16 Hashem named you “Verdant olive tree, Fair, with choice fruit.” But with a great roaring sound He has set it on fire, And its boughs are broken.
ZA-yit ra-a-NAN y’-FAY f’-ree TO-ar ka-RA a-do-NAI sh’-MAYKH l’-KOL ha-mu-LAH g’-do-LAH hi-TZEET AYSH a-LE-ha v’-ra-U da-li-yo-TAV
טז זַיִת רַעֲנָן יְפֵה פְרִי־תֹאַר קָרָא יְהֹוָה שְׁמֵךְ לְקוֹל הֲמוּלָּה גְדֹלָה הִצִּית אֵשׁ עָלֶיהָ וְרָעוּ דָּלִיּוֹתָיו׃
11:16 Verdant olive tree
The first time the olive tree is mentioned in the Bible is when Noach checks to see if the flood waters have receded. When the dove returns with an olive branch in its mouth, Noach knows that the water has receded sufficiently and life has begun anew (Genesis 8:11, 21). Pure olive oil was also used for the lighting of the golden menorah lamp in the Beit Hamikdash, as well as to anoint priests and kings as part of their initiation. One lesson we can take from the olive is that just like an olive yields oil only when pressed, so too, as human beings, when we are pressed between the millstones of life, our best selves emerge. Often, we rise to the occasion to meet life’s tests only when challenged.