On This Day, Gifts and Tithes Bought to the Beit Hamikdash, Presented to Priests

December 19, 2018

2 min read

When the word spread, the Israelites brought large quantities of grain, wine, oil, honey, and all kinds of agricultural produce, and tithes of all, in large amounts.

וְ כִ פְ רֹץ הַ ד ָ בָ ר הִ רְ ּבּו בְ נֵי־יִש ְ רָ אֵ ל רֵ אׁשִ ית ד ָ גָ ן ת ִ ירֹוׁש וְ יִ צְ הָ ר ּודְ בַ ׁש וְ כֹל ת ְ בּואַ תשָ דֶ ה ּומַ עְ שַ ר הַ ּכֹל לָ רֹב הֵ בִ יאּו׃

v’-khif-ROTZ ha-da-VAR hir-BU v’-NAY yis-ra-AYL ray-SHEET da-GAN tee-ROSH v’-yitz-HAR ud-VASH v’-KHOL t’-vu-AT sa-DEH u-ma-SAR ha-KOL la-ROV hay-VEE-u

The gifts and tithes brought to the Beit Hamikdash and presented to the Kohanim and Levi’im are examples of biblical commandments that apply only in the Land of Israel. A portion of the crops grown in the land is dedicated to the Creator before we eat from them ourselves, to remind us that no matter how hard we work the land, and despite the tremendous human effort required to produce it, our crops are really a gift from Hashem. Additionally, gifts are given to the religious leaders of Israel, to provide physical sustenance in exchange for the spiritual nourishment they offer the people. Since they have no portion of land of their own, the Kohanim and Levi’im are dependent on the rest of the nation for their physical nourishment. In return, their contribution elevates everyone else’s existence in the land. Such is life in Eretz Yisrael – the physical and spiritual are continuously intertwined.

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