Rav Avigdor Miller on The G-d of the Cherry Tree

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Q:
Can you prove clearly that there is a G-d? 

A:
That’s a question that I like to hear. I’m going to prove it clearly right now to you. And I won’t charge extra for it. Now,  some of our people here are veterans, but bear with me for the benefit of the newcomers.

One night, I slept in the country. And outside my window, there was a wild cherry tree.  Now for months the wild cherries had been available only to birds. If you couldn’t fly or you didn’t want to climb the tree you wouldn’t get them. But that night, all night long, I heard the pit-pat of falling cherries. Pit pat, they were falling on the lawn. Pit-pat, pit-pat, all night long they were falling. And I was thinking, “Why all of a sudden are they coming down?”  The cherry was holding on tightly all the spring months. What makes it come loose and come down?

If you study a little bit of botany, you know that a fruit doesn’t fall by accident. Because why doesn’t it fall by accident at the beginning of the season? It first has to become ripe – it has to become sweet. And then, at her same time, it has to acquire a pleasant color. And only then, certain cells start developing in the stem, where the stem is connected to the twig of the tree, certain abscission cells. And it is these cells that cause the fruit to fall.

So the question is, why is it that when the fruit is still unripe, it doesn’t fall down? That is a question that we have to face. And don’t try to dodge that question because that question is of the utmost consequence. Why does the fruit let go only when it’s ripe? You’re not talking here about a hurricane that comes and blows down unripe, green fruits – a random hurricane will blow down the tree too. But why does the fruit fall only when it’s ripe? Every time!

And the answer is, that we couldn’t get up to it otherwise. The tree knows you don’t have wings. The main eaters, the most important eaters,  don’t have wings. And that’s why the tree lets go when the food is ripe.

Now pay attention, why is it that before the fruit is ripe, that it’s always green? All unripe fruit is green. Whether the fruit eventually becomes bright yellow, like a banana or an orange; or beautiful purple like grapes, or bright red like apples – whatever happens – but before it’s ripe it’s always green. Why is that?

There’s only one answer. Because when it’s green – first of all why isn’t it something else? Why isn’t it bright yellow when it’s unripe? Why isn’t it bright red when it’s unripe? All over the world wherever you go, you won’t find a single fruit, that when it’s unripe it should be any color but green. You know why? Because green is the color of the leaves. The fruit is hiding among the leaves. When it’s unripe the fruit is saying, “Don’t look at me – I’m not old enough yet.”  And it doesn’t fall down. It’s holding on tight. It’s not fit to eat yet. Even if you shake the tree, it wouldn’t come down.  Maybe one would – a sick fruit. But all the healthy fruit hold on tight.

It’s only when the fruit becomes ripe, then it acquires an attractive color. Then it says, “Look at me.” And when you look at the tree, you’re  look at a miracle! Who hung all those beautiful and luscious fruit on the tree?  And they’re packaged in such gay colors!

Now if you never saw an apple tree before – I was a city boy and the first time I saw an apple tree full of of apples it was an apparition to me. A treewith apples on it?!  I had never seen apples before except in a basket. Apples hanging on the tree! And they’re all brightly colored!  And you give the tree a little shake and they start tumbling down.

The question now is why is it that this series of adjustments took place? That the apple, all the fruits, when they’re unripe, they’re all green. Do you think that happens by accident? Do you think it’s a coincidence that green is also the color of the leaves? It happens by accident that the fruits can hide among the leaves? And why is it that when a fruit is ripe –  and only then – does it acquire a conspicuous color. By accident, apples become red? By accident bananas become very yellow? By accident, grapes become blue or whatever they are? Why is it? And why is it that when they’re ripe, they’re ready to come down?

And you want some more? Why is it that when you’re finished eating the apple, you come to the inside there’s an area that’s hard to eat, and you’re discouraged from eating it. That’s the ovary – it’s where the seeds are.Because the ovary has in it plastic pieces in order to protect the seeds. If you try to swallow it, it’s sticks in your throat; it sticks in your gums. It’s inedible. You can’t eat that plastic. So why is it that when you walk sometimes in the morning and last night there were gangs roaming the street – boys and girls eating apples – you see apple cores scattered everywhere? And had it not been a paved street, but an earthen field, it would have taken root eventually.  What is it that makes people spare the seeds and spit it out for next year’s planting?

It’s like eating a box of cereal and when you get down to the bottom of the box, there’s a coupon there entitling you to another free box. That’s why you spit out the seeds – and that’s what you do, you spit out the seeds – you always spit out the seeds. If you don’t spit out the seeds, they’ll spit themselves out. Try and eat a piece of watermelon, and the seeds shoot out in all directions. They’re made slippery for that purpose.

Now the question is: Why is it that you have seeds in the apples? Why is it that there are seeds in every living thing? And what a seed? That’s also a question – a  little question. A seed has within it 100,000 details,  all the blueprints for a new apple tree. It’s the chromosomes of the seed, telling it how to make another apple tree; how to produce leaves, and how to produce sap and bark and flowers – all kinds of flowers – and how to produce more apples. More apples with more seeds inside them. All of these plans are in the blueprint of the seed! So the question is: How is that possible? And therefore if you look at a red apple it’s enough proof for you. It’s enough proof for anybody. Nobody can dispute this proof that there’s a Creator with an intelligence that is far beyond the ability of all the scientists put together to even begin to fathom.
TAPE #116 (April 1976)