Your Happiness is My Happiness

August 28, 2018 at 2:49 AM , , ,

“…And it will be, when you come into the land which G-d, your G-d, gives you for an inheritance, and you possess it and settle in it, that you shall take of the first of all the fruit of the ground… ” (Devarim 26:1-2)

וְהָיָה כִּי תָבוֹא אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר ה’ אֱלֹקֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה וִירִשְׁתָּהּ וְיָשַׁבְתָּ בָּהּ וְלָקַחְתָּ מֵרֵאשִׁית כָּל פְּרִי הָאֲדָמָה – דברים כו, א-ב

This teaches us that they were not obligated to bring “bikkurim – first-fruits” until they conquered the land and divided it. —Rashi


We are commanded to bring the first-ripened fruits, bikkurim, of each year’s crop to the Beis Hamikdash, and with it to declare our gratitude for all that G‑d has done for us. This obligation began, however, only fourteen years after Bnei Yisrael entered the Land of Israel, when every family had finally received and settled their allocated territory. There were many families, however, whose territory was conquered and settled earlier. Why were those families not obligated during those first fourteen years to show their appreciation for the goodness with which they had been blessed?

This teaches us a remarkable lesson in Jewish unity.

There are many means of showing gratitude to G-d for His blessings. Bikkurim, however, were only brought from the seven species with which the Land of Israel is exceptionally blessed. Similarly, bikkurim could only be brought once a year, because the joy and excitement is not as great when something is celebrated often. We thus see that the thanksgiving expressed through bikkurim is for receiving G-d’s gifts in the fullest measure and must be celebrated with unhampered happiness.

This explains why the bikkurim could not be brought until every Jewish family had their rightful home for which to be thankful. Until then, even those families who had settled could not feel truly happy and blessed, knowing that another Jew was still without a home! The Jewish people are so intrinsically connected to one another, that the law recognizes that a Jew’s blessings and joy are only complete when he knows that his fellow is blessed just the same.

-Likutei Sichos, vol. 9, pp. 154-156


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