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  KD MAGAZINE!      ב"ה                    
 
 
  PARSHAT KI TAVO:  
 

Shabbat Selichot
By Rabbi Yonassan Biggs

PARSHAT HASHAVUA: PARSHAT KI TAVO, BY RABBI YONASSAN BIGGS  פרשת השבוע: פרשת "כי תבוא", מאת הרב יונתן ביגס, חב"ד

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

 

Shalom and Bracha!

  May Hashem inscribe you, your entire family, and all those who are dear to you in the book of life for a healthy, happy, prosperous and sweet new year and may we see the redemption through Moshiach immediately!

 

  This Shabbat is we read the portion of Ki Tavo. The portion begins with the Mitzvah of Bikkurim, the first fruits, and continues with the Mitzvah of tithing. The Mitzvah of Bikkurim consists of taking the first fruits of our crops and bringing them to the Temple in Yerushalayim where they were distributed among the Kohanim. Rashi explains that when one sees the first fruits ripening, he marks it and declares it Bikkurim. At the time of the harvest he separates it to bring to Yerushalayim.

 

  The Mishnah describes the bringing of the first fruit as an elaborate and joyous ceremony. All of the Jews in a region would gather together. As they walked to Yerushalayim, the procession was lead by an ox with golden horns and a crown of olive leaves. They would proceed slowly, singing the entire way. The Bikkurim were brought in elaborate vessels, adorned with doves. Upon reaching Yerushalayim, the city officials would come and greet the pilgrims. Upon reaching the Temple Mount even the wealthiest individuals would personally carry their Bikkurim until the altar. There, they would thank Hashem for the land of Israel and for all of Hashem's blessings.

   The Mitzvah of Bikkurim itself teaches us that the first thing we must see in everything is it's potential for serving Hashem. This is the strongest expression of our faith that everything we have is a gift from Hashem. Before we enjoy the fruits of our labor, we use them for a Mitzvah. The significance of the first is also very great. First impressions have a long effect. When the first usage of something is for the service of Hashem, directs its further usage. This is also why the first word we say each day should be Modeh Ani, thanking G-d for life. Similarly, we begin the day with prayer and Torah study in order to direct the day in the right manner.

 

  The manner of bringing Bikkurim is a tremendous lesson. The procession and the ornamentation demonstrate that a Mitzvah is not a burden, but rather an act of love and joy. We are privileged to serve Hashem and whether a Mitzvah entails physical or financial exertion, we rejoice in fulfilling it.

 

  The fundamental importance of joy in service of G-d is further stressed later in the portion. The Torah describes blessings which come for following G-d’s commandments and negative consequences for going against the path of G-d. At the end of the consequences, the Torah explains that all of the bad came for not serving Hashem with joy and a good heart. The Arizal, a great Kabbalist, explains the verse to mean that even had we served Hashem, but without joy, we deserve punishment. Through service with joy, we merit all of the blessings.

 

   By discussing Ma’aser (tithing) in the portion we read shortly before Rosh Hashanah, the Torah gently reminds us to fulfill our charity obligations at this time. When the Torah discusses the Mitzvah of Ma’aser Rashi comments that the power of gifts to the needy is so strong it changes Hashem’s severity to kindness. May we merit the ultimate kindness and see the coming of Moshiach right now!!

  Shabbat Shalom and a Ketivah Vachatimah Tovah Leshana Tovah Umetukah,

Rabbi Biggs

Dedicated in memory of Chaim Ben Mazal Chabbott. May Hashem grant him perfect bliss in Gan Eden

As the holidays approach, now is the time to make sure that all of your holiday needs are taken care of. If anyone needs a place to pray for the holidays or help attaining a Sukkah or Lulav and Etrog, please contact me at rabbibiggs@gmail.com As the coming year is a Hakhel year, special emphasis should be placed on including as many Jews as possible in services and holiday Mitzvot.

The Talmud teaches that increasing Torah study brings Hashem's protection to the Jewish people and particularly to the people of Israel. If you know of anyone who might enjoy Torah e mail, please send me their addresses.

 

Shabbat Shalom,

 

Rabbi Biggs

  Rabbi Yonassan Biggs is from Chabad of Great Neck, NY. His website is: http://www.chabadgn.com/
 
 

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