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How to successfully develop from the stage of
nitsan (the bud)
to that of the adult
(Jewish education and personal Jewish development)
Life and study on the Song of Songs

"Chir ha Chirim"

Study and commentary
by Pr. Rav Yehoshua Rahamim Dufour
based on the books of our Sages
all photos by the author

This study is dedicated to all nitsans and particularly to the recovery of Nitsan ben Miriam.
Ask for his good health through the merit of your study.

Of all God’s possible revelations to Avram-Avraham, he only chose one as the first and the foundation of all the others:
He said to Avraham: “Lekh lekha, go towards thyself.” This means engage in an active stride of self development.
Next comes good relations with others, which is derekh eretz, and which also comes before intellectual knowledge of the Torah (derekh eretz kadma la Torah).
Thus self development, in the right direction, comes before everything, even before good relations with others, for it is its foundation.
Now the edifice can be constructed.
of all God’s possible revelations to Avram-Avraham,
he only chose one as the first and the foundation of all the others:
He said to Avraham: “Lekh lekha, go towards thyself.” This means engage in an active stride of self development.
Next comes good relations with others, which is derekh eretz, and which also comes before intellectual knowledge of the Torah (derekh eretz kadma la Torah).
Thus self development, in the right direction, comes before everything, even before good relations with others, for it is its foundation.
Now the edifice can be constructed.

The Torah summarizes this in the Song of Songs (which is the most meaningful presentation of the Torah for the person who studies through his heart, understands through his heart and sees through his heart), as in these words from the chapter 2: “ha nitsanim nieru ba aretz, et ha zamir higiya, ve kol ha tor nimtsa be artzenu, the flower buds appear on the earth (Israel), the time of the singing of birds is come and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land (Israel).”

Below are photographs illustrating the magnificent scenes in the paradise that is Jerusalem:
Buds as they blossom:

The Torah also tells us how to achieve this,'hanokh léfi darko: "educate your child according to his way.”
To do this, one must teach a child how to speak in the words of the Torah, and show him the world in the way the Torah sees it, literally. This is an educational art, to which I have dedicated the following page:

This attitude is also present in the unique bud which we constitute with the woman or man with whom we have been created as one, as Adam. I have expressed this in a poem:

We must learn to read this immense Torah scroll which is Creation; and the blossoming buds represent this teaching.
Look at this page: eand you will see all this with your spouse and your children. It is important to look together in order to create true relationships.
If we do not look at the world through the eyes of God, as He saw and formed it in the act of His Creation, the “bria,” it means that our eyes are not fully open. We need to study more, and this site will help us.
Take advantage of holidays or of moments when you are together, to teach your children and yourself, ourselves… to see, feel, and speak in the words of the Torah, in our daily lives.

If you open all the pages devoted to this education, you will experience wonderful moments with children: see here: .


After this preliminary exposure, we shall learn the art of “rising” - in the literal sense - for this is an education which sustains elevation.

This is the Jewish art of education: it consists in awakening the flame, and sustaining it until the moment when it rises by itself, independently. This is what the Torah teaches us in Parasha Behalotekha, through the example of the high priest who lights the candles every morning in this way. Refer to this page.

We must therefore be able to listen constantly and patiently. This is why we repeat every day, several times, “Hear O Israel.” Look at this study page!

For all these reasons, many children in Israel are given the wonderful name “Nitsan” - bud.

In short, we are going to learn together how to listen patiently to a double bud (since all human beings have the double potential of man and woman in one person/Adam)
This is an exercise in patience, in openness of the heart and the eyes, in sensitivity, vibration and exchange (for you will tell your partner what you see in these images, and then you will enter new worlds together).
Take time over each image, as in a psychotherapeutic session. Notice each time what is new, different, what the image communicates and express it in words. Return frequently to this page, and mark it as a developmental exercise. Your family will benefit. And you too.. for it is with ourselves that we must begin this work. This is the lekh lekha of Avraham.

Let us begin.

Two children, closed, one may seem more pleasant, easier, greener, warmer; the other may seem disappointing, too slow, too closed and not grateful enough.

Others are flowers, even though they may be unknown to us and something of a mystery.
It is written in our books that the future is in the “now”: Shemot Rabba 18, 1.5 tells us that the buds are the Levis, or the Kohanim or the kings of Israel, or the people, or each of them. Each Jew has this potential within him and it is impossible to force him to blossom: it is he (every person, child, Jew, non-Jew) who will impose his rhythm on us. We do not possess divine patience; like children, we want Mashiach immediately! And how many believe they themselves are him. It’s easier said than done. The Rambam taught us that only actions prove who we are, not fancy declarations of principles.

This sudden explosion, discovered in the morning, without any warning is an act of indiscipline. The child is already showing us that he will be the master and we are there just to nurture him with water, air, care and affection. And what will we receive in return?
Ah! If we could only renew ourselves at the same rhythm as him. He will show us the way. What swiftness of change, what independence! He knows everything, this little one. I wanted to explain things to him, but he knows these things already.
It seems that he learnt the entire Torah in his mother’s womb. No man could have said such a phrase.
But why does the other not open in the same way/ Perhaps just to annoy me, or to draw my attention for a moment.

How many inner treasures can we see? There were 3, now there are already 5, like the five levels of the soul.
And the other persists in remaining closed. But no, don’t you see that he is bursting as though pregnant? It’s a sign that you do not know how to listen.

But see, the pistils of the big one are moving and slowly emerging.

Oh! 12 petals, pistils and others, like the 12 tribes. I could love each one for they are all part of the same whole. Everything is love, praise and benediction, not just in our own community, not just our own Rav or our own ancestors, however brilliant they were.
This is how it is. The other will also become splendid: every child, every pauper possesses this power.
To say, as we do today, that only the rich are successful is totally false.

You know, little one, the child that I await is growing, is very intelligent and sweet.
Very soon, he will emerge and all our home will be his.
And the big one? He takes up more room every day, every night, it’s impossible to halt him. I don’t know where it will end. I no longer remember how difficult I was. I fear the little one will follow his example.

What annoys me is the little one, he is cheeky, imperturbable, and always right whatever I think.
And the other stretches, showing off his beauty. I too have beauty. He seems to forget this.
- But (says the voice of wisdom) he is like you, you should resemble him instead of criticizing him.

The Creator leads me by the nose: the little one begins to swell red and will become like his brother, and the big one makes me crazy. He’s already showing signs of sexuality, male pistils and female stamens. I wonder what he is thinking about!
- But, lady, you are the same, what do you do with these wonderful gifts?
Yes, but he moves them incessantly, it’s a real show! As for perfume, mine lost its fragrance long ago. He is going too far. He knows everything about everything, he has every gift, he exaggerates. You won’t believe it: in one hour he can learn an entire chapter of the Torah, while me, at 30, have trouble remembering three words. Why did the Creator give so many gifts to children, while we are left with the burden of being mother and father? I would have created the world differently.

Father! Mother! Children! Come quickly. Little brother is going to show us what he has in his head. He is red like a peony. He is going to burst open at any moment, for sure. Barukh Hashem!
The big one reproaches him, it’s a sign that they love each other…


Quiet! We are witnessing live the birth of a living being. Benediction is flowing before our eyes, it descends and manifests itself.

It’s beautiful, Mummy, it’s like a dance: the big one gets closer to the little one, as though to give him advice. And the little one opens slowly, discreetly. Perhaps he learnt this from Hashem… And what is going to happen between the two now?

Look, his petal has separated from the green stalk and I can see the stamens appear inside. His brother seems to move away, a little astonished.
No, you don’t understand anything, it’s in order to let the little be born and feel at home in our house.


It’s amazing, it’s as though he is leaning towards the other side in order not to get in the little one’s way. This was how it was in the camp of the Children of Israel in the desert. It was not like today. The other one is encouraging him softly. A birth is very slow, Mummy.
- Me, what I like is that he already has all the pink colors of adults; he is already like the big ones, even though he is a newborn.
- You too, my child.


What impresses me is that the way he straightens so quickly. Me when I am tired, I get irritable.
He, he is dignified, handsome in the way he holds his head. It’s as though flowers always know that they are in the presence of the Creator.
Instead, I, I seem not to care, I lose this contact with the Creator, and this sense of harmony, and I act as though I was the master of the universe.
What harmony there is already. I now understand why we were given the menorah as a model: so that we should be handsome and straight, all the time.
As though we see before us, continuously, the Master of the world who gives us life, strength, and beauty: this is the real truth.

What always surprised and astonished me is to see how adults suddenly feel old and tired when a child or youth begins to express himself
I have the impression that the other flower got a shock from the new one and is wilting in front of it.
- Oh no, it is just its wisdom; it is supporting the young one and welcoming it with a gesture. Brothers must help one another.


It’s beautiful. The others approach to welcome and congratulate the young one. Ah! If men could to the same towards the poor of this world!
A sweetness envelops them, as though they are reciting a prayer. We have a lot to learn from flowers.
Imagine, there are people who place them any which-way, bundled up in a bunch, without even watching them live and speak…

Father, Mother, what joy! They are dancing around it, like at a marriage when people dance around the bride and groom.
The new flower is welcomed by the others like a queen. Look at how the big one is singing, with its mouth open.
It is singing in praise. This is how it should be at every birth, at the arrival of every new immigrant in Israel.

Here I think the flower is reciting a prayer of thanks. It’s normal and the others accompany it, listen to it and are silent.


Here, I think they have come to an age when one is no longer different: when we marry, look like each other, when two
become one, like Adam of ancient times, even if we are Adam and Eve.
This is the sweetness of weddings after Lag Ba Omer.
We are beautiful like the sky, modest and no one dares to look at us without respect.
Do you think things will become like this again. I hope so, at least in the country of the Torah
where we recognize that the Torah is the source of all this beauty, the only source and it merits respect at every moment,
in the way we look at things, and in our smiles and thoughts.
These two will soon have children who will be as beautiful as they are.


Now they are singing together. It’s a jubilation of happiness achieved, it’s Psalm 128, it’s Psalm 150.
Can there be greater happiness between two newly weds?

Of course. Look, new joys are emerging from within them, a new closeness, new colors are born, which we could not have imagined.
It’s a continual creation, in the image of the Creator. It’s an endless firework display, a harmony of colors in which each one listens and makes the other happy.
And you see, there are no ads, no false dreams concocted in order to sell us lies. None. Everything is birth, from the heart and from knowledge of one another.
This is the orientation towards the source of life which, at every moment, begins a new.


You did not believe it; see what has just taken place.
They are getting younger and younger together, with no regrets.
They are exploding with renewed joy, they lean towards life with each millimeter of their bodies.
They are giving us a tiny idea of what true reality means.
It’s a long time since you forgot about politics, the news, telephones and false surveys.
You were tempted to caress them. But now you know how to respect, you understand that you also possess such beauty
since you come from the same source.
You have understood, like these flowers “In all your ways, know it, be khol derakekha daeou.”
Know how to constantly evolve, live in beauty, praise and sing.

Light appears only as we move forward.
Never forget: we all possess the same gifts and we are all identical.
“ Parties” (political) exist only to divide us. Every human being is similar in his deepest attributes.
But in order to find and develop these, we must know how to listen and look
and unite with the source that is revealed to us.

Verily, we saw it, it is true:

"ha nitsanim niréu ba aréts, êt ha zamir higiya, vé kol ha tor nimtsa bé artsénu",
the flower buds appear on the earth (Israel), the time of the singing of birds is come and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land (Israel).” (Song of Songs, 2, 12)

The proof? During all the time that we were focused on the beauty of the Torah which is seen in the world around us,
we were neither negative or bad for one moment.
So, as Shir ha Shirim Rabba tells us, on this verse, we live according to Moshe and the time has come for the true liberation of Egypt itself, for the liberation from the evil that surrounds us like the removal of the foreskin (an act which makes men free individuals), and it is the time for Israel to be saved. The time for our idols to fall. And our nation will have the leaders it deserves. And our enemies will be powerless, says the text, and Mordecai will teach the people to return to the right way, and the king of Persia will tell the Jews to return to their land and build their Temple. And the rest will follow, Elijah and the Mashiach. But, first, we must begin to… see that the buds are there and that it is enough for us to direct our eyes to them.
Middrash Rabba writes: everything depends on the actions of tzaddikim (holy people), us, the righteous ones. Like David, let us embrace the love of Heaven which enables the earth to live, sing and fulfill itself.
This is what Heaven asks when it says to Israel, its bride: “rise, my beloved.” And Joshua 5,2: “made by you, for you (the good), asah lekha.” This is why the name Miriam was given to the woman who saved Israel from Egypt, because she was capable of saving her people from evil and bitterness, and of seeing the positive.
In “Pessikta” Rav Kahana writes that, then, the land of Israel will sing and it will be given to you as an inheritance, as Hashem promised in Bemidbar 26, 52-53

The verse:
“ the flower buds appear on the earth (Israel), the time of the singing of birds is come and the voice of the turtle is heard in our land (Israel)”

clearly tells us that there are three stages: that of the nitsan (bud) is the time of leaving worry behind us, not simply the lack of worry, and it is marked by a difficult, preceding stage which we shall elaborate on further, in the next study. Then comes the time of the “zamir”, of song. Then the time of total blossoming in the voice of the Torah, the “turtle” (see the play on words in the Hebrew for turtle = tor), will come. I shall shortly provide a spiritual and existential exposé of all this, supported by photos to enhance the experience, and make us never forget that Creation is there as a teaching for us.
May the good health of Nisan be granted through the thousands of readers who will study this page. Amen.

Continue on Lesson 1 on the Song of Songs