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Life isn’t just a bowl of peaches—there are coconuts in there too. That’s where all the challenges begin.

Breaking Through the Husk

Breaking Through the Husk

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Breaking Through the Husk

Life isn’t just a bowl of peaches—there are coconuts in there too. That’s where all the challenges begin.
15 Shevat, Trees, Fruit & Fruit Products, Plants

In the Kabbalah, the forces of darkness and evil are called “shells” and “husks.” Which means that they are not inherently bad, they’re meant simply to protect the fruit. It’s just when we humans confuse the fruit with the husk and vice-versa that we cause them to become truly evil.

With some fruits, like dates, figs, grapes and pears, the peel is just as edible as the fruit itself. Other fruits, like bananas, oranges and grapefruits, have a peel that’s easily removed. But some, like coconuts, require real effort to crack.

So too in life: There are things we do that are all good, like mitzvahs. Other things are permissible, but you can find a way to make a mitzvah out of it. Then there are major challenges that put everything you believe to the test. But when you crack the nut and break through the test, you find yourself lifted higher, way beyond where you started off. Those are the best fruits of life.

Written and conceived by Tzvi Freeman. Rabbi Freeman is available for public speaking and workshops. Read more on his bio page.
Music by The Piamentas
Rabbi Infinity played by Andrew Torres
Animation and SFX by Pilar Newton of Pilar Toons
© 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.
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ruth housman marshfield hills, ma February 13, 2013

Husks I am reminded today, since I wrote about departed pets and we recently lost our husky, our blue eyed rescue dog, a dog that was so filled with childhood, loving as he did, squeaky toys. What does this have to do with this video? Perhaps more than, a word, that is a reminder as husky contains husk. I am writing down the lines endlessly a story, a story that began with my seeing the Hebrew letters strewn through the streets outside a synagogue where I studied Kabala, made entirely of coalesced rain drops. Since then words come to me. They deconstruct, and I am following a synchronous story. Why did this come to me, right after on FaceBook I published a poem and wrote about my beloved pets? I see G_d in the wings wherever I go, and I think, there is a story that surrounds all stories, that encompasses, even this.

To be heard requires being herd, and I say, if not now, then when? I ask this of G_d who is constantly providing the most astounding linguistic and other connects, which I record. Reply

Z aski Ny February 12, 2013

We love Kabbala toons th Thanks for making these k toons Reply

Shoshanna January 20, 2011

Simple Yet So profound. As in life itself. Reply

Rabbi Talmeed January 20, 2011

Real Please keep these coming, this was so enlighting! I place it on my face book page! Reply

ruth housman marshfield hills, ma January 18, 2011

The Book of Ruth I am reminded of The Book of Ruth, of the gleaners in the field, and of corners left to those who had no means. To husk the grain, that shining wheat filled with kernels. As kernel is also to wisdom, to deepening truths.

Husks of course, come out of the deep Kabbalist spiritual tradition, being about klipot, about what is part of, what adheres to the everything, that is the part that needs to be removed, as it has a connotation of "bad".

Of course, it's all part of the same story, and wherever we look we are seeing that there is something of deep and juicy beauty, inside, as in the coconut shell, as in the shells of nuts, the banana we peel. And sometimes we use these husks, for drums, for beads, for adornment and music.

We use everything. It's all a gift.

There is an amazement, a splendor of metaphoric connect that rides up and down all creation, can endlessly be plumbed, for meaning. Such is the WONDER. Reply

Syed January 16, 2011

Thanks! Thanks for this uplifting write up! Reply

Anonymous ny, ny/usa November 8, 2007

This is a great way to reach out to those who know nothing about kabbalah in a fun engaging manner! Kudos! Reply

Esther Goldberger Montreal, Canada October 25, 2007

That's one of the greatest ideas ever. Kaballa for kids... CONGRATULATIONS! Reply

david October 17, 2007

very nice but.. it looks like the rabbi is eating with out saying the blessing first... Reply

cheryl houston, tx October 9, 2007

husks...anonymous That is a truth. He did indeed choose the husk. To rise above...I read in the daily readings. That is the difficult part. Thankyou. Reply

Anonymous October 6, 2007

The Holocaust Let us take the example of the coconut. Once opened, you have a choice to do with the husk: you can discard it, you can turn it into a bowl for a frozen drink, or you can sharpen it and use it to poke someone's eye out.

What is it that the gun people are always saying? "Guns don't kill people, people kill people"? Some things are all good, somethings can be made into a mitzvah, and other things, we choose what to do with them: either to discard them, to turn them into something beneficial, or to do the wrong thing with them, and commit a great evil.

It is often said that a person's capacity for good and their capacity for evil are equal in proportion. But the key word is "capacity." It is we who choose to be good, or to be evil.

Hitler chose to be evil. G-d gave him power, intended to be used for good: fortuitous timing, charisma, a decent tactical mind. But instead of doing good deeds with these powers, he chose to use them for evil. He discarded the fruit, and chose to use the husk instead. Reply

Cheryl Houston, TX October 3, 2007

husks I undersyand the point of not being afraid, to accept, that some "nuts" are hard to crack to get to the good and decent person or spirit within...but the holocaust.... It seems to me that at times the evil that is without speaks louder to the evil within some and the person or persons listen to the evil instead of the good. Yes personalities and etc. are diffirent in all. However does one still not know deep inside that evil and wrong are still evil and wrong acts? A person chooses to do good or bad..to listen and decide which voice he will listen to. Reguardless, the husks was good, it's message gentle yet packed a punch. Only G_d can crack the husks of the one whose will is stubornly detirmined not to crack. And yes, I know that if it is His Will, He will provide us a way..even where or with whom we least expect it. My daughter enjoyed Husks and really...I did also. Reply

Anonymous September 30, 2007

good one thast was so
educating keep up the good work
but maybe make the words a little more kid friendly Reply

moonglough September 27, 2007

husks where does the holocaust fit in with this concept? Reply

cheryl September 25, 2007

great!!!!!!!!!! Such wisdom..in a nut shell ! Reply

Sarah Zeldman Thornhill, ON September 24, 2007

I LOVE THESE! Lighthearted enough to get you smiling -- then smack you in between the eyes with a great lesson. Can't wait to see more! Reply

Anonymous Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia September 24, 2007

Oh my Goodness! I was so so so so happy to see this. Hahaha! Good Job!!! Reply

ylw September 23, 2007

genious!!! That was freakin hilarious!!!! Awesome!! Nuts in a good way!! It was great!! Reply

Manny via chabadwestmount.com September 23, 2007

Very substantive Reply

Chaver Harrison Owasso, Oklahoma September 23, 2007

Great Good Job Rabbi Freeman!!!!! Keep up the great work! Reply

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