Linda Pardes Friedburg
Russian-speaking American Israeli Community-building Mom

Celebrating the Bounty

Grape harvest, Neve Daniel, Elul 5782 (Photo: Linda Pardes Friedburg)

Parshat Ki Tavo – Moshe continues his final speech to us for all generations:

וְהָיָה כִּי תָבוֹא אֶל הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ נֹתֵן לְךָ נַחֲלָה…” (דברים כן:א)”
And when you come into this gorgeous Land that God has given you, you shall carry your first fruits to the Temple, and tell the Cohen the story of how you arrived to this day, after generations of dispersion, suffering, wondering, and wandering!

How your ever-praying soul yearned to draw closer to its Source, to its Home, to its People.

And how these are the fruits of our recently desolate land, today bursting forth with life, fulfilling so many promises of our prophets.

Each year we are blessed with more grapes and pomegranates in our yard in Elul than we can ever consume alone!

So this coming week before Rosh Hashanah, you are invited to celebrate with us our annual “Chag HaBatzir” – the grape harvest and grape juice-making festival, with traditional barefoot grape-stomping, which your kids will love!

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה בְּבֹאֶךָ וּבָרוּךְ אַתָּה בְּצֵאתֶךָ.” (דברים כח)”
“You are blessed in your coming and blessed in your going” – as you come into and leave our home, into our Land, and into each day of our lives.

Rashi comments on this pasuk that we should try to leave our lives as sinless and pure as we entered – which is actually possible because of the miracle of Teshuva.

We have the power to fix our relationships, between us and others, us and God, and begin anew every day – even a few times each day, as Rabbi Nachman of Breslav says.

The summarizing mitzvah of this Parsha:  “וְהָלַכְתָּ בִּדְרָכָיו”

“Walk in His ways”. Keep on moving, don’t get stuck – forgive as He is forgiving, be compassionate as he is compassionate, especially towards ourselves.

Shabbat shalom!

About the Author
Linda Pardes Friedburg made Aliyah from New Jersey in 1990. She is Founding Director of Shishi Shabbat Yisraeli National Jewish Leadership Initiative for Young Russian-Speaking Israelis, is grateful for her six kids and one Belarussian husband, and still feels the need to pinch herself every time she drives up the hill to Neve Daniel, Gush Etzion, their home since 1994. OLIM FOR TZAHAL
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