August 31, 2023 / 14 Elul, 5783 • Parshat Tavo
Issue 784
Dedicated in loving memory of Mrs. Miriam Friedman

Moses taught the people the laws regarding the first fruits of the annual harvest, which they would be required to observe once they enter the Land of Israel.
The first specimens of the wheat, barley, grape, fig, pomegranate, olive, and date harvests had to be brought to the Temple and given to the priests. 

Deut. 26:1–11

Each of us comprises both a priest and layperson: Our inner priest is the part of us that is given over wholly to G-d, concerned with our relationship with Him by communing with Him in prayer, studying His Torah, and fulfilling His commandments. Our inner layperson, in contrast, is concerned with our physical survival, comfort, and satisfaction.

Both components of our consciousness are necessary. Nonetheless, we learn from the commandment of bringing the first fruits and giving them to the priest that in order to remain in control of our material pursuits – that they serve us rather than that we serve them – we must give the best parts of our lives to our “priest.”

This enables us to transform the rest of our material lives into holy acts, through which we deepen our connection to G-d and accomplish our Divine mission – to make the world into His true home.

--Daily Wisdom Volume 3