6 Assuredly, thus said Hashem: Like the wood of the grapevine among the trees of the forest, which I have designated to be fuel for fire, so will I treat the inhabitants of Yerushalayim.
la-KHAYN KOH a-MAR a-do-NAI e-lo-HEEM ka-a-SHER aytz ha-GE-fen b’-AYTZ ha-YA-ar a-sher n’-ta-TEEV la-AYSH l’-okh-LAH KAYN na-TA-tee et yo-sh’-VAY y’-ru-sha-LA-im
ו לָכֵן כֹּה אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה כַּאֲשֶׁר עֵץ־הַגֶּפֶן בְּעֵץ הַיַּעַר אֲשֶׁר־נְתַתִּיו לָאֵשׁ לְאָכְלָה כֵּן נָתַתִּי אֶת־יֹשְׁבֵי יְרוּשָׁלָ ִם׃
15:6 Like the wood of the grapevine among the trees of the forest
Grapes are one of the seven special agricultural products of Eretz Yisrael, and they can teach us a vital life lesson. Contemporary author Rabbi Natan Slifkin explains that grapes must be totally crushed, either underfoot or in a press, to produce valuable wine. He states, “The same is true of the righteous. The difficult question of how bad things can happen to good people is partially resolved through realizing that it is precisely through trials of suffering that latent potential is brought to fruition.” In this prophecy, Yechezkel promises that the inhabitants of Yerushalayim will be destroyed just as a vine that no longer produces grapes is burned for fuel. The message of the grape, however, is that the suffering and hardships are not intended merely as punishments. Rather, Hashem hopes that the pain and anguish will eventually bring out the best in them, and inspire their return to Him.