Ki Savo 2006

This week we read Parshas Ki Savo. The Parsha begins with the mitzvah of bikurim – the bringing of the first fruits to the Temple in Jerusalem. Every farmer must take the first fruits that grow in his land and bring them to the Temple in Jerusalem. When the Torah begins this section it says “Ki Savo – when you will come to the land of Israel that Hashem is giving you…” The commentaries contrast this to the wording used earlier, when the Torah also describes the entry of the Jewish people to the land of Israel. There, however, the words used are a little different. It begins “Ki Yeviacha – When Hashem will bring you to the land of Israel…” Why does the Torah talk here about us coming, when in other places it talks about Hashem bringing us? The answer lies in understanding the whole purpose of this commandment of bikurim. When a person works a piece of land, he is very likely apt to feel that the produce that he grows is his. The lesson of bikurim is that we are no more than a sharecropper on the land. We are allowed to keep a lot of the produce – even the vast majority of it, but we must recognize that the land belongs to Hashem. We are just workers who He allows to be on His field. This is why the Torah begins the Parsha with the expression - Ki Savo – when you will come. At a time when we may feel that we own our land, our business, our house, the Torah wants to make sure that we correct our attitudes. When you feel that Ki Savo – that you are in charge, recognize that this is the land “that Hashem is giving you…” With this beautiful mitzvah, the Jew can properly focus on his true position in this world.