Rabbi Milevsky's Thought of the Week: KI Savo - 5776
HAPPINESS IN ISRAEL
In the beginning of Pareshat Ki Tavo the Torah describes in detail the Mitzvah of bringing the first fruit- Bikkurim- to Yerushalaim.
As the Bikkurim are offered, the fruit grower expresses his gratitude to the Almighty for the land and the fruit. However, the statement of appreciation does not begin with the farmer’s personal acknowledgment and life story, but rather, it chronicles in detail the journey of the whole nation of Israel.
The reason there is a requirement for the grower to express his gratefulness for the nations trek, and not just his own, is because the Torah wants the individual to “rejoice in all the good things Hashem your G-d has given to you and your household".
One cannot be glad in Eretz Yisrael without an understating and an appreciation of the history of Israel. When people settle in the land with a desire to make it a homeland, like any other national homeland, without knowledge of our tradition and purpose, within a generation or two, when the excitement of the new wears off, they find no meaning or happiness in the land. Only with an awareness that this is a land that was given to the children of Israel by Hashem, can the farmer of Israel rejoice in Eretz Yisrael.