Vol 9.17 - Tavo 1 Spanish French Audio Video
|Hebrew Text: Chumash|
The Torah portion of Ki Tavo is always read close to Chai (the Eighteenth) of Elul, the birthday of the Baal Shem Tov - founder of Chasidut in general and Rabbi Shneur Zalman - founder of Chabad Chasidut in particular. In fact, Ki Tavo and Chai Elul share the common theme of ahavat Yisrael, loving our fellow Jew.
Ahavat Yisrael is a fundamental precept of Chasidut, as revealed by the Baal Shem Tov. It is also the "heart" of Chabad Chasidut, as we see from Rabbi Shneur Zalman's treatment of the subject in chapter 32 in Tanya (32, lamed-beit in Hebrew letter equivalent, spells lev - heart.)
Ahavat Yisrael is also stressed in the beginning of this week's Torah portion: "And it shall come to pass when you come into the land...and take possession of it and dwell therein...you shall take the first of all the fruit of the soil bikurim...and you shall come to the priest...and rejoice in every good thing which the L-rd your G-d has given you."
Comments Rashi: "This teaches that the Jews were not required to bring the bikurim until they conquered and divided the land." Until all of the Land of Israel was possessed by the entire Jewish people, those who had already received their portion of land were not required to bring the bikurim offering.
A question is asked: If the apportionment of land was gradual, and those who received their portion were permitted to immediately cultivate it, why did they have to wait until everyone had received his portion? Why couldn't they offer their first fruits as soon as they were able?
The answer is that the mitzva of first fruits must be observed with joy and gratitude, rejoicing in the land of Israel and its produce, as it states, "And rejoice in every good thing which the L-rd your G-d has given you." As long as even one Jew remained who had not yet received his portion of land, the happiness of all Jews was incomplete. For how can any Jew take pleasure in G-d's generosity, knowing that his fellow Jew cannot participate? In truth, a Jew is truly joyous only when all his brethren are equally blessed.
Consequently, until their happiness was complete, the Jews could not offer their first fruits, as bringing them is an expression of perfect joyousness. All Jews are interconnected with one another; they thus had to wait until every single member of the Jewish nation had received his allotment to be able to rejoice fully.
This is the epitome of true ahavat Yisrael. The love Jews have for each other is so all-encompassing that the happiness of one Jew is dependent on the happiness of another. If even one Jew is lacking, it impacts the entire Jewish people.
May our efforts to love every single Jew without distinction bring the Final Redemption, and with it, the opportunity to again observe bikurim in the literal sense. (http://www.lchaimweekly.org/lchaim/5759/583.htm)
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