Divrei Torah


In the beginning of this week’s Parsha, we read the section of the Torah that is known as “Mikra Bikurim – the reading of the first fruits.” The Torah teaches us that upon entering the land of Israel and settling it in the days of Joshua, the Jewish people were obligated to bring to the Bais Hamikdash the first produce of the seven species through which the Land of Israel is praised – wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates. 

The Talmud describes the ceremony of the Bikurim – the first fruits. It was done with pomp and circumstance and great fanfare. When bringing the bikurim, the owner presented it to the kohein and declared his gratitude that G-d fulfilled His promise to give us the Land of Israel. Then the Kohein took the basket from the owner and together with the owner waved the bikurim. The owner then read a portion of the Torah that we read in the haggadah at the Pesach seder. The owner of the bikurim expresses the kindness of G-d Who saved us from Lavan. Afterwards, Ya’akov took his family to Egypt and there the Jewish people grew by leaps and bounds. The Egyptians afflicted us and G-d saved us from the Egyptians with a strong hand and great wonders. Then, He brought us to the Land that flows with milk and honey. 

The section of Bikurim teaches us an important lesson – we must be thankful for all that G-d does for us - both in a natural and a supernatural way.

We have food on the table, we have clothing, we can walk, talk, hear, feel, etc. Those actions are just as much a kindness from G-d as the splitting of the Red Sea. But, one we take for granted and the other we don’t. In Tehillim – the Book of Psalms – King David writes, “the world is built through kindness.” That is not only kindness that human beings do for one another. It also refers to kindness that G-d does for us. We must be thankful for all of the kindnesses – those we see and those we don’t - that G-d does for us.