Planning for our descendants’ future

By Rabbi Baruch Lederman

Rabbi Baruch Lederman

SAN DIEGO – Moshe accomplished his great mission. He liberated the Jews from the bondage of Mitzrayim (Egypt). One could feel that his accomplishment was offset by the fact that most of the Jews in Egypt never made it to the promised land. Most of them perished along the way.

The Talmud (Taanis 23a) tells of a great and holy man known as Choni Hamaagel. One day Choni Hamaagel was walking and he  saw a man planting a carob tree. He asked the man, “How long will it take before you can enjoy the fruit of your planting?”

“Seventy years,” replied the farmer.

“Are you sure you will be alive in 70 years?”

“No I am not,” replied the farmer, “But when I was born, there were many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather for me to enjoy. So too, I plant now for my children and grandchildren.”

After this conversation, a miracle occured and Choni Hamaagel fell asleep for 70 years. When he awoke, he saw the same tree now fully grown. A youth was eating the carobs from that tree. Choni Hamaagel approached the youth and asked, “Who planted this tree?”

“This tree was planted by my grandfather,” replied the youth.

Indeed, most of the Jews in Mitzrayim would never make it to the promised land. Those who plant now, may never partake of the fruits  of their labor. Nonetheless we are motivated by our vision of the big picture. We work for the future. As Jews we are guided by our mesorah, by our traditions of the past; and we always have our eye on the future.

Dedicated by Dr, & Mrs. Frank Felber in memory of his father Abraham Felber, Avraham ben Yozef, in honor of his Yahrzeit, Shevat 1.

Rabbi Lederman is spiritual leader of Congregation Kehillas Torah in San Diego.  He may be contacted at [email protected]

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