A little bit of Torah to bring in Shabbat!
9/23/2016 - Ki Tavo/Deuteronomy
D'var Torah by Leah Chakoff, Director of Leadership Intiatives
Do you feel as though your life reflects your priorities? Take a moment, close your eyes and think about it. If it doesn’t, why not? Maybe it’s because of distractions or obstacles thrown your way. Maybe you need to work to make ends meet, or are taking classes that you don’t want to take just to graduate.
This week’s Torah portion, Ki Tavo, forces us to face this question. In this portion Moses continues to tell the Israelites the laws of entering the land of Israel. He begins with the commandment of bikkurim, of the first fruits. Moses commands that after the people enter Israel, they must farm the land and gather the very first fruits grown there. They must then put them in a basket, travel to Jerusalem and bring them before the priest to tell of their difficult journey which guided them into Israel. This declaration is so important that it is read each year at the Passover Seder. Instead of focusing in on this portion of the story, I choose to focus in on something that is more often overlooked, the fruit.
The Israelites had no choice but to offer their very first fruits. We can interpret that perhaps they were the most special fruits that could have been offered. This is much different than today. We have the option of pursuing what truly makes us feel happy and fulfilled (our best fruits) or just getting by because we need to. We have a choice which can either make us our best selves or question how we ended up on our current path. Sometimes we are not happy and feel stuck.
We often make excuses for not reaching our full potential and pursuing the lives we dream of living. As we step into a period of self-reflection and new beginnings, think about how you can make your life feel more meaningful. The Jewish calendar offers us a unique chance to be able to think of what type of person we really want to be, what type of fruit we want to offer. You have complete control over your own journey. If you have ended up on an undesirable path, take a moment to sit and reflect on your true values and priorities. Figure out how to get back to where you want to be. Don’t let this opportunity pass you by.