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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