Kee Tavo 5779-2019

“Welcoming the Stranger”
(Revised and updated from Kee Tavo 5760-2000)

May a non-Jew who converts to Judaism say the prayer formula stating that G-d has promised “our fathers” to give us the land and the fruits thereof? We are taught that Abraham is the father of not only biological Jews, but of all righteous proselytes. We therefore must welcome the גֵר--ger, the stranger, with abundant love, for we were all once strangers.

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Kee Tavo 5773-2013

"Not Rushing to Judgment"

There are usually two sides to every story. We must always listen to, and carefully analyze, both sides, before jumping to what may be incorrect conclusions.

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Kee Tavo 5769-2009

"Stretch Those Face Muscles!"

When the first fruits were harvested, they were brought by the farmers to Jerusalem with great fanfare and celebration. The Bikurim ritual teaches us a fundamental life principle of expressing gratitude and joy for the gifts that G-d bestows upon us. How unfortunate it is that so many who live in this most prosperous of times, have lost the ability to smile, to feel happy and to express proper gratitude for all the goodness in our lives.

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Kee Tavo 5766-2006

"Respect for the Person and the Office"

In the ceremony of the bringing of the Bikurim, the first fruits, the Torah tells us that the farmer shall come to the Priest who "shall be in those days." From these added words, the rabbis learn that we must treat the contemporary Priest with great respect, even though he may not measure up to the standards of the Priests of old. The Torah teaches us to respect not only the person of the Priest, but the office of the Priesthood as well. It is an important message for contemporary America, with many ramifications concerning the future of our country.

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Kee Tavo 5763-2003

"Watch Out for Laban, He is More Dangerous Than Pharaoh"

As part of the Bikkurim declaration, the celebrants stated that "An Aramean tried to destroy my father." The Torah thus sees the Aramean, Laban, as more dangerous than Pharaoh. The fact that Pharaoh wants to do us in is well known, so we can protect ourselves. Our brother Laban, however, the wily Aramean, is always out there waiting for us, feigning love, conspiring to defeat us. We need always be on watch for him.

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Kee Tavo 5760-2000

"Welcoming the Stranger"

May a non-Jew who converts to Judaism say the prayer formula that states that G-d has promised "our fathers" to give us the land and the fruits thereof? We are taught that Abraham is the father, not only of biological Jews but of all righteous proselytes. We therefore must welcome the ger, the stranger, with abundant love, for we were all once strangers.

Read More


0 Comments9 Minutes