The 15th day of Shevat in the Jewish calendar is also called the new year of the Trees. This day is in mentioned the Mishnah as one of four Rosh HaShanah, New Year, and is rooted on Biblical commandments, like Orlah -Leviticus 19:23- and Ma’asser Sheni – Leviticus 19:24.
In Jewish tradition, this day became a minor Holiday of eating fruits of the trees with the blessing, planting trees and a remembrance of the time of the time of the Temple exists (Bikkurim, the First Fruits).
But Kabbalists had found a deeper approach to this day and by following the deeper thoughts, it is not only a Jewish Holiday, it should be very important for entire Israel, meaning: also for the Ten Lost Tribes, living spread in the world. Everyone who feels awaken with an Israelite Identity should find in Tu b’Sehvat more spiritual understanding and possible the power to realize the new deep thoughts in his life.
Kabbalists using this day as a Tikkun, a rectification, of the first “sin” by Adam, the first Man. The prohibition of eating from the Tree of Knowledge between good and evil, which was the only negative command for Adam and is only comparable for us with the law of Orlah in the Torah, the prohibition of eating the fruit of a tree in his first three years.
The Kabbalistic “Seder” (Order) on this day begins with a visit to Gan Eden and an investigating of the “Sin” case of Adam and Eve. The Torah tells us a simple story and with the understanding of the plain text (Pshat), we can see only the “Sin” as the eating from the forbidden tree, but no deeper meanings.
The entire beginning of the Torah, especially the fall of man, is a metaphor and should be decoded with an abstract understanding what can find the representatives. The first information what we will miss without this understanding is that Adam was the first possible Mashiach and his failure was not only what we called the “Sin” but he missed his task in finishing the creation, to purify the body to a more spiritual entity. His current body concealed the full presence of G-d and by doing his job he should have revealed the full presence of G-d so he could enter the next world, Olam HaBa.
There was a second task waiting for him, to eliminate the evil inclination, the serpent, which was external and after missing his tasks, his entering to the next world was denied, the evil inclination entered his body, became internal, and he was exiled from Eden.
In this new chapter, a new role was necessary, not only the role of the Mashiach, to prepare the way to the next world, the Olam HaBa, but a second Mashiach was needed for the newly created damage, the Mashiach ben Yosef. We called him so because Yosef was the first one who was successful in this role. Kain and Esav failed in this role before him. The origin role of the Mashiach is still waiting for the Mashiach ben David, to prepare the way to the destination, the next world.
But before we’re going further to the following generations, we have to go back to Eden and learn something more about the trees in the middle of the garden and the sin of eating from the forbidden fruit.
The big questions are what are the mysteries of the trees, why the tree of knowledge was forbidden to eat from, and why G-d gave Adam such an impossible mission.
First of all, the mission wasn’t impossible, Adam had all information he needs for it. His Knowledge was excellent, he understood everything in the garden, therefore he could give to everything a name, which is in the Hebrew language very meaningful because the meaning is related to the characteristics.
Both trees in our metaphor should have been given to Adam also a deeper explanation, the Tree of Life represents G-d and the eternity good, and the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil represents Adam and his spiritual imperfection, which is symbolized by the forbidden fruit and the distance between the trees.
All that explains why G-d’s presence was partially concealed in the Garden of Eden. Now we should see the task of Adam more clear and Rabbi Mendel Kessin explain this according to the great Kabbalist Ramchal (Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato), that symbolic spoken, he had to bring the two trees together, which gave me other associations, I will explain later.
Another important aspect, in this case, is that Adam has had knowledge, as can see written in the Torah:
“The man said, ’This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.’ That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. ” — Genesis 2: 23-24(NIV)
Adam recognized his wife as “one flesh” and it’s later written as “da’at” in Hebrew, “Knowledge” (Genesis 4:1). Important to understand is that not only the sexual act is called “Adam ‘knows’ his wife”, but this word has the same meaning as the “Tree of ‘knowledge’ ”
In other words, Adam could have recognized his relationship to his wife with the conclusion that they are one. Interesting is that the book Songs of Songs, Shir HaShirim, is in Judaism not only called “holy”, but the “holiest of holy”. The reason for this is that the ‘profane’ written love story can bring us an analogy to our relationship with G-d. In other words, Adam was able to discover his relationship to G-d, what should explain his task more specific, that he has to bring the trees together or to make his still hidden existing connecting with G-d visible, which would reveal the total presence of G-d, or this would allow the fruit of the tree of Knowledge between good and evil for him.
Related to the metaphor of the two trees I can create my own metaphor to make this story more clear for us. As the Kabbalists making the connection from Tu b’Shevat to the Gan Eden, we can compare the story of Adam with the prohibition of eating Orlah, the fruit of a new tree in his first three years. If a branch of a tree is bent and digging in the earth, that a new tree comes out from it, this new tree is not considered a tree to the law of Orlah, according to some authorities, because it is one tree and the new tree gets his power from the mother-tree. This connection of this two trees can be recognized very easily because the leafs of the trees are tending, facing each other.
This metaphor could not only be a hint to the cherubim on the ark, which can show the connection between the people of Israel when they are living together in peace, in unity, and oneness, in such case the cherubim were facing each other. These metaphors should be an explanation for us every time when we have to do with relationship.
The elimination of the serpent, the evil inclination, would be very easy for Adam in his case because in the moment he recognized his connection to G-d, the argument of “becomes ‘like G-d’” becomes irrelevant and he would disappear in the word of the truth and Adam could have been entered the next world.
Now, we coming to the important part to see this all happen in the Tanakh and finding the truth of our conclusion. The most powerful prove we can find in the climax of the meeting between the two Meshechim Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David, represented by Yosef and Yehudah when Yehuda fights for the life of Benjamin before the unrevealed Yosef (Genesis 44:18 ++). Yosef used this scenario to discover if there is a connection between the will of his father Yaacov and the will of Yehudah, which would reveal the oneness between them. This revelation brought up another revelation, the existing connection between Yosef and his brothers, what wasn’t possible before.
This portion of the Torah, Vajigash, is reading in Synagogues with a connection of the Haftara, the reading of the Prophets, of the vision of the two sticks in Ezekiel 37:
“ The word of the Lord came to me: “Son of man, take a stick of wood and write on it, ‘Belonging to Judah and the Israelites associated with him.’ Then take another stick of wood, and write on it, ‘Belonging to Joseph (that is, to Ephraim) and all the Israelites associated with him.’Join them together into one stick so that they will become one in your hand. “When your people ask you, ‘Won’t you tell us what you mean by this?’say to them, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am going to take the stick of Joseph—which is in Ephraim’s hand—and of the Israelite tribes associated with him, and join it to Judah’s stick. I will make them into a single stick of wood, and they will become one in my hand.’” — 15-19(NIV)
Now it may be no wonder for us, that the word, mentioned in Ezekiel, as “stick” -“Etz“- in Hebrew is the same as “tree” – “Etz” – in our chapter in Genesis. We have two trees and two sticks two different names, but the goal of both metaphors is revealing unity or oneness. G-d brings the stick of Ephraim and the stick of Yehudah together like He orchestrated the climax between Yosef and Yehudah and as the two trees in Gan Eden were standing close together in the middle of the garden. But the main task in every case remains for us, to reveal to whom we are connected and demonstrating unity, to open the door for our next level. We saying Adam sinned, but it is better to say that he missed his task.
Back from our visit to the Garden Eden, we can see a reproducible task at each level until today, a principle or program we have to follow.
Ephraim, today is still living among the nations, mostly among Christianity nations, and has to reveal his unity with Yehudah (Jews) and both have to create the Israelite Kingdom.
Edom, who is Rome/Christianity/Western Civilisation has to reveal his origin task to server Israel, as it’s written, “… and the older will serve the younger” — Genesis 25:23
This has to continue as I have described in my essay “The Architecture Of The Redemption”. On every level, we could see a wedding and restore of old splittings and disputes with a rectification on each level.
This understanding likes a picture of a chain where every link has two sides or two poles, one “+” and one “-”, each has a connection backwards and a connection upwards, but the task is the same for every link, to reveal his connection to understand his own identity what becomes unity.
The end of our metaphor of Gan Eden will be that the Mashiach ben David has to make the Tikkun of Adam and reveal our connection to God, which will turn the evil inclination back to external and will make it irrelevant, that we can enter to the next world, Olam HaBa.