The 15th of Shevat – Man is a Tree

By: Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui

 

When the Bible makes a comparison it is not just for illustrative purposes. A comparison made by G-d Himself means every detail in the comparison is exact and precise. The Bible compares people, human beings to fruit trees. What similarity can there be between people and of all things, fruit trees?

Well for one thing a tree comprises of roots, the body of the tree, branches, leaves and fruits which contain the seeds for further trees.

Could anyone imagine a tree that grows fat and sturdy but only up to the point of where the branches start to grow? The ultimate end result of a tree is the branches and leaves which give shade and benefit others. More important than the branches, are the fruits, which bring enjoyment to others and carry the seeds for other trees to grow.

A person does not live just to self-indulge and have a good time. G-d created human beings so they could partner with G-d in making the world at large a perfect and better world. For the most part it’s all been made and prepared by G-d. The universe is a complex creation of beauty and absolute greatness. We have all been granted the gift and miracle of life, to serve a purpose outside our own self existence, “to prepare the world under the kingdom of G-d.”

When you follow in the footsteps of G-d by being kind to others, fulfilling your obligations expected from you by G-d, you are making a difference in this world and as a result you are a happier more fulfilled individual.

The Talmud tells us, one of the first questions a soul is asked after it has gone through life and is now giving its final report on its accomplishments is, “did you occupy yourself with being fruitful and multiplying?”

It is not enough one has a child and a half, and two dogs. Our mission is accomplished and true happiness is achieved when we have lots of yummy fruits and children who continue among other things to also have many yummy children.

The most important part of a tree is its roots. Roots are hidden in the ground away from any ones notice. Yet, the roots account for the health and stability of the entire tree. The roots are how we start out every day, and way before the child is noticed, in his mothers’ womb before he even gets out to the world. What environment are we putting the unborn child in? What words and music is the child subject to listening in the mothers’ womb? Do we start the day with our prayers and calibrate ourselves appropriately?

After the child is born and we continue to nurture this small sapling what kind of surroundings and atmosphere are we subjecting the child to. Most of a person’s character is molded by the age of 9 years old.

It seems like what we do with children is insignificant because after all they are only children. However the entire structure of the tree is determined by its roots. Early in its growth stage and every day, early before he goes out to deal with the world.

The kind of water we feed the roots, the faith in G-ds miracles and ever watchful eye, molds the kind of strength and optimism this tree will have when the hurricanes of life blow on it later on. In order to grow straight, tall and strong, all the weeds and negative influences must be weeded from the territory of the child. Not good friends and negative influences are all huge big no no’s, if we have any hope the child will grow without weaknesses and blemishes.

The book of psalms say if we are lucky we are granted seventy years and if strength is granted we are given eighty years and it goes on. Seventy years, the first milestone, represents the complete spectrum of our emotions and character. The goal of the person himself is to refine his entire character. We are a developing tree, every day of our lives. The attention we give to ourselves, starting from the roots, is the way we leave the world a more beautiful world than before our tree offered itself to the universe.

 

To read more articles from Rabbi Ezagui visit him at http://koshercaffeine.blogspot.com/

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