Shlomo Ezagui

Are your ‘Roots’ well attended to?

Jason Weingardt

When the Bible draws a comparison, it is not just for illustrative purposes. A comparison made by God Himself (through the Bible) means that every detail of the comparison is precise. The Bible compares human beings to fruit trees. What similarity might there be between people and, of all things, fruit trees?

Well, for one thing, a tree comprises roots, a trunk, branches, leaves, and fruits, which contain the seeds for future trees.

Could anyone imagine a tree that grows fat and sturdy only until the branches start to grow? A tree’s ultimate purpose and goal are its branches and leaves, which give shade and benefit others. The fruits are more important than the branches, which bring enjoyment and nourishment to others and carry the seeds from which other trees can grow.

A person does not live for self-indulgence and pleasure. God created human beings to partner with Him in making the world a perfect and better place. 

The universe is a complex creation of beauty and absolute greatness. We were all given the gift of life to “prepare the world for the kingdom of God,” which is a bigger goal than just staying alive.

When you follow in the footsteps of God by being kind to others and fulfilling your obligations expected from you, you are making a difference in this world. As a result, you are a happier, more fulfilled, and more accomplished individual.

The Talmud tells us that one of the first questions a soul is asked after it has gone through life and is now giving its final report on its accomplishments is, “Did you occupy yourself with being fruitful and multiplying?” (Having children, literally, and metaphorically, improving the world). 

It is not enough that one has a child and two dogs. Our missions are accomplished, and true happiness is achieved when we have lots of yummy fruits and children who continue, among other things, to have their own children.

The most important part of a tree is its roots. Roots are hidden away in the ground, yet the roots account for the health and stability of the entire tree. The roots are how we start every day and set any project into motion. They are present long before a child is born and even before he is noticed in his mother’s womb.

Into what environment are we bringing the unborn child? What words and music can the child hear in the mother’s womb? Do we start the day with our prayers and plant our roots for the day appropriately?

After the child is born and we continue to nurture this small sapling, what kind of atmosphere are we subjecting the child? Most of a person’s character is molded by the age of nine!

What we do with children seems insignificant because, after all, they are only children. However, the entire structure of the tree is determined early in its growth by its roots.

The kind of “water” we feed the roots—faith in God’s miracles and the knowledge that an ever-watchful eye is always out there—molds the strength and optimism this tree will have when “hurricanes” batter it later on. 

To grow straight, tall, and strong, all the weeds must be removed, just as all negative influences must be removed from the atmosphere and environment of the child so he can grow without weakness or moral blemish and with lots of self-esteem and self-confidence.

For our day to be more focused, the roots of every day need to be set and watered carefully. 

The Book of Psalms says if we are lucky, we are granted seventy years, if strength is granted, we are given eighty years, and so on. Metaphysically, 70 means you have reached your emotional and character success journey. The goal of any human being should be to refine his character. We are trees, growing every day of our lives. Giving attention to our growth, beginning with our roots, is how we leave the world a more beautiful place than before our tree was introduced miraculously into the universe.

Chapter 112

About the Author
Rabbi Shlomo Ezagui is an author and lecturer. "A Spiritual Soul Book" ( & "Maimonides Advice for the 21st Century" ( In 1987, Rabbi Ezagui opened the first Chabad Center in Palm Beach County, Florida, and the first Orthodox Synagogue on the island of Palm Beach, Florida.
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