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The Tree

The Tree

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A man was travelling through the desert, hungry, thirsty and tired, when he came upon a tree bearing luscious fruit and affording plenty of shade, underneath which ran a spring of water. He ate of the fruit, drank of the water and rested beneath the shade.

When he was about to leave, he turned to the tree and said: “Tree, O tree, with what should I bless you?

“Should I bless you that your fruit be sweet? Your fruit is already sweet.

“Should I bless you that your shade be plentiful? Your shade is plentiful. That a spring of water should run beneath you? A spring of water runs beneath you.

“There is one thing with which I can bless you: May it be G‑d’s will that all the trees planted from your seeds should be like you . . .”

Talmud, Taanit 5b
Image: detail from an illustration by Chassidic artist Michoel Muchnik.
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Andrew Pretoria September 5, 2015

Psalm 1 If we were like this tree: Giving shade to the weary, food to the hungry and water to the thirsty. Not saying one word yet by deeds be known. Not complaining even when ignorant people break some of it'sbranches
But silently, humbly doing what is right and required to all be they good or bad
Just as our Father let it rain on the seeds and the weeds
for He so loves us all
How different this world would be! Reply

hamil ga February 4, 2015

may it be the L-rd's will that all the trees planted from your seed be as you" May all who eat its fruit be as the tree too. Reply

Anonymous December 16, 2014

Blessings have more power than any of us can possibly imagine. especially when those blessings go beyond us thinking about ourselves, Reply

Fresi July 18, 2014

Room for more A heart that recognizes when it has been blessed, cannot rest until it gives back a blessing in return. Reply

Peter Spiro WA June 16, 2014

Equal access The nature of life being what it is, we all don't have equal access to the Torah -- for any of a variety of reasons.

But we all do have equal access to God.

And anybody can be a mirror for the Divine countenance, a glimpse of which creates new worlds and people with divine faces.

Peace and love. Reply

Rabbi HaYitom ben Yisrael Eretz HaKodesh and Olam June 15, 2014

Deeper meanings... There are many ways this story can be viewed:
The trees can be an allegory for Rabbis - or an example of Rabbinic teaching - or the Seeds of the trees can be viewed as the talmadim/students of the Torah... The Torah is the (our) Tree of Life, each one of us who reads and studied Torah is like a seed, may we each grow to be "living Torah" - also the encounter of the man with the oasis of the tree in the desert is a subtle display of the love that G_d/Hashem has for the lonely who travel our world the Holy One (B"H) give relief to the wandering person, whether they are wander in their actual life journey, or in their spiritual essence... The Tree is a stable symbol in the world that seems like a desert... another view: the man is the benefactor his bracha/blessing is an action that enables the spreading of what is good... there are many wonderful levels of insight in this story... Be Well... Shavua Tov! Reply

Rabbi HaYitom ben Yisrael Eretz HaKodesh June 15, 2014

Response to Zalmy They imitation is the greatest of compliments, likewise is it "selfish" for a father to want his children to "be like him"? Furthermore, how "selfish" is it to actually show appreciation - the bracha of man who enjoyed the tree, was he so selfish, could he actually give anything to the tree? would you have had him build a wall and seclude the tree (so only he knew of it?) or was his bracha an actual multitude of brachot towards others? Your comment demonstrates a modern tendency to consider anything of benefit as "selfish." "If one is not for them self, how can they ever be for another?" - You know this phrase from R.Hillell; however do not confuse selfishness with self-centeredness. For "selfishness" is a natural instinct, it must be used to benefit others as well as yourself; yet "self-centeredness" puts the focus on 'only you' and that is an act of choice; Mishle says: "the enemy crouches at the door" and "a fool does not utilize what he has" Self is for others as it is for you. B"H Reply

Anonymous philippinrs March 18, 2014

who is the author of this story? Reply

Zalmy Australia March 4, 2014

:) funny... it was a selfish blessing - so that he and other men could enjoy better fruits... Reply

Anna Cortez Scotland January 23, 2013

The Tree Trees re-appear even when cut down for paper etc. but I still don't like the idea of any tree being cut off in its prime. The Torah makes more sense than many versions of different religious books as it came direct from above through the Rabbi and hence I now believe that it should have stayed that way and glad this is explained in here right down to the Letters and Numbers which I am finding difficult to remember but will step by step put them in a book to absorb same and become part of it. Reply

Judy Freedman Neriya, the Shomron January 23, 2013

Material for English class as usual, your site is my inspiration for my English classes! Thank you Reply

Anna Cortez Scotland December 26, 2012

The Tree - The Rabbis What a lovely comment about the Rabbis being the Trees. I had never heard a Rabbi speak untiI came in here and I felt the presence of God speaking through him and right through myself. Since coming in here I found out only this year that my father and both grandparents were most possibly Jewish due to 'talking to G-d' and receiving a reply albeit many years after I'd asked when the 'time was right' - their names were Yosef and Anna and learning more. Much was kept secret from me over 40 years ago but not any more. I now subscribe a small amount each month to Chabad as there's so much in here. Thank-you. Reply

Anonymous New York December 25, 2012

The trees are the rabbis. After seeing all the beauty hidden in their word we wish that every one provides us with such a wonderful words. I feel like a child in a garden listening to the rabbi playing in a violin such a charming music. Thanks Chabad for such beautifully blessed guides. Reply

Anna Cortez(Nee Kotrys) Scotland November 6, 2012

The Tree Only today I looked at a TREE in general and felt I should write something about it like a song or poem about how alive it looks sometimes and how sad it looks when infected or damaged and here was your email about the Tree. We take too much for granted sometimes but not I. It's wonderful to read other comments about people found you like I did. Wonder what words will come to me? Thanks again. Reply

Anonymous November 5, 2012

What an inspiring story. A short story but full of lessons. I feel so blessed to be here. Thank you chabad.org, I do believe that I can find myself here. Reply

Anonymous Mesa, Arizona, USA February 8, 2012

The Tree Beautiful story, and so is the painting. I thank Hashem, blessed be He, for the Tree of Life. And for this beautiful garden. Hoping that we all come to the realization that as this man in the story blelssess the Tree for its fruits so that we all bless one another for their good deeds to one another.This will bring Mashiach sooner. Amen. Reply

Sansra Kohll Omaha, Ne USA February 7, 2012

Trees I want to know how a tree represents man and woman. I know the trunk stands for a body. The branches stand for our limbs. That is all I know. Tell me more if you can. Reply

Anna Cortez Lanark, Scotland October 24, 2011

TREE OF LIFE/TORAH I totally agree with Mark Siet 3/5/09 and ML Suriano on 7/4/09..I feel at home in Chabad.org and promoe this on my Blog and reason why..G-d has thanked me by sending people my way in the music industry who wish to use 'The Tree' I painted'..I called it the Mystic Tree of Life but always mention much is to be learned in Chabad.org and that a lot of what I learned in here G-d had already revlealed to me in person over the years before guiding me to th eplace I call 'home'...This is my Tree of Life Here and other sites of Chabad.org...many bracnhes you have and one strong Tree..I feel G-d presence as any of the Rabbi's speak especially Aher Crispe and have been trying to keep patient and listen inwards...lots more to learn on here..Thank-you Reply

Raju Thiruvanthapuram, Kerala. India Thiruvananathapuram, India October 24, 2011

Let us bless everyone as this traveller did.

Pass on all the blessings you have received Reply

Anna Cortez July 12, 2011

TREE OF LIFE So the Tree of Life is The Torah..I was inspired to paint a mystical tree which had fingers and little faces within the fingers out of the blue some time back and am pleased to read the comments about the Tree being The Torah..perhaps I'm being called to promote this on my sites so glad I put this Tree Painting up just recently...it's so easy just to 'think singly' but reading this I feel 'connected' to ALL on here.. Reply