The Torah gives an interesting rule of war. When laying seige to a city, it tells us not to cut down any fruit trees, for we might need to eat from them. And 'a man is like the tree of a field.' (Dvarim 20;19-20). What do these statements mean? One explanation is that if you look through Chazal's stataements when they compare our traits to trees, there are 2 parts; the roots and the fruit (eg Avos 3;22). The roots are always the most important and take the longest to grow strong; only then can the tree and its fruit remain. So too here, the Torah tells us that the secret is not to act rashly; go slowly and build up strong roots in our avodas HaShem. Thus, don't cut down fruit trees rashly, for you might need them (ie think into the future) and a man is like the tree of the field - that requires careful planning and working in serving HaShem if one wants the results - the tree and its fruit - to remain. Have a Shevat Shalom!

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