Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Video Mashal Illustrating that One Must Destory in Order to Build - The Seed and the Tree

This is a great video by Rabbi Shais Taub and Sruli Broocker illustrating the concept of (i) yerida l'tzorech aliya, descent for the purpose of ascent (ii) stira al m'nas livnos, destroying/disassembling in order to build; (iii) the nahar dinor, the river of fire, through which tzadikim must pass in the world above to ascend from lower Gan Eden to upper Gan Eden; and (iv) many other fundamental concepts underlying the structure of the world and life. Big thumbs up!!! HT Jew in the City.
I wrote about the concept underlying this video as well here, here, and here. Enjoy!
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old roomate moshe said...

I always had trouble with this mashal, although i can relate to the nimshal somewhat. The trouble is that if you've ever sprouted seeds you know that the seed definitely does not start to rot or decompose before it sprouts. Rather exact opposite - the seed becomes nice and plump (and bigger and more nutritious) and then the sprout starts to come out. At this stage the seed is completely intact and recognizable - not at all rotten. As the sprout develops into a plant the seed just gradually becomes part of the new plant. A seed that starts to rot will generally not sprout.

Any thoughts? I know you could say it's just a mashal, but I'd think a mashal has to reflect the reality, no?

DixieYid (يهودي جنوبي) said...


Good to hear from you. Yes, agree that the mashal should be real. I wasn't aware of the science there. If you'll see my third link to the butterfly post, perhaps that's a much better mashal because it fits the science!

old roomate moshe said...

Yes, the other mashal fits the science better. I've been dealing lately with seeds and insects, so I've observed the science with my own eyes. In case of flies, fly larvae will travel long distance in order to bury themselves in the ground where they become flies few weeks later (unless they end up becoming food for your pets, but that's because of human intervention). And I've accidentaly crushed fly puppae and discovered it was full of real icky gooey stuff. That's supposed to become fly a few weeks later.

But I think a better NIMSHAL would be that something ugly can turn into something beautiful, not that something has to be COMPLETELY destroyed in order to become better, it's hard for me to believe that happens in the natural world or in human affairs. Well... unless you're talking about compost - it's basically taking something stinky and turning it into a (better smelling) fertilizer. I think it's the best mashal from the natural world for what it sais in the Tania of turning bitter into sweet, but the compost itself is not actually sweet (although definitely better smelling than the manure one started with), it only helps your (sweet) food grow.

Nice talking to you, former roomate! Gotta go shovel some manure now :-))