Can Trees "Disobey" God?
Moshe Ben-Chaim

Reader: The Midrash says that originally trees were to have the same taste as the fruit, as the Chumash states "eitz pri." However, the trees deviated from G-d's original intent and the tree bark did not have the taste of the fruit, "eitz oseh pri". How is one to understand this midrash? Clearly, trees are not endowed with intelligence nor with the capacity to 'decide' to act in one particular way. The fact that fruit trees are created in a way that the bark does not taste like the fruit, must be the will of G-D. How then is one to understand this Midrash?

Mesora: Trees have no consciousness. The Rabbis wrote this Medrash to teach that pursuit of perfection in the physical - of any kind - is impossible. God created the physical in a manner that metal rusts, things wear out, and people age. The purpose? That we become frustrated with our initial, instinctual plan to satisfy temporal, physical desires, and redirect our energies to timeless Torah - where man enjoys true life with no frustration.

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