Biblical herbs may not have been very different than herbs that any Israeli farmer can grow today. We’re not sure. But one thing we do know. The aromas and smells in the Temple came from herbs that grew in the Land of Israel.
The Function of the Temple
The Temple in Jerusalem was the focal point of the connection between man and His Creator. A central Jewish belief is that God did not merely create the world and leave it to fend for itself. However, he continues to sustain and nurture the world as a parent to a child.
However, we, His children need to be mature enough to recognize who is nurturing us and to say thanks. This is one of the primary functions of the Temple – keep the connection strong between Mankind and God.
However, there are many other dimensions to the service of the Temple. One of them is the idea of sanctifying the mundane. In the Temple service, we use flour, oil, spices, and other things that all grow from the ground in the Land of Israel.
However, when a mortal plants, weeds, waters and nurtures a sapling, a tree or even a small plant, they work in tandem with the Creator of the earth. That is why it is such a holy experience in the Land of Israel to plant a tree.
When we bring the Land to life, we are literally partnering with God. But when we use the fruits of the Land in God’s house – The Temple – as God instructs us to, we are actually sanctifying the mundane. In truth, that is what we are doing in this world on a day-in, day-out level. We strive to bring our earthly actions to become holy God-inspired actions.