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Tu Bishvat 15

King David compares human beings to trees. In Psalm 92 he sings; “The righteous person shall flower like a date palm and grow tall like a cedar of Lebanon.” Why does King David use two such different trees in this song?

Date palms may grow even in the desert but they can only flourish near a source of water. Their roots are broad, but relatively shallow. The mighty cedar grows on top of mountains at high altitudes. They have a single root that is capable of penetrating boulders until they find a source of water. The date palm provides fruit, but cedars give none. Cedar wood is one of the best, but the wood of a date palm is worthless.

King David wants us to have the wood, the excellence of the cedar, and he wants us to bear fruit like a date palm. He wants our roots to be powerful and penetrating as those of the cedar, but he wants us to maintain close contact to a source of water, Torah, as does the date palm. . (Machberes Avodas Hashem)


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