PARSHAT KI TAVO: SELF-NULLIFICATION
By Sherrie B. Miller
Our portion this week of Ki Tavo, describes the bringing of the first fruits of
man’s harvest, the Bikurim. It is the only Mitzvah in the Torah that is accompanied
by the command of prostrating oneself before G-d.
This is rather perplexing. What is the connection of Bikurim and bowing and prostrating
oneself before G-d?
The symbolism underlying the act of prostrating oneself is that of complete nullification
and surrender to Hashem. It is such a powerful act of connection to the Almighty
that we are told in the Talmud that despite the overflow of visitors to the Beis
Hamikdash on the holidays, when they bowed, a miracle occurred so that there was
enough room for all of them.
What is so significant about the act of bringing Bikurim to G-d?
Bikurim is an act of self-less love. I have invested my time and nurtured this first
fruit through the entire process of planting, sowing, plowing and harvesting. I
have nurtured this first fruit and invested myself completely in it. As a result,
I am immensely attached to it. Being prepared to give up this first fruit, an integral
part of me, is to show my boundless love for Hashem
If this emotional and psychological connection is so great vis-à-vis a fruit, how
much more is it true among people in general, and between a man and a woman specifically?
Rav Dessler states that “we don’t give to those we love, but rather, we love those
to whom we give.” The investment, the caring, the nurturing of another will create
a deep love for another when I nullify myself and become part of another. I am invested
in them; therefore I am a part of them. I feel an identification with them that
brings out my love for them.
In the world of dating, this message should be deeply internalized. All too often,
people meet for a cup of coffee and decide: “they are not for me.”
Take the time to realize the time and faith required in the process of “falling
in love”. (as does the farmer bringing Bikurim) “Ahava” is a verb that means, “to
give.” It requires action on my part, not the passivity of sitting back and waiting
for your date to prove to you that he/she is “the one.”
In a world of “fast food” and gulping a cup of coffee on the run, how much time
do we give ourselves for introspection and nurturing, let alone time for a stranger,
who is in fact a potential mate?
Next time you meet someone for a date, perhaps you might think of some small way
you can give a little more of yourself, go ‘the extra mile.” It might involve seeing
a woman home, or making a greater effort in getting the conversation to flow more
freely. Each of us has the capacity to stretch our limits and invest more intentionally
in the creation of a successful relationship.
Sherrie B. Miller is a Jewish matchmaker on SawYouAtSinai
and a dating coach in Jerusalem. She received her counseling degree from the Michlala
in Jerusalem and an M.A. in Jewish Education from Touro College. Sherrie is certified
by Midreshet Emunah and is accredited by the Rabbanut of Israel, to be a pre-marital
couple’s counselor and Kallah teacher.