Tubishvat-Trees & Humans Part Two-Pre-Sin
Transcribed by Michael Beller: The Gemara on Rosh Hashana says as follows, “Shavuot is the only time we bring bread onto the mizbeach, why do we bring these two loaves of bread on Shavuot? Because that’s really when fruits are beginning to grow. So God said, bring to Me two loaves of bread so that all the trees can be blessed as well” We see here the Gemara is comparing wheat and trees.
The first mishna on the sixth chapter of Berachot says, “on fruits of the tree you may make a ‘borai pri haaizt’ except for the wheat. And the Gemara says on Rosh Hashana “you’re bringing wheat bread to bless the trees?” Rashi says “of course, because what was the Tree of Knowledge? Wheat!
So originally wheat was a tree but as a punishment for the role it played in the sin of Adam it was turned into wheat”.
The Gemara Ketubot says “that in the world to come wheat will no longer be wheat, it will be a tree again”, it was only a temporary punishment.
So we see here that wheat is tree as well, the same is true for barley, which is explained in other verses. Even the results of the sin for Adam were in terms of whether he would eat from trees, as he did fruit (as he did before the sin), or if he would have to eat vegetables. Because before the sin it says, “from all the trees in the garden you must eat” this is the first commandment God gives Adam.
After the sin Adam is told, “ you will eat the grass of the field” and Adam understands that something has changed. The Gemara on Pesachim says, “at the time that the Holy One, Blessed be He, said to Adam, “You’re going to have to eat grass.” Adam said to God, “Master of the world! I and my donkey should eat out of one trough?”
So Israel is defined not as a land that produces trees, but a land of trees.
The first time Eisav is described as he is growing up, it says Yaakov was a simple man, perfect man living in tents, and Eisav was “a man of the fields”. In chapter thirty-six of Beraishit it says, “ these are children of Sei’ir (Eisav) who lived on the land” so the Gemara on shabbos asks “really, they lived on the land? Does that mean that everyone else lives on the sky? What do you mean they lived on the land? This means they were expert on how to settle the land. They would pick up some earth and say this is the perfect place to plant some olive trees. They would pick up another piece of earth and say this is where you should plant your vines, or this is the perfect place to plant figs. In other words they were people of the earth in that they could relate to the earth exactly as it was supposed to be”.
We find again that there is a certain connection when we say, post sin, you become a man of the earth, it means that you’re very involved with the earth. So their relationship has not changed entirely, there’s still a relation with the earth, but something did change from pre-sin to post-sin.