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    A really good gift – Ki Tavo

    Bringing the first fruits to the kohen was an exciting moment. What a feeling of achievement!

    The suffering of the slavery was over. The people were free and independent.

    They had struggled through the wilderness, and now they had arrived.

    They had entered the Promised Land, they had planted and sown, and the land had proved fertile and yielded a good crop.

    No wonder the Torah commanded, “You shall rejoice in all the good which the Lord your God has given you!”

    There is a discussion about this verse in various rabbinic commentaries. What, they ask, is the nature of “the good” that God has given?

    Since our ancestors lived in societies that were ruled by kings, many of their parables had to do with kings and royal deeds and doings.

    So they make the comment, “When the king gives you a present, does the actual value of the gift really matter?

    “Isn’t the exciting thing the fact that whatever the gift may be, it has come from the king?”

    In this case the great thing is not merely the land, but the fact that it was the gift of God.

    Modern implication?

    Israel is great, with all its problems and perplexities… but never let us forget Who gave it to us and to Whom we are responsible for cherishing and looking after it.

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