The opening portions of this week’s parasha, Ki Tavo, describe the offering of the Bikurim, when farmers offered the harvest’s first fruits at the Temple, to thank God for providing them food. The person bringing the Bikurim made a confession, to recall how his ancestors were enslaved in Egypt and were redeemed by God, brought to the Land of Israel, “flowing with milk and honey.” Then, when the offering was finished, the Torah tells us “You shall be glad with all the goodness that the Lord, your God, has given you and your household – you and the Levite and the proselyte in your midst.” (Deuteronomy 26:11)
This is a very simple message, one we should keep in mind as we approach the High Holy Days in the next couple of weeks. God wants us to be happy. The way to do this is to observe the mitzvot. What are some of the mitzvot you have learned and how can you observe them? Here are some ideas – I have described a mitzvah and then an example of what you could do to fulfill it. (Challenge – Can you figure out which points of the Scout Law are also fulfilled when do each mitzvah?)
Show kindness to those who need help – Give some of your allowance or earnings to charity.
Care for the environment – Recycle.
Treat people respectfully – Be kind to everyone.
Honor your parents – Do what they ask you happily.
Do not bear a grudge – Make up when you argue with a friend.
Respect those who teach Torah – Listen carefully to your teachers.
Return lost objects – If you find something at school, give it to the teacher or the office so the owner can find it.