KI TAVO (when you enter in)

Deuteronomy 26:1 After you come into the land which יהוה your Elohim gives you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and you live there; 2 You are to take the first of all the crops the ground yields, which you will harvest from your land that יהוה your Elohim gives you and put them in a basket and go to the place which יהוה your Elohim will choose to place His name. C-MATS

Question: Where were the tithes from the crops taken? Tithes must be taken from crops according to a three-year cycle. The first year’s tithe is given to the Levite. The Levites are entitled to their gift, because they gave up a share of the Land to devote themselves to יהוה’s service. The second year’s tithe is enjoyed by the farmer and his family and must be eaten in Jerusalem. But the third year’s tithe  is for the poor and has a special status because it symbolizes Israel’s generosity and concern for the less fortunate (Haamek Davar).This cycle is repeated every three years, with the exception of the seventh [Shemittah] and fiftieth [Yovel] years, when no tithes are required. By the day before Pesach of the year after each three-year cycle, an owner must make sure that he has delivered all tithes to their proper destination, and then, on the last day of Pesach of the fourth and seventh years, he recites the confession in this passage (vs. 13-15). It is preferable to recite it at the Temple — before יהוה (v. 13) — but it may be recited anywhere.

Question: Is יהוה your partner in all that you do? The idea is that whenever we try to do something, we can only succeed with יהוה’s help. Therefore, in a sense He is our partner helping us along to succeed. It also means that יהוה is the ultimate source of our wealth and shares with us money so we can do good deeds with it. By giving to charity, we are partners with יהוה in properly spending the money He gives us.

Question: Do you think a person loses out by tithing his money? At first glance, it might seem he is ending up with less. But in fact, not only does the person gain the spiritual merit of helping others and becoming a better person by doing it, but in the end, יהוה will even see to it that he gets paid back for what he gives, and then some.

Question: Doesn’t יהוה have the means of providing for the needy himself? Why does He ask us to ‘do it for Him’? יהוה certainly has the means to supply all of us with everything. By getting us involved with helping others, He is giving us the opportunity to develop a more giving nature, and through that become more righteous people. יהוה rewards us greatly for every spiritual choice we make, so by giving us the chance to give, He gives us the chance to receive.

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#50 Ki Tavo