Honor Your Father and Your Mother

 lithograph 1908


There are many things we can do to create local culture that links God, land, and people.
The ritual of bikkurim, in which farmers brought the first fruits of their harvest to the Temple, allowed Jews to give their thanks to God for the land of Israel and all it provided.
The Land of Israel has been conquered and divided, and Jewish farmers have settled into the yearly cycle of growth and harvest. Now they are given a special commandment, one applying only in the Land: they must take their first fruits to the Temple to express their gratitude to God.
The first verses of this week's Torah portion, Ki Tavo, describe the ritual of bikkurim, first fruits (Deut. 26:2): "…you shall take of the first of every fruit of the ground that you bring in from your Land that your God gives you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that your God, will choose…" As we will explore below, the farmers were not only thanking God for an abundant harvest, but also affirming the link between God, themselves, the Land of Israel, and the collective history 

Moses instructs the Israelites regarding the first fruit offering; Moses then lists the blessings for keeping the commandments .... 
Moses continues his last speech before the Israelites, "When you dwell in the promised land, take a selection of the first fruits and bring them to the place God chooses for God's Name. With a priest you shall make an offering saying, 'We remember when we were slaves in Egypt. We remember how God brought us to freedom with a strong hand and outstretched arm, with signs and miracles. You, God brought, us to this land flowing with milk and honey. And now I have brought these first fruits that you, God, have given me.'




Eleven ( 11 ) Articles

Today may be dark, but tomorrow,
 God's light will shine on His people

The haftarah selection is from Isaiah 60:1-22. 
This is the penultimate haftarah between Tisha B'Av and Rosh Hashanah; the seven-week period when haftarot of consolation are read in synagogue. All these haftarot, including this week's, feature comforting themes for a nation traumatized by the destruction of the Temple and the exile.

In the haftarah for Ki Tavo, Isaiah focuses on images of light to remind the people that though they may be experiencing a dark time, God's countenance and light will eventually return. The first verse of the haftarah typifies this: "Arise, shine, for your light has dawned; the Presence of the Lord has shone upon you!" (60:1) This line has famously been adapted for use in Lekha Dodi, a song that is part of the Friday night liturgy, sung to greet the Sabbath queen. ..........

Lecha Dodi
David D'or


Photo: Yossi Ben-David
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Photo: AP
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Photo: EPA
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Photo: Reuters
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Daniel Horowitz(08:39 , 09.14.11 )
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Women's singing debate reaches court
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Kobi Nahshoni(15:04 , 09.13.11 )
Photo: Visual/Photos
Germany, Italy at odds over WWII damages
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Associated Press(10:02 , 09.13.11 )
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Palestine flag outside haredi wedding
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Ari Galahar(08:48 , 09.13.11 )
Photo: Shutterstock
Bnei Brak vs. female teachers
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Reuven Weiss(14:26 , 09.12.11 )
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Rabbis to IDF: Solve women's singing issue
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Kobi Nahshoni(08:51 , 09.12.11 )
Photo: AFP
ADL supports 'World Trade Center Cross'
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Photo: Moti Kimchi
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