Michael Schwartz ('23)

When You Come To Israel

This week’s Parsha Ki Tavo points out that one should not destroy a tree. Why, though? In Judaism, a man is compared to a field in the tree.

To us, nature is G-d’s creation and we have to respect that
creation. That is why we have an entire holiday for trees. Tu B’shvat! A holiday dedicated to the tree’s New Year. A tree is like a person, in the fact that we are all G-d’s creations. Nature is also part of G-d’s
creation. This parsha also talks about what to do with your first fruits that the trees produce. The Torah states that for the first three years you cannot pick the fruit of a tree.

With these first fruit, they need to be put in a basket and taken to the Bet Hamikdash. By doing this, we are able to show that we appreciate G-d and thank him for the moment to do this mitzvah. At the end of this Parsha, Moshe tells the Jews that they now have attained, “A heart to know, eyes to see, and ears to hear.” I think eyes to see means you have seen all the signs and wonders of life. Ears to hear the mitzvot and G-d’s commandments, so you can fulfill them. Finally, a heart to know or recognize the acts of G-d and appreciate them.