By Rabbi Julian Sinclair, February 12, 2009
These days throughout Israel one sees the small pink blossoms of the shkediyah tree, the first tree in Israel to wake from its winter slumber. The shkediyah is the almond tree, and its fruit is called a shaked.
The Bible uses the shaked as a metaphor for swiftness and vigilance. In Jeremiah 1:11-12, God asks Jeremiah what he sees, Jeremiah answers, “I see the branch of a shaked. God said to me, ‘You have seen right, for I am shoked to bring my word to pass.’” God is going to be swift or watchful to bring about Judah’s retribution.