)

Shop for Narcissus / Daffodils    Narcissus Daffodil

 

 

 

  • Symbolizing rebirth and new beginnings, the daffodil is virtually synonymous with spring.

Though their botanic name is narcissus, daffodils are sometimes called jonquils, and in England, because of their long association with Lent, they’re known as the “Lent Lily.” Lore connecting the daffodil to not only a sign of winter’s end but a lucky emblem of future prosperity is found throughout the world.

In Wales, it’s said if you spot the first daffodil of the season, your next 12 months will be filled with wealth,

and

Chinese legend has it that if a daffodil bulb is forced to bloom during the New Year, it will bring good luck to your home.

The March birth flower and the 10th wedding anniversary flower, a gift of daffodils is said to ensure happiness. But always remember to present daffodils in a bunch – the same legends that associate this cheerful flower with good fortune warn us that when given as a single bloom, a daffodil can foretell misfortune.

 

 

 

FREESIA

 

Shop for Freesia

Named after the German physician Friedrich Heinrich Theodor Freese, freesia – with their bell-shaped blooms and sweet, citrus scent – are among the most popular fragrant flowers. And, while in most cases the white variation of a flower is the most fragrant, in the case of freesia, the pink and red varieties are actually more highly scented. With their wiry stems and delicate blooms, it’s not surprising that one of the most popular freesia varieties is named Ballerina.

The 7th wedding anniversary flower, in the language of flowers, freesia are said to symbolize innocence and friendship.

 

 

That’s just a few examples. There are many others.

 

At weddings, roses are the most popular flowers used to symbolise love and passion.

Any Bride walking down the aisle on her wedding day would normally have a bouquet of flowers. In the same way, we are to have flowers all around us to remember our marriage to YAHUVEH, YAHUSHUA and SHKINYINYAH GLORY!

 

To me the flowers also symbolise royalty of some kind.

 

The following are some of the reasons as to why flowers are used to decorate at SHAVU’OT:

 

  • DIVINE PROVISION

When the Children of Israel left Egypt, they had animals with them. These animals needed to feed however the Children of Israel were going through the desert/wilderness. How they fed and survived, YAHUVEH GOD knows best. It is believed that YAHUVEH GOD somehow provided grass for them to eat and in that way survive.

So, flowers are a symbol of appreciation to YAHUVEH GOD for HIS Divine Provision! Remember that one of the themes of this Hebrew Month of Sivan is DIVINE PROVISION and EXTENDING OF COASTS/BOUNDARIES.

FLOWERS, therefore also somehow signify DIVINE PROVISION!

 

 

  • FRAGRANT SPEECH

Flowers tend to be used by men to communicate their feelings towards women when wishing to start relationships. They are also used in marriage to continually remind each other of the love that the male spouse has for his female spouse.

Even YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH uses flowers to communicate HIS love to HIS Bride (and Guests).

We use flowers to draw love imagery. Through the speech we make, we emit a pleasant fragrance or more. The fragrance is always very attractive and therefore hard to resist.

Song of Solomon 5:13 King James Version (KJV)

13 His cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers: his lips like lilies, dropping sweet smelling myrrh.

 

The above Holy Biblical Scripture draws a picture of the human face with the application of various flowers and fragrances.

YAH’S TORAH is very fragrant! As YAHUVEH GOD spoke forth on Mount Sinai, the picture drawn from that is that HE released a great fragrance or more to the Children of Israel and environment. Everyone who loves YAH’S TORAH and embraces can receive the fragrance emitted from it.

Flowers when used to decorate on SHAVU’OT, they remind us of YAH’S sweet Fragrance as our Bridegroom!

 

 

 

  • In commemoration of YAH’S DIVINE PROTECTION OVER (Baby) MOSES

According to historical records, Moses was born on the 7th day of the Hebrew month of Adar. 3 months later which would be the 7th day of the Hebrew month of Sivan, his mother could no longer hide him from his enemies, the Egyptians who had been ordered to murder all children who were 2 years and under.  She got a basket which she made very comfortable to be in and place Moses in it after which she placed on the River Nile.

Note that the 7th day of the month of Sivan is the 2nd day of the Holy Feast of SHAVU’OT! He was found by Batyah (Bithiah), daughter of Pharoah, who miraculously saved him.

So, the use of flowers is a form of gratitude towards our CREATOR/MAKER who brought Moses into the world and then preserved him so HE could carry out his assignment of deliverance from bondage! We are not to forget that which YAHUVEH GOD did for us.

In this way, flowers, when used to decorate the Place of Worship and our homes, they are also to signify DIVINE PROTECTION FROM YAHUVEH GOD ALMIGHTY!

It is interesting to know that the very person who would receive The TORAH on behalf of mankind years later needed YAH’S Divine Protection while at a very tender age.

 

Exodus 2:1-10 Names of God Bible (NOG)

Pharaoh’s Daughter Adopts Moses

A man from Levi’s family married a Levite woman. The woman became pregnant and had a son. She saw how beautiful he was and hid him for three months. When she couldn’t hide him any longer, she took a basket made of papyrus plants and coated it with tar and pitch. She put the baby in it and set it among the papyrus plants near the bank of the Nile River. The baby’s sister stood at a distance to see what would happen to him.

While Pharaoh’s daughter came to the Nile to take a bath, her servants walked along the bank of the river. She saw the basket among the papyrus plants and sent her slave girl to get it. Pharaoh’s daughter opened the basket, looked at the baby, and saw it was a boy. He was crying, and she felt sorry for him. She said, “This is one of the Hebrew children.”

Then the baby’s sister asked Pharaoh’s daughter, “Should I go and get one of the Hebrew women to nurse the baby for you?”

She answered, “Yes!” So the girl brought the baby’s mother.

Pharaoh’s daughter said to the woman, “Take this child, nurse him for me, and I will pay you.”

She took the child and nursed him. 10 When the child was old enough, she brought him to Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. Pharaoh’s daughter named him Moses [Pulled Out] and said, “I pulled him out of the water.”

 

 

 

 

 

  • THE ROSE AMIDST THE THORNS

The Children of Israel are a very peculiar people, specially chosen for YAH’S Divine Purpose! They were called out from among the nations of the world. They came from Shem (Noah’s oldest son) hence they are called Semites/Shemites. They were given obligations in this life which are more like guidelines which are to help them to live HOLY LIVES BEFORE YAHUVEH GOD ALMIGHTY!

1 Peter 2:9 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the praises of the One who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.[a]

 

Before they were chosen, the world was perfect before Adam and Eve sinned. The sin came into the world and everything changed. Among Adam and Eve’s children, there was a separation, that is to the the lineage of Cain which was unrighteous and the lineage of Seth which was righteous. They lived in separate camps as a result. As time went on, sin increased and it seemed like there was no remedy. Then the Great Flood occurred. It was after that YAHUVEH GOD decided to set apart the lineage of Shem for a Divine Purpose.

The part in Song of Songs or Song of Solomon 2:1-2 that talks about a lily or rose being among the thorns draws a picture of what happened in the past as well as what is happening at present.  In this world, there are those people who are righteous before YAHUVEH GOD and those who are unrighteous before YAHUVEH GOD. In the spiritual realm, there is a separation. Both live in different camps and will eternally live in separate spiritual eternal camps.

The lily or rose among the thorns is the Specially Chosen Bride (and Guests) of YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH which stand out as a result of their spiritual beauty. They are surrounded by danger all around but YAH has never and will never abandon them as long as they remain faithful to HIM all the days of their lives.

 

The Children of Israel were specially chosen. Today, as per the New Covenant/Testament, there are biological and non-biological Children of Israel in various parts of the world! Those who are non-biological have been adopted as a result of accepting YAH’S SALVATION through the shed Blood of YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH! The biological ones were born as Jews but have also accepted YAHUSHUA as their only MESSIAH (a.k.a Personal LORD and SAVIOUR)! There are also some biological ones who are still yet to accept the one and true MASHIACH! They are all special before YAH Almighty!

 

So, decorating the Place of Worship and home with flowers on SHAVU’OT is a great reminder that you are a Chosen Generation, a Royal Priesthood, a Holy Nation, HIS Own Special People whom HE (YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH) called out of darkness and into HIS marvellous LIGHT!

 

You may be standing amidst thorns and constantly experiencing rejection but there is HOPE in YAHUSHUA HA MASHIACH who is your Bridegroom and soon coming MELECH/MELEK ha MELACHIM/MELAKIM (a.k.a KING of KINGS)

 

Song of Songs 2:1-2 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

I am a rose of Sharon,
    a lily of the valleys.

Like a lily among thorns,
    so is my darling among the daughters.

 

When YAHUVEH GOD gave HIS TORAH to HIS Specially Chosen People, Israel at Mount Sinai, HE was pleased when the Children of Israel agreed to do as they were told. It is said that HE calmed down as HE was assured that at least there was a rose among the thorns in the earth, someone who was ready to shine HIS marvelous LIGHT into the rest of the world! Through the Rose, YAH’S SALVATION came into the world, Praise YAH!

 

 

 

 

  • In Commemoration of THE WHEAT HARVEST AND FIRSTFRUITS

SHAVU’OT is the celebration of the Wheat Harvest aside from the receipt of the TORAH and RUACH HA KODESH, hence it is called the YOM HA BIKKURIM/ DAY OF FIRSTFRUITS. It is the time to bring forth your First Fruits unto YAHUVEH GOD Almighty!

We therefore, decorate with flowers and greenery in remembrance of the custom to adorn baskets of Bikkurim as well as the oxen leading the procession with flowers and greenery.

Exodus 34:21-23 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

21 “For six days you will work, but on the seventh day you will rest. During plowing time and harvest you must rest.

22 “You are to observe the Feast of Shavuot, which is the firstfruits of the wheat harvest, as well as the Feast of Ingathering at the turn of the year. 23 Three times during the year all your males are to appear before Adonai Elohim, God of Israel.

 

 

 

  • YISSACHAR/ISSACHAR IS CONCEIVED

Issachar was conceived around SHAVU’OT time. This conclusion can be drawn as a result of reading the following text:

Genesis 30:14-18 Tree of Life Version (TLV)

14 Now during the days of the wheat harvest, Reuben went and found mandrakes in the field and he brought them to his mother Leah. Then Rachel said to Leah, “Please give me some of your son’s mandrakes.”[a]

15 But she said to her, “Wasn’t it enough that you took my husband away? You’d also take away my son’s mandrakes?”

So Rachel said, “That being so, let him lie with you tonight, in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.”

16 So when Jacob came from the field in the evening, Leah went out to meet him, and she said, “You must come to me. For I’ve actually hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” So he lay with her that very night. 17 Moreover, God heard Leah, and she became pregnant and gave birth to a fifth son for Jacob. 18 Leah said, “God gave me my reward[b] because I gave my female servant to my husband.” So she named him Issachar.

 

The TORAH describes Jacob’s first son with Leah, Reuven/Reuben having collected some flowers during the days of the Wheat Harvest and brought Dudaim/Mandrakes which is a type of flower to his mother, Leah. 

Image result for dudaim
Related image
Image result for mandrake roots images
A mandrake is the root of a plant, historically derived either from plants of the genus Mandragora found in the Mediterranean region, or from other species, such as Bryonia alba, the English mandrake, which have similar properties.

 

 

 

Mandragora is a plant genus belonging to the nightshade family. Members of the genus are known as mandrakes. There are between three and five species in the genus.

Image result for Mandragora

 

Reuben got the mandrakes so as to beautify further the life of his mother Leah. Rachel asked for the mandrakes so as to beautify her life.

So, we decorate with flowers on SHAVU’OT to beautify the holy day and ourselves with flowers.

 

WHAT MATTERS MOST ON SHAVU’OT IS NOT ABOUT DECORATING WITH FLOWERS BUT RATHER TO HEAR THE TORAH particularly THE TEN COMMANDMENTS BEING READ OUT ALOUD!

 

All men, women and children are encouraged to attend their Place of Worship to hear the reading of the TEN COMMANDMENTS ON SHAVU’OT!

 

The story of the mandrakes began with Leah’s oldest son, Reuben, finding mandrake plants in the field and bringing mandrake roots to Leah. Rachel saw the plants and asked Leah for them. Resentful of Jacob’s preference for Rachel, Leah asked Rachel, “Wasn’t it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son’s mandrakes too?” Rachel responded by proposing a trade – Jacob can sleep with Leah that night in return for the mandrakes. Leah agreed. When Jacob came in from the fields, he was met by Leah who said, “You must sleep with me. I have hired you with my son’s mandrakes.” Leah became pregnant and bore Jacob a fifth son who was called Issachar. Then, Leah became pregnant with a sixth son (Zebulun) and later a daughter (Dinah).  Rachel did not become pregnant as a result of acquiring – and most likely using – the mandrakes from Leah.

Many westerners cannot make much sense of this story. What does the mandrake have to do with pregnancy? In early peoples, the mandrake was associated with the superstitious belief that it promoted fertility and conception in barren women. The mandrake root was consumed in very small amounts, cut into an amulet to wear on the body, or put beneath the bed. The Genesis story revealed that Rachel and Leah believed that mandrakes promoted conception. Both Leah and Rachel wanted children. Leah wanted additional children to win the regard and affection of Jacob.  Rachel wanted children to validate herself as a woman. Rachel was so desperate to have children that she was willing to have Jacob spend a night with Leah to get possession of the mandrakes.

We are not told whether Jacob believed that mandrakes promoted fertility; however, at this time Jacob spent his nights with Rachel knowing she wanted children. In earlier chapters of Genesis, the Bible recorded that Rachel told Jacob, “Give me children, or I’ll die” (Genesis 30:1 – 2). Jacob responded angrily asking Rachel, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” Jacob’s response can be contrasted with that of his father Isaac and his care for his wife Rebekah. When Rebekah was barren, Isaac prayed to the Lord on behalf of Rebekah (Genesis 25:21). The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer.  Rebekah became pregnant and gave birth to Esau and Jacob.  There is no record that Jacob prayed about Rachel’s barren state. Rather, many years later the Bible recorded that God listened to Rachel and opened her womb and she conceived Jacob’s 11th son (Genesis 30:22 – 24).

The mandrake, Mandragora officinarum (AKA M, autumnalis) is a member of the Solanacea family that includes some poisonous plants (nightshades), but also important crop plants such as potatoes and egg plants. It is native to lands around the Mediterranean Sea. The mandrake grows best in stony wastelands and uncultivated fields and will not survive severe winters. The most notable segment of the mandrake and the portion associated with fertility and conception is the root. Mandrakes have large brown roots (similar to parsnips) that can run three to four feet into the ground. The thick root is frequently forked similar to two legs. The root can weigh several pounds. On the surface of the ground, the mandrake is a dark green color with a rosette of leaves which can grow up to twelve inches long and six inches wide. Mandrake flowers produce globular yellow to orange berries which resemble small tomatoes.

The Bible story of the mandrakes speaks to individuals today. It tells us that Rachel could not manipulate her fertility by believing in the superstitious power of a plant, e.g., the mandrake. It was God who gave Rachel fertility after she prayed to him. We do not know if Rachel’s fertility would have occurred earlier if her husband Jacob – God’s chosen man and the son of the patriarch Abraham   — would have prayed for her. We simply know that when Rachel finally turned to God, God responded by granting Rachel’s request for a son. What a son Rachel received! Rachel’s first son was Joseph, one of the greatest men of the Bible whose life is an example for every Jew and Christian.

Many of us engage in superstitious behavior. We read our horoscope every morning and think that it will tell us if we are going to have a good day. We  ask God questions. Then open the Bible expecting that God’s answer will be in the first passage we read. This type of question and answer behavior is superstitious and an attempt to manipulate God’s word to meet our immediate situation and needs. God answers prayers and the answers are based on principles and truths for our lives found in the Bible. Paul wrote (Romans 8:26 – 27) that we do not know what we should pray for, but that the Holy Spirit knows what we need. The Holy Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express so that our prayers will be in accordance with God’s will for our lives.

https://godasagardener.com/2011/04/24/jacob-the-mandrakes/

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song of Solomon 2 King James Version (KJV)

I am the rose of Sharon, and the lily of the valleys.

As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.

As the apple tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste.

He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.

Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples: for I am sick of love.

His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth embrace me.

I charge you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and by the hinds of the field, that ye stir not up, nor awake my love, till he please.

The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills.

My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: behold, he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, shewing himself through the lattice.

10 My beloved spake, and said unto me, Rise up, my love, my fair one, and come away.

11 For, lo, the winter is past, the rain is over and gone;

12 The flowers appear on the earth; the time of the singing of birds is come, and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land;

13 The fig tree putteth forth her green figs, and the vines with the tender grape give a good smell. Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away.

14 O my dove, that art in the clefts of the rock, in the secret places of the stairs, let me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice; for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely.

15 Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines: for our vines have tender grapes.

16 My beloved is mine, and I am his: he feedeth among the lilies.

17 Until the day break, and the shadows flee away, turn, my beloved, and be thou like a roe or a young hart upon the mountains of Bether.

 

 

 

 

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