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NOTE that pax goes always recursively, for that reason -d option should be added when you don't want to go recursively into directories.
Let's say you have a set of files in tree A that you want duplicated to tree B while preserving their directory structure / hierarchy. (For example, you might want to copy your 'profile' model/views/controller from one Rails application to another.) The "pax" command will copy all matching files to the destination while creating any necessary directories.
Don't have GNU tar installed that supports the redirect option (-C)? Use this.