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Kol Colchester, Parshat Ki Tavo, August 30, 2018

And you shall take of the first of every fruit of the ground… (Deut. 26:2)
The Parsha begins with the commandment of Bikkurim, the first fruits. The farmer is to take his first ripened fruits to the temple and present them to the Cohen. The Midrash teaches that it was in the merit of the bringing of the first fruits that the world was created. What is so significant about this mitzvah?
Man was placed in the world with the mission of recognizing his Creator. The problem is that we are consumed with manipulating and changing the world. We’re busy conquering space, closing deals, creating products, erecting buildings and traveling the information super-highway. It comes to a point that we begin thinking not only that we are God-like in that we have a creative force in the world, but that we are actually God, complete masters of the universe.
The purpose of bikkurim is to make sure we don’t misunderstand our place in the universe. A person spends many months plowing, planting and caring for his field. After much hard work and sweat the first fruits are beginning to ripen! He’s excited to taste the fruits which he himself nurtured and developed. Yet, recognizing that the whole process was really God’s doing, he takes those very first ripe fruits and brings it to the Temple. Man merely goes through the motions, but God actually creates.
Once we recognize that we’re not the Creator and everything we have is a gift from God only then do we have the ability to form a relationship with Him.