Shabbat Shoftim Host Ben Levkovich

Tuesday, 6 September, 2022 - 9:49 am

whe.jpgIn this weeks parsha, Shoftim, we are told the rules of kingship and how we are to engage in wartime efforts. One of these rules is that when you are taking over land, you cannot cut down any fruit bearing trees, because “a person is like a tree in the field.”
What does this mean? What is this comparison between a person and a tree?

While there are many way that people are like trees, for example just as a tree has branches, so too do people reach out and affect others and just as tree produce fruit, we too create and give things to others. However, when I think about this metaphor of a person being like a tree, I think of the roots. They are the foundation, vital to the trees survival but yet they are hidden, underground where nobody can see them.

So to is our foundation as people. It is deep within us, far from anything others can see. And yet it is so crucial. Without a strong foundation, no matter how wide your branches reach or how sweet the fruit you produce is, any small wind can blow you over. So we must invest in our foundation, stay rooted in our traditions to ensure we have the strength to go out and make a difference in the world. 

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