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Jewish Recipes --> Jewish Foods --> Foods --> Fruits --> Grape

Encyclopedia Judaica 1906

Grape:

By : Joseph Jacobs M. Seligsohn


The fruit of the grape-vine. The general Hebrew term for ripe grapes when not in clusters is The general Hebrew term for ripe grapes when not in clusters is(Gen. xl. 10-11), and of grapes in clusters, grapes in clusters (Num. xiii. 23). There are other terms for different kinds of grapes and for grapes in different stages of development; as grapes in different stages for unripe or sour grapes (Isa. xviii. 5); unripe or sour grapes for wild grapes (Isa. v. 2, 4); wild grapes for grapes that fall off when ripe (Lev xix. 10); grapes that fall off when ripe for gleaned grapes (Judges viii. 2); for dried grapes or raisins (I Sam. xxv. 18; II Sam. xvi. 1). According to R. Judah, and (Num. vi. 4) respectively represent the skin and the seed of the grape; but according to R. Jose, whose interpretation has been accepted by later commentators, The Skin is the skin, The seed the seed (Naz. 34b). A word which has given rise to discussion is Grape Blossom (Cant. ii. 13, 15; vii. 12). According to Gesenius ("Th."), who is followed by other commentators, it means "grape-blossom," while Ibn Janah and David kimhi thought it meant the young grape which appears immediately after the opening of the blossom (see Rubens Duval in "R. E. J." xiv. 277 et seq.). R. Jose, prohibiting the "semadar" in the first three years, likewise considered it as a fruit ('Orlah i. 7).

Grapes are referred to in the Bible and Talmud in symbolical senses. As grapes can not be found after vintage, neither can the good and upright man be discovered by diligent searching in Israel (Micah vii. 1, 2). "The fathers have eaten sour grapes and the children's teeth are set on edge" (Ezek. xviii. 2); "When the vintagers come to thee they will not leave even the grape-gleanings" (Jer. xlix. 9, Hebr.); that is, when the enemy comes he will carry off everything. A man who marries his daughter to a scholar ("talmid hakam") is like one who mingles vine grapes with vine grapes, but he who marries his daughter to an ignorant man ("'am ha-arez") is like one who mingles vine grapes with the berries of the thorn-bush (Pes. 49a). According to R. Aibu, the forbidden fruit which Eve ate was that of the vine (Gen. R. xix. 8).

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