[b-hebrew] Offend/dealt corruptly - chet bet lamed (nehemiah 1:7)

Harold R. Holmyard III hholmyard at ont.com
Thu Jun 24 16:57:17 EDT 2004

Dear Karl,

>In the references that you listed, foxes are a 
>threat only to the ripe fruit, not to the 
>blossoms and vines. However, they are a threat 
>to other destroyers of vines, such as 
>grasshoppers, mice, birds, and so forth. So one 
>question is, did the ancient Israeli vitners see 
>foxes as a lesser of two evils, or were they the 
>Secondly, the mention of foxes connected with 
>vineyards is of vineyards in blossom, not at the 
>time of fruit. In other words, precisely at the 
>time that foxes are more a danger to vineyard 
>pests than to the vines themselves.

HH: You would have to do more research, but one 
thought that occurs to me is that spring might be 
a time of year when foxes come out into the open 
from their winter hideaways. So they might be 
more easy to catch at that time of year. People 
would want to catch them before they were eating 
the grapes.

HH: Another thought is that they might chew on 
grape embryos. Here is a statement from an 
American vineyard:

As spring growth is about to begin, the sap 
starts to flow through the dormant grapevines. 
Once the buds emerge it will take about eight 
weeks for the foliage and flowers to appear. All 
of the pollinated and fertilized flowers will 
become grapes. Once those little embryo grapes 
appear the fertilizing and vineyard maintenance 
will go into full swing right through harvest. 
The grapes will gradually change color as they 
ripen. Sometimes the foliage around the ripening 
fruit is plucked to expose the grapes to more 
warmth, light and air. Since grape varieties bud 
at different times, there really is no specific 
time when the vineyards are all popping out.

HH: The following description of a grape harvest 
shows that a lot has happened by the time that 
the flowers appear, and it seems that grapes 
appear well before flowers do. In this American 
vineyard the flowers come in June, and there is 
also a "green harvest" of unripe grapes in that 

The life of a vine starts at the end of winter, 
when the sun starts to get a little warmer. At 
the end of the shoots, that have been cut down by 
clippers, glistening droplets of sap start to 
appear. These droplets are like tears of joy shed 
by the vine awakened by the flow of new sap. The 
buds swell and, with the help of the heat and 
humidity, they open up and cover the vineyard 
with their little green leaves, in the centre of 
which, tiny bunches of grapes appear. More and 
more leaves appear as the ground heats up and the 
young buds develop quickly. It's this sudden 
growth that can sometimes make the vine fall 
victim to spring frosts. With the heat, the 
branches grow long and start to become invasive 
and unruly. The vine flowers (mid-June) when the 
temperature hits the 20°C. The vine now needs 
long days in the sunshine. The berry forms and 
grows quickly. Once it is completely formed, it 
changes from green to a transparent yellow or a 
deep purple according to the grape varieties. 
This is the véraison: by the roots and leaves, it 
fills with sugar until it cannot absorb anymore. 
Thus, the fruit has matured, it is time to 
harvest it.

The end of the harvest marks the beginning of a 
new cycle in the vine's work. The old vines are 
pulled out. Then , the fruit-bearing cane is cut 
off with long clippers, and the useless shoots 
are removed and burned. The vine stock is ready 
for spring pruning. In December, there is a 
repetition of this except if the temperatures 
drop below freezing. Then, peace and quiet until 
the 22nd of January, St Vincent's Day, which is 
also the winegrower's day, when pruning takes 
place. This help to guide, to regulate, and to 
improve the vine's vegetation and the fruit 
production. It is a matter of "taming" the vine. 
The pruning is completed in March, then 
fertilisers are distributed. This is also the 
month for grafting on the new plants. In April, 
the soil of the vine is cleaned, then in May, 
treatments against parasites, insects, fungus, 
mildew and oidium are applied. In June, treatment 
continues and a certain number of grapes with an 
excessive production are cut. This is called the 
green harvest. It is a repetition of these 
activities in July and August. September is the 
month to thin out the leaves, where the leaves at 
the grape's level are burnt mechanically, so that 
grapes are better aired and exposed to sunlight. 
The end of September and beginning of October, it 
is harvest-time, the crowning achievement of the 
viticultural year.

				Harold Holmyard

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