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Tu Bishvat: As A Tree



“Praiseworthy is the man who walked not in the counsel of the wicked, and stood not in the path of the sinful, and sat not in the session of scorners. But his desire is in the Torah of God, and in His Torah he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree deeply rooted alongside brooks of water, that yields its fruit in its season, and whose leaf never withers, and everything that he does will succeed.” (Psalms 1:1-3)

When one conducts himself in the fashion described in the first two verses, he can be likened to a tree planted in an environment of purity though the tree’s foliage extends over areas infested with impurity. (Compare to Kiddushin 40)

This means that the soul of the Tzaddik, righteous individual, is planted in the celestial regions. It is well known that the secrets of the mystical aspects of Torah are to be found in the higher spheres of holiness just as the so called plain meanings of the Torah.

The two may be viewed like two branches of the same brook. The soul of the type of person described is firmly rooted in the Torah of God, and the other branch of the brook is called His Torah, the plain meaning of Torah. Seeing that this is so, such a tree, righteous person, will yield its fruit at the appropriate time.

This means that every Torah scholar through engaging his soul in the roots of Torah through constant diligent study, is as if he irrigated his soul in order to produce fruit, just like a well-irrigated tree.

This is how we have explained, “the creation of those whom I have planted.” (Isaiah 60:21) The fruit are the new insights that the Torah scholar gains and has communicated to us. (Zohar 1:33) – Rabbi Moshe Alshich Romemot El, Translated by Eliyahu Munk)

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