Section:  Avodah   Category: Perek Shira
Perek Shira: The Date Tree Says - Don't Look Sideways, It's A Waste!

The gemara in Makos 24a says that although Hashem gave 613 mitzvos, various Neviim found strong foundations that cover many mitzvos and were able to narrow the count substantially until Chavakuk came and found the main foundation that all the mitzvos sprout from; "Emuna" like the pasuk says "VTzaddik B'Emunosoi Yichye." How can a person become a tzaddik from one mitzva?

The Medrash in Bereishis Rabba says that just like a date tree no part of it goes to waste, so too no one in Bnei Yisroel is discarded as useless. The date tree has fruits which are eaten, soft palm branches used for the Lulav, and hard branches used for schach for the Succa. What is the secret of the date tree? The date tree's trunk is straight and does not have branches going out to all sides, it just grows straight upwards. This produces only useful parts. So too a tzaddik only focuses upwards to Shamayim because he has perfect emunah. He has no need to look sideways to the rest of the world for answers. He, like the date tree, will be completely full of mitzvos with no excess baggage in the form of aveiros.

The date tree sings "Tzaddik KaTamar Yifrach" keep the faith, look up and be a tzaddik. Then you will sprout pure parts just like the date tree.