How the ‘Tree of Life’ can help us

In Rebbe Nachman’s story ‘The Cripple’, there are many references to a very special, unique tree that provides all types of healing and bounty to the world when it grows and blossoms, and also many references to a discussion that takes place between the sun and the moon.

As always with Rebbe Nachman’s stories, each word contains countless allusions to an infinite number of the deepest spiritual issues and matters. Let’s see if we can unpick some of the messages and spiritual allegories contained in this awesome story bit by bit.

The first thing we need to know is that there is a tree, and that there is a sun and a moon. Rebbe Nachman tells us that the very second that we start to properly irrigate this tree, so that it starts to grow and flower, this will bring salvation to the whole world.

Effectively what this means is that all the ‘lacks’ that are currently being experienced in the world will be fulfilled.

Fixing the world

We know that the story of ‘The Cripple’ is rich in allusions and hints to deep spiritual matters, so if we open Sefer Bereishit, and take a look at the first parsha, Parshat Bereishit, we find that there is also a very special tree that’s mentioned there, too: the tree of life. And this is the goal of each of us, to somehow reach this ‘tree of life’.

So Rebbe Nachman’s tree alludes to the ‘tree of life’ in Parshat Bereishit, but what actually is the ‘tree of life’? The tree of life that’s found in the Garden of Eden actually alludes to something called the ‘world of rectification’.

Nothing will be lacking

When Moshiach actually comes, and the whole world will finally attain its spiritual rectification, that’s when this ‘tree of life’ will be lit up across the whole breadth of creation. When the ‘tree of life’ gives forth its bounty, there will be nothing lacking in the whole of the world.

Today, is there anyone who doesn’t have some huge problems? All of us have things we lack, and tests we have to endure. Maybe one person doesn’t have enough money, while another one has health issues, while yet another person is struggling with domestic problems. This one can’t find their life partner, while that one is fighting with them 24/7. And even the people who have a good marriage are maybe still having issues raising their children…

Everyone has problems in our generation

Baruch Hashem! (Thank God!) In our generation, there is not a single person who doesn’t have an awful lot of deficiencies, lacks and problems, and we all feel our ‘lacks’ very acutely.

The root and the reason for all of these issues is that we haven’t yet got to the stage where the ‘tree of life’ is giving forth its bounty.

For as long as the tree of life isn’t blossoming and isn’t putting forth its fruit, that means that we still haven’t arrived at the stage called the ‘world of rectification’. And for as long as that is the case, we sorely feel all the things that we’re lacking in every single area of our lives.

Based on the teachings of Rav Ofer Erez in the Ohr HaDaat newsletter, #116.

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