Hashem created the universe in accordance with His Will. On the third day of Creation, Hashem commands the earth to produce vegetation:
And G-d said, “Let the earth be covered with vegetation, plants
that produce seed, fruit-trees that produce fruit according to its kind (ETZ PRI
OSEH PRI L’MINO), whose seed is in it, upon the earth. And it was so. And the
earth produced vegetation, plants that produce seed according to its kind, and
trees that produce fruit (V’ETZ OSEH PRI), whose seed is in it, according to its
kind; and G-d saw that it was good. And it was evening and it was morning, the
third day (Bereishit 1:11-13).
Fruit-trees: That the flavor of the tree be like the taste of the fruit. But it did not do so. Rather, And the earth produced . . .trees that produce fruit, but the tree itself was not fruit. Therefore, when man was cursed for his sin, it too was punished for its sin and it was cursed.
The earth rebelled! It was commanded to produce fully edible
trees, but instead it generated inedible trees with edible fruits.
However, the nature of the earth, the wandering of life and the weariness of spirituality when it is enclosed in the frame of physicality, brought about that only the taste of the fruit, of the final goal, the primary ideal, is felt in its pleasantness and its majesty. However, the trees which bear the fruit, with all their urgency for the production of the fruit, became thick and physical and lost their taste. This is the sin of the earth, because of which it was cursed when man also was cursed for his sin.
Rav Kook understands the “sin of the earth” as an allegory,
symbolic of the condition of the created universe.
Above, in the heavens, there are no complications. They are only revealed below, in our reality. Man was created in the image of G-d, nevertheless there are complications in creation. Indeed, creation was made on this condition, that there will be complications, for the meanwhile. And we were created in order to repair them and to illuminate them this is the sanctification of the Great Name.
On “the sin of the earth,” in explaining his father’s ideas, R. Tzvi Yehudah further says:
The development of the physical creation is not exactly
according to the fundamental kernel of the word of Hashem. The taste of the tree
is not like the taste of the fruit: the medium is not according to the goal. And
from then until now, we pass through crises and complications.
Whenever the spiritual enters the physical, whenever the theory
is translated into practice, the results are always must always be less than
could be hoped for.
This is to say that our world is fragmented, but it is so by
But the end of every flaw is repair. Therefore we are clearly assured that the days will come when creation will return to its original state, and the taste of the tree will be like the taste of the fruit, because the earth will repent from its sin, and the practical ways of life will not be the cause for blocking the pleasantness of the ideal light, which is maintained in its way by means of proper media, which sustain it and transform it from the potential to the actual.
This will be accomplished only through mankind, as the righteous
of the world return in repentance from the essence of
this sin, and transform it into joy (14:8).