Ki Tavo – Rishon

First Fruits

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

After the Jews settle the land, the first fruits of their crops are to be placed in a basket and brought to the Temple. The kohein takes the basket, waves it and places it before the altar. The owner then recites the following declaration:

“My ancestor (Yaakov) was a wanderer from Aram (or he was persecuted by Lavan, who was from Aram). He brought his family to Egypt as a stranger, but they grew into a great nation there. The Egyptians then oppressed and afflicted them with harsh labor, so they cried out to God. God heard their cry and saw their suffering, so He rescued them with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, wreaking signs and miracles. He then brought the Jews to Israel, a land flowing with milk and honey, from which these first fruits are given.” (The majority of this section is recited as part of the Passover Haggadah.)

The owner was holding the basket during this speech. It is placed down and the owner bows before God. After that, everyone may enjoy the produce with which God has blessed him.

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