חג הביכורים

One of the names of Shavuot is חג הביכורים, the holiday of the first fruits. Most of the Jewish population at the time of the Temple were farmers. They were to place close attention to the new growth of the fruits of the Seven Species. When they noticed the first signs of growth, they tied a ribbon around it to designate it as ביכורים.

When the fruits ripened, they were placed in the most expensive basket they could afford, and they brought it to the Beit Hamikdash on Shavuot.

It was an extremely happy and exciting moment, when the basket was placed before the Kohein and the special declaration was made. There was a confirmation of how fortunate every Jew was who merited living in Israel and was able to literally eat the fruit of his labor.

The end of this section in the Torah, closes with the words, ושמחת בכל הטוב, that we are to rejoice with all of the good Hashem has bestowed upon us. Happy are we who are in Israel for חג הביכורים and חג השבועות.

Chag Sameach

Tonight is the last night of ספירת העומר.

We are not allowed to start the holiday early tomorrow night as there must be seven complete weeks,