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Adam is placed in the Garden of Eden. Spiritual Paradise.
We’re told that G-d planted trees in the garden.
“Trees that were pleasant to look at and good to eat.” (Genesis: 2:9)
Trees that produce fruit? That makes sense.
Even in the Garden of Eden you need to eat!
(And Jews always want to know what’s on the menu).
But trees that were pleasant to look at? Nice scenery?
What are they doing in the Garden of Eden?
Is G-d an interior decorator?
It’s a very important message.
Beautiful trees do belong in the Garden of Eden.
Because beauty in the world serves a spiritual purpose.
G-d could have created a very boring world.
Could have made every day look like a cloudy day in London!
But He didn’t.
He surrounded us with amazing beauty.
Whether it’s a sunset or a starry sky. The ocean or the Grand Canyon. Or even a flower.
When we look at them we have a certain feeling.
It’s spiritual. Our soul is moved.
We see the harmony and beauty in the world.
And we sense that there is a Creator. A G-d.
… And the beauty that surrounds us is a special gift from Him.
Its like He’s hugging us!
A great Rabbi visited Switzerland. And went to see the Alps.
When he returned he told his students, “Now, if I leave this world, I’m ready to face the Heavenly Court.”
His students didn’t see any connection between the Alps and the Day of Judgement.
The Rabbi explained. “ I’ve always thought about being judged for what I did and did not do in this world.
And I always pictured G-d asking me, “You mean to tell me that you didn’t go see my Alps?”
“Now I can say yes!”