Thursday, June 24, 2010

Be the tree


"The Torah compares people to trees, but there are four kinds of trees:

"One is the thorn, which no one will take, for it is useless. It was created only to harm others; these are the wicked…

"The second is the bramble, and people take shelter beneath its branches and leaves; these are people who engage in the way of the world.

"The third is the fruit tree, like those who perform mitzvot and are compared to a fruit… but people do not benefit from the body of the tree, itself.

"The fourth is the cedar, regarding which people benefit from the body of the tree, in construction. This is like a person of Torah; the person is purified in all of his travels and ways, even in his normal conversation. Still, some cedars are better for one person’s construction and some for a mast for a ship at sea and so it supports thousands of people; so there is a scholar who is good for those who are around him, near to him, and then there is a scholar who leads his world, like the captain of a ship. This is the meaning of “Like cedars upon the water,” that we use them on the water."

(Netziv, Haamek Davar to Bamidbar 24:6)

Have a great day,

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