I am sure that many of you have taken a physics course in high school or college. Personally, I avoided the subject and focused on more cranial subjects such as drama, band and introductory gym. The English word physic has an interesting background scripturally. The word comes from the Greek word physike (φυσικη), which is defined as the science of nature. This word can be found many times in the New Testament, but the most provocative use is in Romans 11.

Romans 11:24For if thou were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more shall these, who are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree.

A central part of my own teaching of this chapter has centered on the belief that the good (natural) olive tree is the result of a seed planted in Bere’shiyt (Genesis) 3:15, i.e. the seed of the woman: the Messiah. This can also be seen through the etymology of the word natural or phusis (φυσις) in the Greek. The root (pun intended) of this word is phuo. This word is an agricultural term which means to spring forth or shoot forth as in a root from a seed. This is the source from which we get the English meaning of the science of nature. This word is used often in the Tanakh from several Hebrew words. The most oft used words are tz'mach (צמח) and shoresh (שרש). These words are translated in the Tanakh as the branch and the root. Does that sound familiar?

Yesha’yahu (Isaiah) 11:1And there shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots;

Shalom Alecheim!