For is the Tree of the Field Man

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Zadok Ben-David


Yad Vashem



Plasma cut steel



Description A tree with silhouettes of people instead of leaves tthat are falling
Caption "About four or five years ago, Yad Vashem approached me to make something commemorating the Partisans, the people who fought the Nazis from the forests, and I singled out one tree, which seen from one side looks like an ordinary tree, but when you come closer you start to see hundreds of figures - from the ground to the branches - of men, women and children, and that's where it started," he said."

"Why, then, does the Torah compare man to 'a tree of the field'? Because the ultimate purpose of man's intellect is that it should affect his emotions and cause them to follow his intellect's prompting. Just as the greatest benefit of a tree is the fruit it produces, so, too, the greatest hallmark of man must be the fruit that his intellect produces - the knowledge being absorbed by his emotions to create the proper feelings, and then actions. Only when our intellectual understanding does not remain in the realm of the abstract but is translated into emotion and motive, ultimately affecting our actions, can we consider ourselves a fully developed and complete human being. Trees that you know do not yield food shall be cut down. Intellect that remains cold and aloof is like a tree that has not produced fruit - it hasn't served its function."