Friday, January 29, 2010

Tu B'Shvat

Here's a quick vort I picked up, in the name of R' Moshe Rubin:

Trees in a forest all grow straight and tall, while the branches of a city tree bend & twist, producing poor lumber. In the forest, the trees stand crowded together, so they limit each other's spread. But a lonely city tree grows unrestrained all over the place, because it has nothing to stop it.
A man is like a tree in the field. It is much better for a person to grow along with others, than to grow by himself, all alone.
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It's interesting to note that many people do not realize what it means, when we say "Ki Adam Etz HaSadeh".
We always say that it means, "A person is like a tree of the field."

If you look at the posuk where it's from, you'll see it's actually written as a question. "Is a person like a tree of the field [that can run away from battle]?" The psukim are discussing the prohibitions of cutting down certain trees during a siege on a city.

This doesn't chas v'shalom negate anything chassidus or mussar explains from the idea that a person is like a tree. Because although it's in question format, it is comparing them to a certain degree. And the gemara in Taanis asks on this posuk: How is a person like a tree? So obviously there is some comparison.

Anyway, have a good shabbos, and a renewed and fresh year on this Tu B'Shvat.
Also remember that this shabbos is Shabbos Shirah, and we do not throw bread to the birds on Shabbos. You're going to have to do that on Friday, if you wish.