Fruit of Liberation

At the start of Parshat Ki Tavo, this week’s Torah portion, we read about the Bikkurim offerings given in the Temple. There we read:

Bikkurim: First Fruits - Torah Insights - Parshah

While I am interested in the nature of the Temple ritual of giving these first fruit, I am even more interested that this Mitzvah is described to them while they were still in the wilderness. What would this message have meant to a nation of slaves who have never been in this land?

While they were slaves they had nothing. They did not own their time and it is not clear what kind of possessions they had. This is a powerful shift of mindset from one of scarcity to one of abundance. They were being asked to imagine a time when they would have what to offer and donate.

That being said it is still really hard to imagine conquering and building a country. It is easier to imagine the time when they will have settled down and you have their first fruit. Imaging that moment of expressing gratitude and making a small gift of fruit itself must have been liberating.

There is profound brilliance of the Rabbis to make these passages of Bikkurim the backbone of of the Passover Seder. For millennia we have been carrying on a conversation about liberation. The shift from scarcity to abundance is critical. But this itself might not be possible. People need smaller incremental wins to see progress and imagine a new reality.

It would have been too much for anyone to just say they had liberation for it to be true. We all need small baskets of progress that help us reflect on the fruit of our liberation.


1 Response to “Fruit of Liberation”

  1. 1 Arthur Schwartz August 27, 2021 at 8:09 am

    Loved, just loved, your last sentence…*”We all need small baskets of progress that help us reflect on the fruit of our liberation.”*

    Your resonating sentence inspired to take a moment to reflect on the “small baskets of progress” in my lifetime…small baskets that I have endowed with meaning…small baskets that represent (to me) the arc toward justice and liberation.

    Thank you, my friend, for sharing your wisdom with me and so many others,


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