comingling of waters nourishing the tree

I Always seem to take Tu B'Shvat for granted and my wife's family is blessed to really appreciate the depth and beauty of Tu B'Shvat as my father-in-law always makes a very big deal about it.

This year I decided to get a jump start on Tu B'Shvat and so I learned the few ma'amarim the Bnei Yisaschar has on the month of Shvat and on Tu B'Shvat itself.

One thing he mentioned almost as a side point really elucidated something that I had never known before, but had always related to. (He also mentions other places he goes into more depth in the matter in his sefer, and I will have to, please God, look into them to understand the matter better)

In short he explained that the Torah of Din and Gevurah, is a gradual Torah that must build from one day to the next, whereas the Torah of Hesed is a Torah we can receive all at once.

This is the essence of the machloket of Beit Shamai and Beit Hillel regarding the actual New Year of the Tree.(s) Beit Shamai says it is the first of Shvat because from his Torah, one must build from the first in order to arrive at the proper fullness of the 15th of the month. Beit Hillel says that it is the 15th of the month because the fullness of the receiving of the New Year of the Tree can happen all at once.

In this way he also explains the story of the Hillel and Shamai and the person who asked to be taught the Torah standing on one foot. Shamai drove him off because the Torah of Gevurah requires steady growth, building from one point to the next. Hillel taught him the whole Torah at once, because the Torah of Hesed can be received in its entirety in a single moment.

This really answered a difficult question I've had most of my life. I'm so much closer to the hidden Torah, and the path of Torah that comes with great ahavah and hesed, than the path that follows din and gevurah. My life really only took a turn for the better when I began to incorporate the building and planning of Gevurah Torah into my own connection with the Torah of Hesed. Until I found that balance, I faced a lot of difficulty.

With this new insight, the two vastly different Torahs of Hesed and Gevurah can start to be integrated in my daily life to achieve a Torah of Tiffereth, of beauty, rigor, and balance.


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