This week features:
Joy, Goodness of Heart and an Abundance of Everything
Bringing First Fruits to the Holy Temple: The Joy of Life in the Land of Israel
This week’s Torah portion of Ki Tavo opens with the ultimate expression of true joy: the bringing of first fruits by every Israelite to the Holy Temple. This Torah-mandated, Temple-era ritual – soon to be renewed with the rebuilding of the Holy Temple – is the consummate experience of gratitude and humility, as well as the keenest manifestation of the sheer joy that is a result of living in the Land of Israel. But isn’t strange that this Torah portion, which begins with a portrayal of ultimate joy, also contains the ominous, portent-filled ‘curses?’ That dichotomy seems to be the perfect description of our world. Yitzchak Reuven and Rabbi Richman don’t think it’s strange at all, as they plumb the depths of what it really means to serve G-d “with joy, goodness of heart and from an abundance of everything” – and find that there is one common root to everything, on this week’s moving edition of Temple Talk.