Parshas Ki Savo
By Rabbi Raymond Beyda
" You shall come to whomever will be the Kohen in those days, and you
shall say to him, "I declare today to Hashem, your G-d, that I have come
to the Land that Hashem swore to our forefathers to give to us''. [Debarim
26, verse 3]
Every year the farmers of the Land of Israel were required to bring a
portion of the first fruits as an offering of thanks to G-d for the bounty
He provided. This small token of appreciation was brought to the Temple
and given to the Kohen. Then the person who brought his Bikurim [first
fruits] was required to make a special declaration of thanks to the
Almighty beginning with our Patriarch Yaakob's sojourn with the wicked
Laban and chronicling all the kindnesses of G-d showered upon us including
the Exodus from Egypt and the conquering of the Holland.
This declaration provided untold benefit to the one who brought his basket
of fruit to the Kohen. A parable crystallizes the effect of this Misvah on
the one performing the deed.
Once there was a man who had 2 sons. He loved to spoil them with gifts and
treats. One son always kissed his father and thanked him for the presents
he received. When the father saw the child's appreciative reaction he was
filled with a warm feeling of love and was prompted to give more and more
to the child.
The other son reacted differently to the gifts. Whenever his father gave
him something new the child would ask for the "better one like my friends
have" or would take it and run off without acknowledging appreciation to
his generous loving father. The father of course was disappointed. He was
not at all anxious to give more to the child.
The blessings we receive from our Creator are the treats the children
received from their loving parent. The wise individual who realizes that G-
d has no obligation to His creations and that everything that one receives
is a true gift of kindness on His part. Therefore, the wise person
responds to his bounty with praises and thanks to his benefactor.
The declaration that accompanies the Bikurim begins with the horrible
situation that our Patriarch Yaakob had to suffer while living with his
father-in-law Laban. We complete the declaration with thanks for granting
us ownership of the Land of Israel. When a person contrasts the suffering
with the pleasure the feelings of thanks that result are heartfelt and
joyous. When Hashem sees the sincere complete thanks that spring forth
from the Jews' heart, He is prompted [so to speak] to give more and more
to His loving child. The verses continue, "You shall be glad with all the
goodness that Hashem, your G-d, has given you..." The boomerang takes
effect --one sends thanks and G-d sends more for which to be thankful. May
we all see clearly all the good with which we are blessed and thank our
Heavenly Father in a sincere manner that will prompt His loving generosity.
DID YOU KNOW THAT if the one blowing the Shofar cannot successfully
complete the required sounds others may complete the blowing for him? The
additional blowers do not repeat the blessings said by the first blower so
long as they were present when the blessings were said. Even if the person
who said the blessings cannot successfully blow any of the required sounds
the substitutes continue without saying the blessings and his blessing is
not considered a "blessing said in vain [beracha l' batala] [Source
Shulhan Aruch siman 585 paragraph 3]
Raymond J Beyda
Text Copyright © 2004 by Rabbi Raymond Beyda and Torah.org.