Sunday, March 3, 2013

Depressing, but true...


Don Isaac Abarbanel comments on the fourth chapter of Daniel, in which powerful King Nevuchadnezzar has a dream in which he sees himself as a tree:

"Man is a tree of the field. He is like that great, tall, beautiful tree, which must grow, exist, and then be destroyed."

(Abarbanel, Maayanei haYeshuah, Maayan 6, Tamar 5)

Have a great day,


  1. I would think that many empire builders are out to cheat death by making something permanent of themselves, and thus the dream would be a bit of a chock. But I am bothers by the Abarbanel's "and then be destroyed", since I would think that ill describes the death of the righteous.

    Perhaps every "tree" is a Giving Tree. To take a term from another sad yet inaccurately generalized view of the human condition. Either we contribute to the public welfare willingly, or Hashem takes our wages from us.

    "BLESSED SHALL BE the Creator, and exalted shall be the Maker, Who
    created us in His “Image” and in the likeness of His “Structure”, and planted eternal life within us, so that our greatest desire should be to do good to others, to individuals and to the masses, now and in the future, in imitation of the Creator...
    - HaRav Shim'on Shkop zt"l, Introduction to Shaarei Yosher

  2. R' Micha-
    A good thought. For what it's worth, the Hebrew there is נפסד, what would you do with that?