Give and Get

Elul 15, 5783
September 1, 2023
Candlelighting Time 7:13 PM

The mitzvah to bring the first fruits to the Beis Hamikdash is very intriguing. We are commanded not only to bring them but additionally to declare that we have fulfilled the mitzvah in its entirety. Do we make the same declaration when we bring sacrifices to the Beis Hamikdash? We should be stating that we have brought the offering in accordance with the laws that pertain to that mitzvah! Furthermore, later in the parsha we are committed to fulfill all the mitzvos and we add that just like we brought the first fruits this year, we should merit to do that next year. Again, why is there such a special need to emphasize this particular mitzvah and not others that are connected with the Beis Hamikdash? When we bring the first fruits we take a walk-through history and reexamine all the incredible benefits that we have merited through the generations. Is there a particular aspect to this mitzvah which requires an historical perspective in contrast to other mitzvos?

Chinuch has a lengthy and insightful explanation. Firstly, we must realize that after spending untold time, energy and expense to tend to his field, the owner of the crops is certainly exceedingly thrilled at the time of harvest. All of his efforts have produced an outstanding bounty. Perhaps there would be a thought to take a lot of credit for his accomplishment. After all, he watered the crops and tended to them and all that goes into their production was all done by him. At this apex of simcha, tremendous joy for his achievement, will he include and actually truly understand that Hashem is at the helm and it is only due to His blessing that he enjoys such a rich yield! 

This mitzvah is a springboard to realize that all the bounty that we enjoy in life has one address, Hashem. The biggest challenge that we have is when we are experiencing tremendous success in what we do and then, at that time when we have extreme delight and happiness, to attribute our achievement to its true source. How difficult it is to grasp our insignificance and clearly perceive that what we do and our recipe for success hinges upon the total domination of Hashem and His Will!

The realistic bonus is that not only will we merit prosperity in this particular facet but in general all that we do will find favor in Hashem’s eyes and therefore be effective and productive. This objective is realized when we bring our yield to those who serve Hashem in the Beis Hamikdash through which Hashem channels His boundless and abundant fount of beneficence to this world. The physical extant of Hashem’s perceived and detectable Presence in this dimension is through the Beis Hamikdash which corresponds to Hashem’s ‘abode’ in the celestial regions of the creation.

Another important nugget of inspiration is noted by the Chinuch and that is that man, the highlight of creation is distinguished by the gift of speech. Although physically we resemble other creatures in the animal kingdom, however verbalization is clearly indicative of a higher level of existence and intelligence not found otherwise. And that is the epitome of what elevates us and therefore articulation is vital in expanding our spiritual self and not only recognizing our prominence but actually promoting its development and enhancement! Therefore, declaring our subservience to Hashem is not only expected but crucial in generating our relationship with Hashem especially in this essential mitzvah.   


When we were enslaved in Egypt, we cried out in anguish to Hashem and He heard our voices. The Torah does not emphasize that our prayers were heeded rather our voices. It is imperative in times of need that we do indeed raise our voices to Hashem and then we can anticipate that we will be answered.