Asher Zaro bo.. When you walk in the morning in the street, and you see a peach pit lying on the ground, it's enclosed in a strong case that protects it from being trampled by feet, and it protects it from being eaten. The seed doesn't taste bad, it taste like almonds, but it's too much trouble to get at, so we are meyaeish and we spit it out, and when it falls into the ground what happens to the peach pit? You know, if you take a hammer and you try to break a peach pit, many times you wouldn't succeed, but when you put that into the ground it opens up by itself; the two halves open up by themselves. Do you know how that works?
I never saw it in any book but I understand how it works; it's cemented together by a special cement, and when the cement gets into the ground, this cement between the two halves of the peach pit, the cement is dissolved by the actions of the soil bacteria. The soil bacteria are made to order for this cement and this cement is made to order for the soil bacteria. And so the Borei made the peach pit with two halves that are welded together with special cement, so you spit it out because it's too much work. The squirrels have sharp teeth but it's too much work to break that peach pit, so they let it lie on the ground. So after a while the soil bacteria gets to work on that cement and it opens up by itself in the soil. And that's why all seeds by the way, are dull colored.
You open a watermelon, the flesh is red. Why is the flesh red? It says eat me, it invites you to eat it until you get to the rind. At the rind it loses its red color, don't eat anymore, stomachache. But the flesh is red, it's red and sweet and it's luscious, and inside you'll find seeds. Seeds have no color, seeds are not begging you to eat them, they are begging to please be left alone, please don't notice me.
And if you make an attempt to bite into a watermelon seed you'll notice that it's coated with a slimy mucus and it shoots out of your mouth, that's the protection against eaters. That's why you will always find watermelon seeds under the table in the dining room. If you would have a natural dining room, watermelon would grow under your table eventually. And if you would succeed in breaking open a watermelon seed, lo and behold there's no color, it's not sweet, there is nourishment there, because it has to nourish the future plant, but there's no color.
Why is it that the flesh of the watermelon is beautifully red and sweet, whereas the flesh of the seed is not red and not sweet? Answer is, it's not for eating purposes. The Borei wants you to desist, have pity on seeds. That's why He makes orange seeds bitter, orange seeds are bitter, they're not slippery to fly out of your mouth, they're not tough like a peach pit, so Hakadosh Baruch Hu made them bitter, and because they are bitter you spit them out, and if it's the proper climate orange trees will grow as a result.
Therefore we have to marvel at that, asher zaro bo, and the Torah wants you to stop and use your eyes and think about that, study it, that's what it's for.
Good Shabbos To All
This is transcribed from questions that were posed to Harav Miller by the audience at the Thursday night lectures. To listen to the audio of this Q & A please dial: 201-676-3210