Hey, we’re taking an orthodox perspective, right? So what about a little something (light) about this week’s parsha?
This week’s parsha is Ki Savo, where we learn about the first fruits and our obligation to deliver to them to the Bais HaMikdash. The Midrash tells us we bring the first fruits to the Temple to confirm our belief that the land belongs to Hashem, we are expressing our gratitude and joy in the livelihood given us by our creator.
The first fruits where 7 species: wheat, barley, olives, dates, pomegranates, figs and grapes. Ideally, these would be brought in separate containers, however if this was not possible, they could be brought in one container, in the order as per above (bottom to top).
When a farmer first noticed the fruits forming on the trees, he would tie a ribbon around the bikurim (first fruit) to mark it, so it wouldn’t be harvested accidentally. All the villagers and farmers would then gather these bikurim and assemble in a common place. They could then proceed into Yerushalyim together, in a huge and festive procession.
Even the King himself would gather in the procession and deliver the bikurim to the Kohein, for the offerings. Here, a third party would recite from the Torah for the offerer (a 3rd party was used so people who could not read from the Torah would not be ashamed):
“The Aramite destroyed my Father” – Lavan, the Aramite, planned to destroy Yaakov. G-d frustrated his plan, and reckoned his evil intention as though he had actually killed Yaakov. From this, we learn that intentions are as important as outcomes. Likewise, Pharaoh was punished not for succeeding to destroy the Jewish first born but for his intention to.