Dvar Torah Parshat ki Tavo 5771 2011

When the farmer brought the first fruit to the Bet Hamikdash he was given a prescribed statement he must recite. What is surprising is that soon after the farmer started his recitation the Kohen interrupts him and takes the basket of fruit from him. Why the interruption in the middle of the farmer’s presentation?

When we review what the farmer is really saying we may understand why the intrusion. He starts by saying that he came to the land that Hashem promised us. Two things are implied in this statement. First he seems to be saying that he came, that is, on his own. Hashem had not brought him here. Secondly, since he says that it was promised to him, hence he implies that it is his now by right.

At this point the Kohen interrupts him and takes the basket of fruit and places it LIFNE MIZBACH HASHEM…“…he lays it before the Alter of Hashem…” (Deut. 26,4) Then the farmer continues with his narration. This time he is more humble and more appreciative.

He recounts how our forefathers were enslaved in Egypt and how, after we cried to Him, Hashem took us out of this miserable degrading circumstance and brought us to a land flowing with milk and honey. Now he brings his first fruit to Hashem. In this declaration the farmer is more modest and more appreciative. He recognizes that his blessings come from Hashem.

A person should always recognize that his blessings are partially his own doing but without the blessings of Hashem they would never materialize.

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