THE UNIVERSE TESTIFIES is a sampling of some of the Rav’s classic teachings on the study of Creation and the myth of evolution. As a zechus for his neshamah, and an introduction to the unique worldview that Rav Miller represented, Israel Bookshop Publications is proud to offer this 128 page, hardcover sefer – sold for $12.95 in Judaica bookstores – absolutely free by mail (+s/h), with purchase of any other Israel Bookshop title(s) totaling $20 or more.
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EXCERPT FROM THE UNIVERSE TESTIFIES BELOW
[Mr. Goodfriend (G) is entertaining Eliezer (E) and his younger brother Aaron (A) on the back porch. Watermelon is being served.]
G. Last year I visited a farm… and I saw watermelons growing alongside the steps of the… workers’ cottages.
A. Why did they plant them near the steps?
G. They did not. In the evenings they had held watermelon feasts on their steps and the slippery seeds had shot in all directions just as they do here. That is the purpose of their slipperiness.
A. Do you say that they are purposefully slippery? Is that not merely due to the moisture of the melon?
G. Rub the melon juice [water] between your fingers: it is not slippery. The seeds are coated with slippery mucus which causes them to fly out under pressure.
A. Then why are only watermelon seeds slippery, but not orange seeds?
G. The watermelon seeds are palatable, and must therefore be protected by making them elusive. The orange pips are bitter and therefore need no protection. That is the purpose of their bitterness.
E. Even the U.S. Department of Agriculture says so in one of its publications on the orange.
A. You say, Sir, that the bitterness is for the intentional purpose of protecting the pips. This implies that the orange tree knows that there are eaters, and therefore intentionally makes its seeds bitter. The tree, then also knows that the eaters dislike bitterness.
E. And it implies also that the orange and the watermelon know that the future of their species depends on the protection of the seeds.
A. The biology teachers would be outraged at such language.
E. What else could anyone say, whether he wished or not?
A. If the melon is entirely purposeful, why is its flesh colored red?
G. When your mother makes ice cream, why does she color it? The color enhances the pleasure of eating.
A. You are now implying that the watermelon knows also that the eaters have eyes, and it knows that the eaters are not color-blind.
G. And it knows that the eaters relish sweets, for it sugars the flesh of the melon. You are also forced to admit that it knows how to mix starches and acids, colors and flavors, all in exact proportion, and cooks them in the sunshine until ready to eat.
E. A master chef!
G. It is superior to the best of chefs. The chef is supplied beforehand with all the materials; whereas the plant creates a masterpiece from nothing but water, air, sunlight and soil.
E. It is also evident that it is careful to waste no materials. The red color stops at the rind.
G. Yes. A colored rind would be misleading, for the eater might be tempted and cause himself stomach cramps. Only the edible part is colored.
A. Are you crediting the watermelon with so much intelligence? Perhaps its purpose is merely to produce seeds.
G. That in itself is enormously purposeful. But the seeds do not need the meat of the melon, for each seed is provided with its own store of food within its jacket. This food in the seed-jacket is colorless and unsweetened, for the seed does not need an attractive color or luscious flavor such as the watermelon-meat possesses.
E. The melon proclaims as clearly as could be that it is intended for eaters. The seeds of the fruits and vegetables are provided with their own supply of food, and the kind of food which they need, inside the seed. Therefore the meat of the fruit clearly has no purpose other than to be eaten.
A. And the color of the orange flesh?
G. It causes the eater increased enjoyment.
A. To say that the melon wishes to protect the eater against stomach cramps, seems too imaginative.
G. Do you not see that all unripe fruits are green. Why?
A. That is their natural color.
G. Then why do apples turn red when ripe, and not before? Why do oranges turn yellow only when ripe, and grapes turn purple? In ripeness they have various colors, but when unripe all are green. Why?
E. You can say nothing else: to protect the eaters from stomach ache. The green warns them.
G. The green causes the fruits to be inconspicuous among the green leaves. The unripe fruit remains unnoticeable, in addition to remaining unattractive, as long as it is unfit for eating. The ripe fruit assumes a bright color in order 1) to make it conspicuous among the green leaves and 2) to make it attractive to the eaters.
A. You attribute very much intelligence to all plants.
G. Yes. The fruit tree knows 1) of eaters 2) who have eyes 3) which distinguish colors; and 4) who possess stomachs, and 5) who have the senses of smell and taste, and 6) dislike sour food but 7) relish sweets flavored by gentle acids, and 8) whose digestive systems are equipped with complex chemical processes with which the tree is familiar. The tree knows also that 9) the eaters possess teeth and 10) that they have no wings with which to fly.
(Read more of The Universe Testifies to find out Who planted all of this intelligence and purpose into Creation.)