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    B.D.S. & the first fruits – Ki Tavo

    The sidra commences with the bringing of Bikkurim, the first fruits, to the Jerusalem sanctuary (Deut. 26).

    This was not one of those quiet spiritual moments between man and God. Fulfilling the mitzvah didn’t happen by stealth but publicly with an impressive procession culminating in a personal declaration made to the kohen.

    There must have been something special about this mitzvah that made it necessary to celebrate it with such pomp and ceremony.

    It was because the first fruits had a unique quality. They demonstrated the renewal of the process of growing and harvesting the crops of the land.

    These days it is not just the agricultural products of Israel which we celebrate even though we are proud and delighted to find Israeli fruits and vegetables all over Europe. For many years oranges were Israel’s main export but today Israel gives the global community a stream of remarkable ideas and techniques.

    Alas, we give them blessings and they throw back BDS. In the Jewish world Israel radiates Jewish identity and inspiration, and it’s only the sourpuss cynics who refuse to become excited at the amazing renewal of Judaism that Israel has spearheaded everywhere in the world.

    So what if you don’t approve of Israeli government decisions? Israelis themselves have a range of opinions. So what if you think you could run the government better?

    Maybe you could, but don’t sit on your backside in the Diaspora and give advice from afar. Come and be an Israeli!

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