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Home » K'doshim

K’doshim: Man and Tree

Submitted by on April 23, 2006 – 9:56 amNo Comment | 2,685 views

Three Stages in a Tree

Man and tree are the same. What happens to the tree eventually happens to man. in light of the above we explore the teaching from this week’s Parsha that forbids the eating of fruit from the first three years of the tree’s existence. On the fourth year we may eat its fruit but only if we carry it to the holy city, Jerusalem, and consume it there. Only after that, on the fifth year, may we finally enjoy the fruit at our leisure.

The majority of Jews today no longer work in the agriculture, but we are all gardeners at heart. We seek to implant the fruit of G-d’s presence
in our hearts, our children, our home and our environment. We too enjoy the fruit of our labor in three stages.

Three Stages in a Jewish Day

We begin every day with prayer. During prayer our attention is exclusively devoted to matters of the spirit and G-d. It is not a time for stray
thoughts, idle chatter or selfish enjoyment.

After prayer we study Torah. Here we interact and are intellectually stimulated but all under the banner of Jerusalem, the atmosphere of
sanctity and Yirat Shamayim (awe of Heaven).

Finally we emerge from our cocoon and venture into the world. Here we can reap the fruit of our labor as we go about our everyday business. We do so for the benefit of our own pleasure but under the clearly visible signs of the morning’s influence.

Man and Tree Innerstream

The Training, The Process, and The Goal

The First stage belongs to G-d. We are there only on His sufferance. This stage is symbolized by three years because we pray thrice daily. The second stage is equally shared between G-d and ourselves. It is his Torah that our minds engage. This is symbolized by consuming the food for our own pleasure but only in the holy city, Jerusalem. The third stage belongs completely to us.

Stages one and two are prerequisites for stage three. Those who successfully complete the first two stages will find that they are not comfortable with exclusive ownership of stage three. They naturally invite G-d to come and join them.

Man and tree are much more similar than we originally thought.