3: Excerpt from the Song of Songs.
The imagery of the apple tree and its fruit is prevalent in the Song of Songs. The male lover is like an apple tree, and the woman delights to sit in the shade of the tree. Its fruit both arouses love and cures love-sickness.
In "The Fruit of the Land," Ravikovitch uses a variant of the same Hebrew phrase found in this verse "רַפְּד֖וּנִי בַּתַּפּוּחִ֑ים", meaning "refresh or comfort with apples." In the poem, however, God is in the role of the male lover comforting Israel (as represented by its army) with apples.
Suggested Activity: Ask students to consider the relationship between the lovers in the Song of Songs and the relationship between God and Israel in Ravikovitch's poem. How are they similar and how are they different? What meaning does that comparison evoke? What is the tone of the Song of Songs passage, and what is the tone of this part of the poem?
Source: Song of Songs 2:5, found at www.sefaria.org.