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Title: Fruit Of The Soil

Major Focus: Love between men and women

Minor Focus: Circumcision, B'rit Milah

Abstract: Why does God compare the fruit of our bodies to the fruit of the soil?

Format: Midrash

Love for God

"If you obey these rules and observe them carefully, God will maintain faithfully for you the covenant that was made on oath with your ancestors: God will favor you and bless you and multiply you. God will bless the issue of your womb and the produce of your soil, your new grain and wine and oil, the calving of your herds and the lambing of your flock, in the Land that was sworn to your ancestors to be assigned to you."

Deuteronomy 7:12-13

Why does God compare the fruit of our bodies to the fruit of the soil? God said, "As the fruit of the ground will be luxuriant in growth, so too will the fruit of your bodies." Another explanation is that, just as there can be no possible sin in the fruit of the ground, so too there is no sin in sexuality and procreation within the framework of a holy relationship between a man and woman. Still another explanation is that, just as God requires us to tithe our wealth of fruit and produce, so too are we required to give a tithe from our bodies, namely circumcision.

(Devarim Rabba)

Challenge Questions

  1. What are the three explanations given to tell us why God compared the fruit of our bodies, our children, to the fruit of the land? What additional explanations can you think up?
  2. What is a tithe? Do you know anyone who practices the law of tithing, either fruit or other kinds of wealth? Why do they do it? What's in it for them?