Simcha's Torah Stories - Ki Tavo
Parshat Ki Tavo
REMEMBER HIM FIRST
Mmmm, what a yummy aroma. What is it Mom?
I just baked a fresh batch of chocolate chip cookies, Chaim. Here, you can taste the first one.
That is a wonderful offer, Mom, but I want you to have the first one.
Chaim, that is so sweet of you. Why do you want me to have the first cookie?
Because, Mom, you are the one who worked so hard on these cookies and you should be the first to enjoy them.
You're right, Chaim, I did work very hard mixing the dough and rolling out the cookies and baking them. However, I want you to enjoy the first one. Let's see. Does the Torah have and answer to the question of who should get the first cookie?
Mom, you must have read my mind. Our teacher told us a beautiful story today based on this week's parsha. Can I share it with you?
Of course, Chaim.
Imagine you lived long ago, in the days of the Beis HaMikdash. It is the beginning of the summer, a few weeks before the holiday of Shavuous.
Chaim and his mother close their eyes, and drift back in time.
Chana! Come out and look at this!
What is it Aharon?
Look, the first fig of the new season has grown on our tree!
Oh, Aharon, I am so happy! You worked so hard on that tree. You plowed the land around it, fertilized it, watered it, pruned it, and weeded it. Now you finally see the first fruit.
Chana, can you please call the children out to see this?
Children, come see what Abba has outside on the fig tree!
What is it Abba?
Look kids, the first fig of the year. What should we do with it?
Let's all eat it for dessert at the Shabbos table.
No, Abba you should eat it. You worked so hard for it.
Let's give it to a poor person to eat.
Children, those are all wonderful ideas. Let us hear what G-d tells us to do with the first fruits of the season. Chana, please bring me a piece of straw to tie around this fig. Now I must say this, "Behold this is the first fruit of the year." Next, we will wait until it ripens, and then take it, along with our other first fruits to the Beis HaMikdash in Jerusalem. There we will give it to the Kohen as a gift for Hashem.
Chaim that is such a beautiful story.
Wait, Mom, there is more. The teacher then explained to us the message behind bikurim (first fruits). It is the first mitzvah in this week's parsha.
We all have a tendency to be very proud of our work. We get satisfaction seeing it finally finished. We naturally want to enjoy the fruits of our labor. After all, we worked hard for them. The Sefer HaChinuch (Parshas Mishpatim, Mitzvah 91) explains why we bring our bikurim to G-d. We must place G-d at the head of all of our happy occasions. We must remember that all of the blessings that we enjoy in this world come from Him. Therefore, we remember Him first, which shows our gratitude to Him.
Chaim, what a beautiful Devar Torah. But we still do not know what to do with the first cookie. They are not bikurim, so we cannot give them to the Kohen. I want you to have the first cookie as a reward for being a good student, paying attention in class, and saying such a beautiful Devar Torah.
Mom, after a compliment like that, how can I refuse the cookie.
With that, Chaim takes the first cookie, and pronounces the blessing.
Boruch Atto Hashem Elokeinu Melech Ho-Olam borei minei mezonos.
Mmmm, these cookies sure are yummy.
Chaim, you first thought of G-d before you ate. You blessed Him for the food.
You're right Mom. Even eating is an opportunity to get close to G-d. As long as we remember to...
Remember Him First.
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