The Real Leader

Article from: Alon HaKodesh (11) Tu Bshvat Special

In addition to symbolizing the beginning of a Jewish New Year, the concept of Rosh HaShanah also indicates the timing of Heavenly judgment on His creation.  With so much judgement being dealt to the world lately, it seems like every day is Rosh HaShanah.  But the Oral Torah unveils that Tu-B’Shevat (i.e. 15th day in the month of Shevat) is the Rosh HaShanah of the trees.  Whether it’s the halachic implications pertaining to the mitzvoth of Orlah, the Tithe, Shemittah or even the opportune time to pray to HaShem for a beautiful and kosher Etrog, it’s clear that there’s much Torah and Mussar one can learn if only he’d have enough mercy in his heart to feed his own soul.  Our Sages teach that one can learn life changing Mussar from every dot in the Torah, let alone from an entire word, such as a tree.  

כִּי הָאָדָם עֵץ הַשָּׂדֶה (דברים כ יט)

“…is man tree of the field…” (Deuteronomy 20:19)

Ki HaAdam Etz HaSadeh

While teaching Am Yisrael the intricate laws of a holy war, Moshe Rabbeinu allegorically questions the nation about whether man has achieved the status of becoming an Etz HaSadeh (tree of the field).  The Oral Torah has Rabbi Yochanan elaborating that this Etz HaSadeh symbolizes a scholar (i.e. expert) who teaches the public.  He rules that if this Etz (i.e. scholar) is providing fruit-bearing lessons, we shall learn from him as if we’re eating the fruit of the tree.   But if it’s really a non-fruit bearing Etz, Rabbi