- The branches of the tree are cursed with long destructive thorns
- Fruit of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil
- The serpent deceived us by adding his corrupt teaching to HaShem’s Torah
The branches of the tree are cursed with long destructive thorns:
The branches of the Etrog are full of long destructive thorns.
Each thorny branch has to be tied down to protect the external beauty of the Etrog’s otherwise internally dry, bitter, inedible, water-wasting fruit. The very long thorns of the Etrog mar and disfigure its externallty beautiful looking fruit with scars, stripes and blemishes. This imported citron from Persia, which the Bramble Bush (rabbis) associate with wisdom, has its origins in the Garden of Eden. As you recall God granted the first man and woman he created permission to eat of the fruit from all the trees, “except” from that of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. For they were warned:
If they ate from it, they would die.
Therefore, God’s garden that was entrusted to *Adam and his wife was full of every kind of tree with everything good for eating growing everywhere, plus the two extras: the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Adam and his wife ignored the first, but as we all know they ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
*No separate name existed for the wife of Adam until after she and her husband ingested the forbidden fruit.
In B’reishit Rabbah 15:7 a discussion ensues as to exactly what kind of fruit it was that was eaten from that tree: According to Rabbi Abba of Acco (רבי אבא דעכו) it was the fruit of the “Etrog” (אתרוג).
רבי אבא דעכו אמר: אתרוג היה, הדא הוא דכתיב (בראשית ג): ותרא האשה כי טוב העץ וגו’. אמרת צא וראה, איזהו אילן שעצו נאכל כפריו? ואין את מוצא, אלא אתרוג.פ
At his death Rabbi Abba of Acco said it was an Etrog, because Eve saw that the tree itself (understood as the wood of the tree) was good for eating (Genesis 3), and the rabbi insisted that the wood of the etrog tree was the only edible wood in existence. Really? Does this make any sense to you? For it is nonsense to us. Furthermore, regarding the Etrog fruit, ask yourself:
Question: How can a forbidden fruit that brings death when it is ingested be good?
Answer: The Etrog tree is not good. Its fruit is definitely not a “goodly fruit.”
The tragic truth is the evil that was inside the “mixed” fruit of good (outside) and evil (inside) was hidden. It could not be seen physically. It could only be seen spiritually. How does one discern what cannot be seen? The answer is by obedience to the D’var HaShem (the Word of God).
Faith comes by hearing (understanding, and obeying) the Word of God.
The fruit was forbidden because God knew this “mixture” would bring death into the soul of Adam and his wife the moment when he/she (they) ingested it. Faith comes through obedience. We see everything by letting God’s omniscience be our “eyes.” God sees and knows everything and it is the Light of His Eyes (His Spirit) that guides us. If we reject and replace the supernatural Light of God’s Spirit with the very limited sight of our own natural (physical) eyes we become blind. This is what happened in Gan Eden. Adam decided to replace the (supernatural) perfect life and light of the Spirit of the Holy One with his own (naturalistic) life and light. So it is a true saying:
אם עור מדריך את העור הרי שניהם יפלו לבור.פ
אִם עִוֵּר מַדְרִיךְ אֶת הָעִוֵּר הֲרֵי שְׁנֵיהֶם יִפְּלוּ לַבּוֹר.פ
“If a blind one gives instructions to the blind then both will fall into a pit.”
It was Adam’s loss of obedience to God’s Word that caused him to lose his supernatural sight. By failing to see through the agency of God’s Word Adam lost his sight. He became (spiritually) blind. So in his blindness (disobedience) Adam could not see the (hidden) “corruption”—the (internal) experience of evil that was hidden inside the otherwise externally beautiful fruit. Of his own free will Adam chose to live by his own (natural) sight rather than by faith; hearing the Word of God (supernatural). This led to Adam experiencing both spiritual and physical death; and as well Adam and his wife were expelled from the Paradise (Gan Eden) of God.
Fruit of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil:
Insight #1. The Etrog, the Forbidden Paradise Fruit, is a symbol of both the knowledge of good and the knowledge of evil mixed together. This dual nature fruit is beautiful on the outside (good). However, it is bitter to the taste from the inside (evil).
Insight #2. The Etrog is externally seen as good, a fruit of aromatic pleasure and visual beauty; however, internally it is experienced as evil, a fruit of wastefulness, with little moisture and much bitterness. Therefore the Etrog is a fruit of conflicted character (double-minded); a fruit that is good on the outside and evil on the inside. The hidden evil makes this Paradise Fruit a fruit of “Deception.” On the outside the citron fruit’s beautiful external covering (skin) speaks of the Torah of HaShem (the NAME). The covering of the fruit is a symbol of the knowledge of good. However, in the inside, the bitter tasting, dry, water wasting flesh of the fruit speaks of *Satan’s false (fake) anti-torah.
*Evil is the invention of the “evil one.” Not God. For God only creates what is good!
Insight #3. The Etrog possesses very little moisture even though its tree uses up an abnormally large quantity of water to survive. (Water in the Scriptures represents the Life of the D’var HaShem).
Insight #4. The Etrog, therefore, is a water-waster. It wastes the life of the Word of God. Its internal wickedness is a waster of the gracious life and works of the Spirit of the Holy One. Consequently, the bitter, dry, inner flesh of the Etrog is a symbol of what the knowledge of evil is all about—deception, waste, and even death. These are definitely not the works of God. Therefore, the Etrog is a deceiver. Beautiful on the outside. Ugly on the inside. *Life on the outside. **Death on the inside.
*What God has created.
**What the evil one has made.
The Serpent deceived us by adding his corrupt teaching to HaShem’s Torah:
The citron teaches us that all that the Creator has made is good. However, it can be corrupted.
The evil one is the one who “corrupts” all things. He is the one who has brought death into creation through his “adding” to God’s perfect teaching his own teaching (lies) that he has mixed in with God’s perfect truth. He did this as a means to enhance his ”own” influence, making a name for himself.
Satan is in the business of deceptive marketing.
He is a murderer and a liar and this he has been from the beginning (Yochanan 8:44). Therefore, he mixes in his own impure oral instructions within the pure written Torah of God. Then after selling the two together, the evil one gradually “elevates” his dry, bitter teaching over the beautiful, aromatic teaching of the D”var HaShem. His fake anti-torah is “parasitical.” His corrupt teaching feeds off of the truth of God. The Word of God is used as a deceptive ‘covering’ for the evil one.
Satan sells his hidden lies and false teaching of death by gradually and subtly looming and weaving his own wicked teaching into God’s Word.
This corruption destroys our ability to see the good, right, and true will of God. In this process of corruption it is the intention of the evil one to one day completely replace the Light of God’s truth with his own corrupt (dry, bitter) false teaching (lies). His plan is to lead men to do as he (the *blind one) has done: supplant the truth of God and replace it with their own vain philosophy and (empty) deceits.