Love of the Land

For the week ending 20 September 2008 / 20 Elul 5768

Yerushalayim The Bikurim Parade

by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach zt'l
The Color of HeavenArtscroll

This week we read in the Torah about the mitzvah of bringing the bikurim – first crops and fruits of the seven species for which Eretz Yisrael is praised – to the Beit Hamikdash in Yerushalayim.

Our Talmudic Sages offer us this colorful description of the procession that took place in the bringing of bikurim.

"The ox bearing the produce walked before them, its horns covered with gold and a crown of olive branches on its head. With the music of a flute accompanying them they recited the psalm (122) in which King David exclaims, "I rejoiced when they said to me let us go to the House of G-d." As they neared Yerushalayim they sent a messenger to inform its residents of their arrival and decorated their bikurim. Important officials went out to welcome them and all the craftsmen in the city stood up in their honor and greeted them. Music continued to accompany them until they reached the Beit Hamikdash."

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