The Alshich explains that the essence of the mitzvah of bikkurim which features at the beginning of this week’s parsha is hakoras hatov, expressing gratitude. After months of hard work, ploughing, sowing, tending, pruning and harvesting, the farmer brings the first of his fruit to the Beis HaMikdash as an expression of thanks.
The Alshich continues that hakoras hatov is fundamental to our emunah and observance of mitzvos. That is why the mitzvah was carried out with so much fanfare and the farmer made a public declaration of thanks to Hashem.
Not only does the concept of giving thanks give us our name (Yehudi), the Midrash Rabbah at the very beginning of Bereishis tells us that the world was created for the sake of the mitzvah of bikkurim.
And perhaps that is why we begin each day with Modeh Ani, words of gratitude.
As ever, the messages of the week’s parsha are timely and timeless and it is with much gratitude and a feeling of enormous relief that we are thankfully back in school. After many months of online learning and with much planning, we are again able to pursue our noble passion of educating and inspiring the next generation.
We have tried hard indeed to ensure that the school is safe as can be. Please remind your child that masks need be worn in all communal places in school.
In Modim D’Rabbanan we say a remarkable thing. “Modim anachnu loch”, we thank you Hashem … “al she’anachnu modim loch”, for being able to thank you.
I am very grateful to have the opportunity to thank the all those people who have worked through the summer to help us get to this day and I hope and pray that the entire Hasmonean family, and people the world over, stay safe and healthy and that we are blessed with a successful year ahead.
Rabbi J Golker