The Netziv on gardening

Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago

Rabbi Mordechai Torczyner posted an amazing translation of a beautiful poem by Rav Kook zt’l a few weeks ago.  The poem was part of great shiur titled, “A groundbreaking approach to Geulah”, available to stream or download here

One of the sources Rabbi Torczyner shared in the shiur is a Netziv that I found quite meaningful.  It appearss below, courtesy of the source sheet (available at the link above):

R’ Naftali Zvi Yehudah Berlin to Bamidbar 24
That which grows in a garden is not like that which grows in a field; a field is planted with only one or two varieties, as opposed to gardens which have many kinds of seeds. Still, each garden has one central variety, and it’s only that small quantities of other varieties are planted around it. So, too, each Jew is filled with the mitzvot of Gd, but each has one special mitzvah in which he is extra careful, as is seen in the Mechilta, “One who performs a single mitzvah, faithfully, is worthy of Divine inspiration.” Regarding the mishnah that states, ”One who performs a single mitzvah receives goodness,” the Talmud Yerushalmi explains, “This refers to performing a mitzvah with exceptional care.”

We can spend years searching within ourselves to find that one mitzvah, but as explained in both Chassidus and Mussar, the mitzvah that is usually the most difficult for you, is the one that is the “centeral variety” within your garden.

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