Tu B'Shvat: Hashem's Signature
Why isn't there a New Year for waterfalls or peacocks, or any other of Hashem's magnificent creations? What’s so special about fruit trees, and an apple in particular?
by Rabbi Lazer Brody
What’s so special about trees that they get a New Year all of their own? Why isn’t there a New Year for rocks or waterfalls or red-breasted robins, or any other of Hashem’s magnificent creations? What’s so special about fruit trees, and an apple in particular?
The Torah forbids destroying fruit trees (Devorim 20:19), and likens man to a tree. Kabbalah teaches that souls are reincarnated in fruit trees, and by making all the relevant blessings when eating fruit, a person corrects the soul that was bound up in that fruit. Not only that, but both Kabbala and Midrash teach that the trees have their own form of speech (see Shl”a, Breishit). Since the Torah says (Devorim 20:19) that man is a tree in the field, and man is created in G-d’s own image, then we can say that the trees are created in G-d’s image as well. No wonder the Kabbalic imagery of The Divine Attributes, or Sefirot, is called “The Tree of Life,” or “Etz HaChaim”.
Song of Songs (2:3) likens “my beloved” to an apple in the field, alluding to Hashem. Did King Solomon, the wisest of all men, know something that we didn’t? Absolutely – he certainly knew that Hashem’s signature is on each apple.
Have you ever seen The Almighty's signature? Like artist who proudly signs a masterpiece, look how Hashem signs His name in one of his prize creations, the apple:
|Hebrew letters of G-d's Holy Name
|Letter name in English
|Corresponding parts of the apple
||Shape of the stem and endocarp
Notice how the above photo of the cross-section of an apple clearly shows the ten-pointed exocarp, the five carpels, and the five seeds.
Notice how the stem together with the endocarp forms perfect number "six", which turned upside down becomes a superb letter "vav". So, together with the carpels, seeds, and exocarp points, we get the equivalent of the Ineffable Name, yud - hey - vav - hey, which has a numerical total of 26.
Every apple blossom has exactly 26 stamen. What, you don't yet believe that Hashem created the apple and all the rest of us? C'mon...
By looking at the apple, one can no longer deny the existence of The Creator. His signature is all over the place. By the way, apples are one of the most perfect nutritional foods that exist on the face of the earth. Apples have been shown effective in fighting cancer cells and efficient in improving the health of the lungs, heart, and cardiovascular system.
If you replace your junk-food intake with 2 or 3 apples a day, and your spiritual junk-food intake (web, TV, movies) with Torah learning, you'll discover that you'll soon look better and feel better. May Hashem help you to live a healthy and happy life until 120, amen.
Happy Tu B'Shvat!
Rabbi Lazer Brody was born in Washington, D.C. in 1949. After receiving his bachelor's degree in agriculture from the University of Maryland in 1970, he moved to Israel and joined the Israel Defense Forces regular army, and served in one of the elite special-forces units. He is a decorated combat veteran of two wars and numerous of counter-insurgence and anti-terrorist missions on both sides of Israel's borders.
Rabbi Brody is the English-language editor of Breslev Israel's highly popular English-language website at www.breslev.co.il, and the founder and director of Emuna Outreach. Between Breslov Israel and Emuna Outreach, he devotes his time to spreading emuna and particularly the teachings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev around the globe.
"Lazer Beams," Rabbi Brody's award-winning daily web journal, has been instrumental in helping tens of thousands of people around the globe find joy and fulfillment in their lives.