Kabbalistic Tu Bishvat Seder: Part 2

Evil in the world is symbolized by fruit at the seder.

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However, it is obvious that nature alone is not sufficient for maintaining a harmonious state. Just as evil may assail the tenth sefirah above, those aspects of nature that should protect its life-giving elements can, under certain conditions, overrun them. As a result, the forces of holiness in nature can be cut off from the sources of life that sustain them, just as Malkhut can be separated from the higher sefirot.

Humanity Maintains Cosmic Harmony

If, then, neither the divine realm nor nature can be counted on to maintain a state of cosmic harmony, what factor remains which might act to fulfill this function? For the kabbalist, the answer is humanity. Indeed, according to kabbalistic exegesis, the separation of the tenth sefirah was first caused by the sin of Adam. Symbolically, through eating the fruit in direct violation of the divine command, Adam separated the forces of holiness in nature from their divine source, thus empowering the external forces. As a result, the Edenic state of harmony was broken and humanity and nature became adversaries. Thus, from the kabbalistic point of view, the sin of Adam testifies to the awesome power that humanity possesses. It is humanity that is primarily responsible for the state of nature and the cosmos.

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Rabbi Miles Krassen

Rabbi Miles Krassen, PhD., is a teacher, author, scholar in the fields of comparative mysticism and the World's Wisdom Traditions, and musician. He serves as Rabbi of Rain of Blessings, a non-profit organization for disseminating mystical Jewish teachings based on the spiritual insights of early Hasidism and Kabbalah.