To his surprise, the 10 minutes quickly turned into 35.
He wrote about how the coffee beans grew in Brazil.
The Sages employed a richness of expression, just as we today use our own idiomatic form for a functionless growth.
We call it "spare tire." (Will future anthropologists, noting references to "spare tire" but unfamiliar with contemporary usage, assume that people once propelled themselves on two axles?
Someone planted the trees and took care of them until the coffee reached maturity. The beans were roasted and ground, and packed for shipping.
He described all the work involved in the shipping industry which allowed the coffee to reach the United States. Finally, the coffee arrived at the port in Haifa from where it was taken to his grocery story in Jerusalem.
One thing that bothers me, however, are the Midrashic texts which describe things in a very far-out way. You have touched on a very fundamental topic in Jewish thought.
He is Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague, usually identified by the acronym Maharal.
Take the Midrash which says that Vashti, the original queen in the Purim story, had a “tail." According to Maharal, we should not be slaves to the literal meaning of words.
I recently saw something about Moses being 10 feet tall. Writing in Jewish Action magazine, Rabbi Yitzchak Adlerstein explains: There are a number of different ways of dealing with passages that seem to elude our grasp. If that's what it says, then that's what it means – and let the chips fall where they may.
Many of our rabbis, though, would not concur with such an approach.
In the infamous polemical debates of medieval times, a frequent target of the venom of both the Church and the Karaites was the philosophical aggada.