PEAR (Heb. אַגָּס, mishnaic), Pyrus communis. Although it is first mentioned in rabbinic literature this does not necessarily mean that the pear was not grown in Ereẓ Israel in biblical times. A member of the same genus, the Syrian pear Pyrus syriaca (mishnaic Heb. ḥizrar), grows wild in Ereẓ Israel in Upper Galilee (Kil. 1:4). The same Mishnah mentions a variety of pear called krostomlin which is regarded as belonging to the same species. The reference is to the pear called by Pliny (Natural History, 15:53) crustumina. It seems that during the time of the Mishnah they began to grow this excellent species in Ereẓ Israel, hence its Roman name. In modern Israel the Arabs used to grow small local pears, but excellent large species have been introduced by the Jews, and today pears are found in abundance. -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Loew, Flora, 3 (1924), 235–40; J. Feliks, Kilei Zera'im ve-Harkavah (1967), 93–95. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Feliks, Ha-Tzome'aḥ, 18. (Jehuda Feliks)

Encyclopedia Judaica. 1971.

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