Tuesday, May 22, 2007

The Shavuos Post


Since I'm not a cheese person (the picture is for formality) this post will be about one of the more neglected aspects of Shavuot, also known as Chag HaBikurim.

Yes, that's right, amid all the ado of modern Shavuos one nearly forgets that this is the time when all the farmers are supposed to be bringing the first fruits to Yerushalayim with great fanfare. As we present the beautiful produce to the Cohen, we say the very words which we uttered not long ago, a mere 50 days prior, with a cup of wine before us as we looked at the matza and marror: "Arami oved avi..."

Now watch me try to condense an hour long deep shiur into a bite-size blog post on zero sleep.

When we live in plenty, there is a tendency to feel that we've earned it, It's Mine. The mitzva of bikurim is in parshas Ki Savo -- when you arrive in Eretz Yisrael. This is talking about a particularly vulnerable time for this. We were coming from the desert, where we were directly cared for by HaShem, to a life governed more by nature: I worked, I produced.

So take the very first fruit and as you hold that proud morsel in your hand, recall your origins. HaShem brought you from the lowest of the low and gave you every single thing you have.

Today we can't do it exactly the same way. But think about maaser, tsedakah. Do you feel that tug at parting with what you've earned? It isn't mine. HaShem gave it to me and it is a gift.

Then, only then, "Vesamachta bechol hatov -- You shall be happy with all the goodness that HaShem has given you." More on that later if you'd like, but for now I must sleep.

Have a wonderful, uplifting yom tov.

Rejoice in the Torah that we have been given, my brothers and sisters, for we are chosen to achieve great heights with it. Only by clinging to its ways will we know the greatness of life as we renew our eternal covenant with G-d.

10 comments:

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

I don't like cheese cake either, have a great shavuos.

Lakewood Venter said...

Great Post! Good Yom tov!!!

The Dreamer said...

beautiful!

VS said...

Well hope that you have caught up your sleep now - i personally feel that i just slept, ate, slept, ate and then slept and ate some more(ok with a little praying in between) so looking forward to the next dvar torah :)

The Dreamer said...

basmelech NEVER catches up on her sleep...

hmm... wonder how i know that?

VS said...

yeah ... how do you? ;)

David_on_the_Lake said...

mmm love the cheesecake...

Its so true...
Thats really the main part of shavuos..chag hakatzir..habikurim..nowhere in the Torah is it even hinted to the fact that its the day the Torah was given..yet today thats all u hear about.

Anonymous said...

The reason most of us do NOT associate shavuous with chag habikkurim, is our non-connection to the holy land. Our education, rabbinical leaders, and most of the frum media tries hard to avoid talking about ISRAEL, as our inheritance and morasha.

Bas~Melech said...

Thanks for the comments!

Dreamer -- That is so untrue. I do catch up on my sleep every couple of weeks or so, but it takes only one sleepless night to fall behind again!

DOTL -- Interesting that you brought that up; actually it is quite unclear when exactly the Torah was given and the rishonim debate whether it was the 6th or 7th of Sivan. In "chutz" we're frummer so we celebrate both :P

Anon -- While I too am saddened by the lack of attention given to Eretz Yisrael in many yesheevish institutions, I'm not so sure that's the culprit here. I think it's more about our removal from the ideal state of the world in general. I think even in E"Y they don't make such a big deal about bikurim. Whereas, even yeshivish schools outside of the land are educated about shmita.

lakewoodshmuck said...

good point