What do we say to someone who is asking how we can see Hashem’s designing Hand in nature?
We say to him as follows: “How is it that the orange is bright yellow on the outside of the peel and on the underside of the peel there’s no color?”
He can stand on his head and he won’t find any answers. That’s design; that’s design and purpose.
Now let’s understand this so that it shouldn’t be superficial. The orange before it’s fit to eat is not yellow. It’s green. You know why it’s green? Because a green fruit hides among the green leaves so that you shouldn’t see it. It shouldn’t be conspicuous.
All fruits when they’re unripe are green because the leaves are green; which means ‘Don’t look at me! Because if you’ll see me now and you’ll try to eat me something will happen to you. You’ll get a stomachache. You’ll get cramps, you’ll get sick. You wouldn’t enjoy me at all.’
Only when the orange is ripe, it turns a bright yellow.
Why do they paint yellow the edges of the subway station where the train has to stop? To let you know, ‘Watch out. Stand away from there.’ Because yellow is conspicuous. Yellow means caution in traffic. And therefore yellow means ‘pay attention.’
And so the orange flashes bright yellow and it stands out from the leaves to say, ‘Now you can come and take me.’
But the question is, is the yellow an accident? Why isn’t it that there should be fruits that are yellow when they’re unripe and when they’re ripe they turn green? You never find such a fruit. Why do the red apples turn red only when they’re ripe? Why don’t they turn red when they’re unripe, when they’re sour and hard, and after they’re ripe they should turn green?
Why is it that plums turn purple or whatever the color is only after they’re soft and ripe? Why do peaches get that beautiful blush on them, only after they’re soft and ripe? And the answer is as clear as you can see with your eyes that these fruits are advertising that they’re fit to eat now.
And therefore you see design. There’s nobody in the world that can argue against this testimony. The orange is saying ‘Look at me and see my Creator who designed me.’
Now, there’s more. When the orange finally is fit to eat it becomes soft and it becomes sweet and now you can peel it. You know you couldn’t peel the orange when it’s unripe. A remarkable thing! You can peel the orange only after it’s ripe. The orange becomes loose from the peel, you can peel it now, only after it’s ripe.
Not only that; when you cut the orange open, the orange is a drink really. The orange is a drink only that when you cut it open the juice doesn’t spill out. The juice is imprisoned in many tiny cells. It’s a work of art. Suppose you broke a bottle of soda and after you broke it, it wouldn’t pour. It’s still there. The orange juice is imprisoned in a lot of little pulpy cells.
And then after you finish eating that luscious orange, you come to the seeds. And the seeds are bitter and you spit them out. Do you know why they’re bitter? So we go to the Department of Agriculture. They have a booklet on the subject and it says orange seeds are bitter in order to discourage people from eating them so they should fall to the ground and plant some more orange trees. Oooh, a piece of Chovos Halevavos from the Department of Agriculture! It’s master design. That’s what the Department of Agriculture says.
Why is it when you eat an apple and you have a good bushy beard so sometimes after a while you’re stroking your beard and you see a seed fall out of your beard? How did the seed get loose from the apple? The seed wasn’t loose at the beginning?
Because the apple wants to reproduce itself for future generations so it loosens the seed and as we’re eating apples the seeds are falling out. So it’s in your beard. Later you walk a mile further down the road, you’re thinking in a sugya and stroking your beard and you’re planting a seed there. Next year there’s an apple tree here.
Why is it that the watermelon seeds are so slippery? You know there’s a grease on the watermelon seeds; so if you try to eat a watermelon – the seeds are luscious by the way, but when you try to take hold of a seed it flies to the other end of the room. It gets lost. Next year you’ll find it under the furniture.
Had you been in a natural setting, you’d eat in a place where there’s a floor of earth and the next year you would find a watermelon vine growing there. And so the slipperiness of the seed is for the purpose that there should be some more watermelons. It’s a remarkable thing.
Now, the watermelon is red inside as far as the meat is sweet and soft. As soon as the sweetness and the softness stops, the redness stops. Why is it already colorless between the redness and the rind? The answer is because there’s no reason for color. Color is not wasted. Color is only to attract you to eat it. Nobody wants to be attracted to eat a watermelon rind.
When is it that when you open up the seed of the watermelon it’s not red inside? Why isn’t the seed red inside?
The answer is Hashem is a careful planner. He doesn’t waste materials. He doesn’t waste pigment either. Why should He put redness inside the seed? The seed is not made for you to eat. He doesn’t want to attract you to eat the seed.
Why aren’t seeds beautifully colored? Why are all seeds so dull colored? The answer is the seed wants to remain incognito. The seed wants to escape your attention.
The apple wants your attention. The apple is begging ‘Eat me.’ The orange is begging, ‘Eat me.’ But the seed is begging, ‘Don’t look at me. Leave me alone.’
And so if you see oranges and watermelon and apples, you see a Master Designer. No question about it.
TAPE # 279 (August 1979)