This week’s parasha – Ki Tavo – talks of the first fruits / Bikurim. Farmers bring the first fruits that blossom – of the 7 species special to Eretz Yisrael / the Land of Israel – to the Beit HaMikdash / the Holy Temple in Yerushalayim / Jerusalem.
He says a text and he gives the fruits to the Cohen. The rich people who would bring fancy baskets of gold and silver – the Cohen would return the basket. Yet the Cohen would not return the baskets – made of reeds – of the poor people. Why?
- The poor people worked hard to make the basket – Hash-m appreciates the hard work of the common man for a Mitzvah.
- The poor people – may have put the best fruits on top and the lesser quality fruits on the bottom – thus we didn’t want to embarrass him by taking out the fruits.
- The Cohen was sending a message that I’ll take this basket – so that, with the help of G-d – you will return next year with a gold basket.
The Mitzvah of first fruits is to show that all that we have we owe our first and foremost gratitude to Hash-m. We also do the redemption of first born boys and first born animals showing our gratitude that all we have is a Gift from G-d.