Parshas Ki Sovo
(When you bring Bikkurim (your first fruits)) And you shall come to the Kohen who will be [serving] in those days, and say to him, “I declare today to Hashem, your G-d, that I have come to the land which Hashem swore to our forefathers to give us.” (Devarim 26/3)
Rashi comments on the phrase “who will be (serving) in those days”; “You only have the Kohen in your days the way that he is”. Meaning, that a person cannot exempt himself from giving the Priestly Present of Bikkurim because the Kohen in his generation is not as great as the Kohannim of previous generation. A person is obligated to bring and to give bikkurim to the Kohen who is living in his generation even though that he is on a much lower level than the Kohannim of previous generations.
Rashi makes a similar point concerning judges (Devarim 17/9). He explains that the possuk there teaches us that one has to listen to the psak of the judges in his days even though that they are not as great as the judges in previous generations.
Zera Shimshon asks that he understands why a person might mistakingly reason that he doesn’t have to listen to a judge who is not as great as previous judges. The role of a judge is to clarify what happened and to determine the halacha in that case. If he isn’t of the same stature of the judges of previous generations he is apt to make a mistake. Therefore one might think that there is no reason to go to such a judge.
However, Zera Shimshon asks, why would a person think to exempt himself from giving bikkurim to a Kohan who is not on such a high spiritual level? The Kohen only has to accept the bikkurim. What then is the diference if he is on a high level or not?
To answer this question Zera Shimshon asks another question. What does it mean, “AND SAY TO HIM (the Kohen), I declare today to Hashem, your G-d, that I have come to the land…” Seemingly, this declaration is between the person bringing the bikkurim and Hashem. What then does it mean, “and say to him..”? Why does he have to say it to the Kohen?
Rashi therefore comments, “and say to him”: “to show that you are not ungrateful”. In other words, Rashi understood that in addition to making the declaration “I declare today…” (which is made to Hashem) he also says thanks to the Kohen to show that he appreciates all that the Kohen does for him.
Zera Shimshon asks, though, why does he have to SAY “thank you”? Isn’t it apparent that he appreciates what the Kohen does by the mere fact that he gives the Kohen the bikurim?
He answers according to the halacha that one doesn’t just bring bikkurim to the Bais HaMikdash, give it to the Kohen and then walk away. After he gives them to the Kohen, the Kohen puts his hand underneath his hands and together they wave the bikkurim up, down, east, south, west and north. The Gemorro (Sukko 37/b) explains that the reason for this is in order to “prevent harmful winds and in order to prevent harmful dews”. In other words, the bikkurim are not simply a present to the Kohen. They also influence Hashem to protect the crops from damage.
We can now understand why a person might mistakenly feel that he doesn’t have to bring bikkurim to a Kohen who is not so great. He could make a mistake and think to himself, “Can this Kohen (who is not as great as the previous Kohanim) really persuade Hashem to stop the harmful winds etc. through his prayer?”
However this is a mistake!
Firstly, only Hashem sees into the hearts of people and can judge if this Kohens’s heart is filled with yiras shamayim. If he wasn’t full of yiras shamayim, Hashem would not have allowed him to reach such a position.
Secondly, the doing of a mitzvo intrinsically causes Hashem to shower goodness in this world independant of the deep thoughts of the one that does the mitzvo.
Zera Shimshon concludes that this is also the reason why the one who brings the bikkurim thanks the Kohen for what he does. It is to show that realizes that the fact that there were no harmful winds and dew and that he had a good crop is a result of the Kohen’s waving the bikkurim (last year) and not just a result of nature.
This d’var Torah is dedicated to Beracha Bas Menucha Shaina. In the merit of the learning Zera Shimshon’s divrai Torah, Hashem should answer her prayers and she should quickly find her proper match along with all the other members of Clal Yisroel who are also looking for their zivug hagun
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