Weekly Portion: Ki Tavo (Deuteronomy 26:1-29:8)

This week’s portion includes: Bringing to the Temple as an offering the first fruits of the Seven Species special to the Land of Israel, Declaration of tithes, the Almighty designating the Jewish people as His treasured people (Deut. 26:16 -19), the command to set up in the Jordan River and then on Mount Ebal large stones which had the Torah written upon them in 70 languages, the command to have a public ratification of the acceptance of the Law from Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal; the Torah then sets forth the blessings for following the Law and the curses for not following it, and concludes with Moshe’s final discourse. Verse 28:46 tells us the importance of serving the Almighty with “joy and a good heart.” The last verse of the portion instructs us “You shall fulfill the words of this covenant and do them so that you will succeed in all that you do!”

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Dvar Torah
based on Growth Through Torah by Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

The Torah states:

“And now I brought the first fruit of the Land which the Almighty gave me, and you shall place it before the Almighty, your God, and you shall bow down before the Almighty, your God” (Deut 26:10).

We do not find the idea of bowing down to the Almighty mentioned with regards to other commandments. Why is it mentioned here in the bringing of the first fruits?

Rabbi Chaim Shmuelevitz teaches us that the whole concept of bringing the first fruits to the Bais HaMikdosh (the Holy Temple in Jerusalem) is to show gratitude to the Almighty for all that He has given. It is an expression of our awareness that everything we have is a gift from the Almighty. Therefore, the Torah mentions that we bow down to the Almighty, which symbolizes our total submission to His will because all that we have is from Him. This applies to our material as well as our intellectual achievements. Be grateful to the Almighty for all that you understand in Torah and any novel ideas that He has blessed you with.

The greater your awareness that all you have is a gift from the Almighty the more you will appreciate it. As many commentators point out, a small gift from a very distinguished and important dignitary is a precious possession. The greater the giver the more you treasure what you were given. When you live with the reality that all you have is a gift from the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, you will immensely enjoy everything you have!

 

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