אך הענין הוא, על דרך משל, כמו שזורעין זרעים או נוטעין גרעין

The above concept, however, can be understood by the analogy of sowing seeds of grain or planting kernels of fruit:

שהשבולת הצומחת מהזרע, והאילן ופירותיו מהגרעין

the shoot that sprouts from the seed, and the tree with its fruits from the kernel,

אינן מהותן ועצמותן של הזרע והגרעין כלל

are not the very essence and being of the seed or the kernel at all,

כי מהותם ועצמותם כלה ונרקב בארץ

for their essence and being has been spent and is decayed in the soil, and they are thus not the source of the vegetative property.

וכח הצומח שבארץ עצמה נוסח אחר: עצמו, הוא המוציא והמגדל השבולת והאילן ופירותיו

It is the vegetative property in the soil itself rather than the particular vegetative power that resulted in the seed or the kernel which brings about the growth of the shoot or the tree and its fruit;

The vegetative power of growth is a Divine faculty that enables physical growth to result from a spiritual property, in a manner of creation ex nihilo. But if the actual growth of any grain or fruit results from the universal power of vegetative growth and not from a particular seed or kernel, then why plant them in the first place? The answer is:

רק שאינו מוציא ומגלה כחו לחוץ, מהכח אל הפועל

it is only that [the earth’s vegetative power] does not manifest its power outwardly, from the potential to the actual,

כי אם על ידי הזרע והגרעין

except by means of the seed or the kernel

שנרקבין בארץ, וכלה כל כחם בכח הצומח שבארץ

that are decayed in the soil and whose whole power — the power of growth that originated in the earth’s vegetative property that was implanted in them as they grew — has been consumed by the vegetative property in the soil,

ונתאחדו והיו לאחדים

so that they unite and become one. I.e., the particular power of growth, that resulted in the seed or kernel, unites with the earth’s universal vegetative property.

ועל ידי זה מוציא כח הצומח את כחו אל הפועל, ומשפיע חיות לגדל שבולת כעין הזרע

In this way the vegetative property actualizes its potential, and effuses vitality that makes possible the growth of a shoot that is related to the seed that was sown,

אבל בריבוי הרבה מאד בשבולת אחת

though with a very great increase in any single shoot, so that one ear of corn comprises many grains,

וכן פירות הרבה על אילן אחד

and likewise, there are many fruits on a single tree.

וגם מהותן ועצמותן של הפירות מעולה, בעילוי רב ועצום, למעלה מעלה ממהותו ועצמותו של הגרעין הנטוע

Moreover, the very nature and essence of the fruits immensely excels the nature and essence of the planted kernel, in that the bland and tasteless kernel serves as the source for delicious fruit.

וכן כהאי גוונא בפירות הארץ, הגדלים מזרעונין כעין גרעינין, כמו קשואים וכהאי גוונא

The same is true of the produce of the earth which grows from seeds just like kernels, such as cucumbers, and the like.

Thus, fruits and vegetables are not only quantitatively superior to the kernels that served as their respective sources, but are qualitatively superior as well. (The difference between grain and its original seed, however, is only one of quantity.)

והכל הוא מפני שעיקר ושרש חיות הפירות נשפע מכח הצומח שבארץ

All this is so because the stem and root of the vitality of the fruits issues from the vegetative property in the soil,

הכולל חיות כל הפירות

which includes the vitality of all fruits and causes them to grow,

Nevertheless, a kernel — moreover, the kernel of the specific species desired — must be sown, as is now explained:

והגרעינין הזרועים בארץ אינן אלא כעין אתערותא דלתתא

while the kernels that are sown in the ground are only like an “arousal from below,” that is necessary if one is to elicit a reciprocal “arousal from Above,”

הנקרא בשם העלאת מיין נוקבין בכתבי האריז״ל

this [“arousal from below”] being referred to in the writings of Rabbi Isaac Luria, of blessed memory, as the “elevation of mayin nukvin(commonly abbreviated מ״נ) — the arousal of the “feminine waters” that serve as the recipient of the efflux of the “male waters.”

The same applies here as well: The power of vegetative growth is a spiritual power that encompasses all fruits and vegetables. Its spiritual state is such that it is far too lofty to descend spontaneously to a level at which it can make physical produce grow. The actual growth can only come about as a result of the “elevation of the feminine waters” of a particular fruit or grain. This arouses within the universal vegetative proper-ty the particular manifestation necessary for the growth of the specific kind of produce that is inherent in the kernel or seed that is sown.