Here's a great tip:
Enter your email address and we'll send you our weekly magazine by email with fresh, exciting and thoughtful content that will enrich your inbox and your life, week after week. And it's free.
Oh, and don't forget to like our facebook page too!
A new online course
Starting January 22nd
Register »
Contact Us

Packaging

Packaging

 Email

I have a friend who will not buy avocados on principle. "Fifty percent of the weight is the seed," he explains. He loves purchasing apples, grapes and bananas, but avocados and mangos are out. Peaches and dates are borderline — he'll buy them on occasion, with deep misgivings.

My friend has a point - the whole fruit business is a scam. Trees need to procreate; that's why they grow seeds. But trees are not very mobile, leaving them with the problem of how to get their seeds planted a reasonable distance away (if both you and your offspring are immobile, you can't throw them out of the house at age 35). One way would be to tap a passing bird, animal or human on the shoulder and say: "Excuse me, sir, can you please take these seeds and drop them off some distance away, preferably some place with good soil, sunshine and an abundant water supply?" But most passersby would probably mumble something about a doctor's appointment and slink away. So the tree packages its seeds in colorful, tasty and nutritional pulp, and markets it as "fruit."


"Man is a tree of the field" (Deuteronomy 20:19).

We resemble the tree in numerous ways: in our ceaseless "upward" striving, in our need for "roots", in the way that our lives fork and "branch" off in different directions, among others. Chief amongst them, of course, is the way that everything we are and do is focused on the generation of seed.

Man is a spiritual being, which means that we not only reproduce physically — by giving birth to children — but also spiritually: we replicate ourselves by seeding our ideas, feelings and convictions in the minds and hearts of others. And here, says the Lubavitcher Rebbe, we find an interesting parallel between the way that the fruit tree dispatches its seeds and the way that we disseminate our thoughts and experiences.

The fruit tree's vehicle of reproduction consists of two basic components:

1) the seed, into which the tree distills its very self - its characteristics, its nature, its quintessential treeness;

2) the "packaging" that makes it attractive and palatable to its curriers and consumers.

Both are necessary. Without the packaging, the seed wouldn't get very far, or would do so only with great difficulty. On the other hand, if a tree were to produce a most luscious and attractive fruit but neglect to include a seed, nothing would happen. There would be no shortage of consumers, but no progeny.

When we seek to "reproduce" spiritually by communicating our thoughts and feelings to others, we, too, package our seeds. We envelop them in intellectual sophistication, steep them in emotional sauce, dress them in colorful words and images. If we didn't, our message might not get very far (my avocado-shunning friend, for one, would not display much interest). But the important thing to remember is that there must be a "seed" in there. If the fruit of our mind doesn't encase a piece of our soul, what's the point?

By Yanki Tauber; based on the teachings of the Rebbe.
© Copyright, all rights reserved. If you enjoyed this article, we encourage you to distribute it further, provided that you comply with Chabad.org's copyright policy.
 Email
Join the Discussion
Sort By:
6 Comments
1000 characters remaining
Amin Wahyudi Rembang, Indonesia February 9, 2015

New Perspective Really new perspective to me. I am enlightened. Thank you verry much.
How wonderful Torah is.
How great L-rd who wrote it. Reply

Shmuel Shimshoni Hadera, israel February 8, 2015

About the matter "Man is a tree of the field", though there are common traits to both, there are great differences.
Just as a Jewish man's first haircut is performed at age three, so is the fruit of a tree usable, after three years of orla.
About the addition of the word "field", just as a corner of the field is left as Peya, so are the ends of the head left with Payiot, sidelocks, as part of the haircut.
However, the seed of man is mobile and dynamic, in deference to the seed of a tree. If the seed of the tree sprouts too close to the tree, the tree's shadow would stunt the growth of the young tree. How much more so the child of man. The child must be taught the rudiments of life, but must also be allowed to mature at its own speed.
But a greater difference is evident. As the child develops and matures, so does the parent gain better experience in life, learning skills that were never part of his own development.
We all become better parents as our children progress and even beat us in the game Reply

Anonymous Nyc February 5, 2015

Wow - never realized how similar we are to trees . Great article ! Reply

Stam Person Brunoy,, France January 20, 2011

Yanki Tauber Oh. My. Goodness.

The man has ridiculous talent! Insane. These days I only read his or Freeman's stuff. Not that the others are no good, but it's too hard to go back.

If Yanki doesn't lock himself in a room for a few hours each day to commit himself to writing, he is a sinner.

G_d given talent that makes my jaw drop. I'm serious... Reply

Anonymous January 14, 2011

Source Nice article.
Any way we could get the source as to where the Rebbe talks about this? Reply

Bruce Kaplan Burke, VA August 19, 2004

Just in Time...as always I appreciate this thought very much. My student of four years is leaving to go off to college tomorrow. I've had months to prepare, but it doesn't make it any easier. I can console myself with the fact that she has a "beautiful seed" inside the beautiful fruit.
Reply

This page in other languages