In this week’s Parsha, we read about the Bikurim, the requirement to bring the first fruits to the Holy Temple. This Mitzvah was to be fulfilled only after the 14 years that it took until the land was completely conquered and everyone was settled in their portion.
Even if some tribes had already received their portion, planted and saw new crops sprout, they were to wait until everyone of the tribes were settled in their home, in the land of Israel, before expressing their thanks to G‑d by bringing the first of their fruit.
The Torah is teaching us that one’s happiness cannot be complete until every person has what they need.
As summer begins to fade, and we look forward to another year filled with purpose and opportunity, let us keep this ideal in our consciousness.
We are living in a time where there are endless opportunities to turn the “I” into the centre of our attention (think i-Phone, i-Pad, i-Cloud, i-Message). This attitude of self-centeredness has permeated our society in so many ways. Jewish wisdom expects us to transcend the “I” and “selfie” culture, and move forward towards a more inclusive and other-centered approach.
By moving away from the limiting mentality of “I”, and embracing the possibilities of a “we” community, we inspire others and shift the consciousness of our community. When we work towards building an inclusive community with cooperation and awareness of our surroundings, we find true happiness and contentment. Together we support each other, discover new opportunities and friendships, and go a little out of our own comfort zones and find true Simcha.