Photo of Rabbi Ettedgui

Parashat Ki Tavo - 5775

My friends,

This week's Parasha describes the Bikkurim ceremony. During Temple days the farmer was commanded to bring his first fruits to the Temple. When presenting the gift to the priest, the farmer would make certain declarations regarding the people of Israel, their liberation from Egypt and arrival to the Promised Land. The farmer declares that he has fulfilled the Mitzvot of sharing his crops with the Levites and the poor.

He then places the basket before the L-rd and bows low before the L-rd. The Torah concludes this ceremony this way:

"Vesamachta" - "And you shall enjoy, together with the Levite and the stranger in your midst, all the bounty that the L-rd has bestowed upon you and your household." (Deuteronomy 26:11)

The Mitzvah here is "Vesamachta" - You shall enjoy, you shall rejoice, you shall be happy”.

Because of our daily struggles in this world, we tend to forget to be grateful for what we have and especially to 'be happy'. We are commanded not to take our blessings for granted - even if they come with hard work and difficulties - but to show happiness with what we have. Don't wait for big happy events to be in a celebratory mood. Create your own Simcha, celebrate and be happy even with the small achievements in your life. And don't forget that there is Simcha, joy, not only in harvesting and taking, but also in giving, in sharing our blessings.

Vesamachta, Be Happy! It’s a Mitzvah!

Shabbat Shalom,

Avram