Tu bShevat – Birthday of Rav Nosson of Nemirov – Eitz HaDaas – Mystical Tree of Rebbe Nachman’s Fifth Beggar – Speaker: Rabbi Nasan Maimon. Recorded on 2022-01-11 in Efrat, Israel.
00:00 – The Fifteenth of Shevat – Rosh Hashanah l’Ilanos (New Year for the Trees) – is the birthday of Rav Nosson of Nemirov zal. Just as Avraham Avinu relied on his closest student, Eliezer Damasek, to assist him in bringing faith in Hashem into the world, so too did Rebbe Nachman of Breslov rely on his closest student, Rav Nosson zal.
07:00 – Was the Eitz HaDaas (Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil) a grape vine?
12:00 – Looking at the wine during Kiddush on Shabbos repairs spiritual damage to vision.
15:00 – Was the Eitz HaDaas wheat, or (18:00) a fig tree, or (19:00) an Esrog (citron) tree?
22:30 – The apple symbolizes the Shekhina (Divine Presence).
28:48 – In Sefer Tehillim (Psalms), Dovid HaMelech (King David) begins with reference to a tree that is also alluded to in a number of other places in the Torah:
וְהָיָה כְּעֵץ שָׁתוּל עַל־פַּלְגֵי מָיִם אֲשֶׁר פִּרְיוֹ׀ יִתֵּן בְּעִתּוֹ וְעָלֵהוּ לֹא־יִבּוֹל וְכֹל אֲשֶׁר־יַעֲשֶׂה יַצְלִיחַ: (תהלים פרק א פסוק ג)
*30:00 – In his Tale of the Seven Beggars, Rebbe Nachman describes a tree near which all creatures are in harmony. It its shade, even natural enemies are at peace with one another. Its three roots are אמונה (faith), יראה (fear/respect), and עניוות (humility). The trunk of the tree is אמת (truth). These four attributes correspond to Avraham Avinu, Yitzchak Avinu, Moshe Rabbeinu, and Yaakov Avinu, respectively. When a person works to develop these four character traits in himself, he strengthens them in others and contributes to world peace.
The tree alludes to the Torah and to the Tzaddik, as in
אַשְׁרֵי הָאִישׁ אֲשֶׁר׀ לֹא הָלַךְ בַּעֲצַת רְשָׁעִים וּבְדֶרֶךְ חַטָּאִים לֹא עָמָד וּבְמוֹשַׁב לֵצִים לֹא יָשָׁב – “He shall be as a tree planted beside rivulets of water, which brings forth its fruit in its season, and its leaves do not wilt; and whatever he does prospers” (Tehillim 1:1).