Topic: Personal Transformation | Posted:September 21, 2016
The physical story of the portion Ki Tavo that we read is regarding what's called bikkurim, the first fruit. In the times when people were farmers in the land of Israel, they would bring the finest of their first fruit to the Temple in Jerusalem, where a prayer was done with the bikkurim. It says in the Midrash that the entire world was created for the energy and secret in this first fruit. But, why is that?
When Adam and Eve were created, they had a choice between Desire to Receive for the Self Alone and Desire to Share, and they fell, in what is called the sin of the fall of Adam and Eve. After that moment, everything in the world, everything that exists, and every single person became, and is, a mixture of positive and negative, of good and not so good. And our work in this world is to separate the fruit from the peel, take the goodness out of the darkness. For example, when you want to eat a banana, you have to take the peel off first because you can’t eat it, and then you get to the fruit. Sustenance not just from food, but from all types of benefits and blessings, come clouded, with a mixture of positive and negative, of Light and darkness. As such, our work is to go through the entire process of separating good from bad.
Everything we do centers around that understanding, even in our relationships. The work of life is to separate the negative and focus on the good, or make the good grow. We work to reveal the Light that is within the darkness, within the shell; that's Light from the fall of Adam. Everything in this world has positive and negative, and our work - whether it's work in the field, in business, in relationships, or in our spiritual work - is the constant process of discovering that Light within the darkness, of that fruit within the shell.
But there is another level. Another type of Light exists - a perfected Light, a Light that does not come with darkness, a Light that comes in pure form. For most of us, the blessings we receive are of the mixture, and then even once we receive them, we have to work. However, there also exists perfect Light, and that’s what the Shabbat of Ki Tavo is about. Light that does not have a mixture of positive and negative.
How do we access that Light?
Every blessing comes with the challenge and that's what life was meant to be about, to work and remove the peel from the fruit, to remove the negativity and darkness from the Light and retain the Light and the blessing. But is there also a way to sometimes connect to the perfect Light, the Light that doesn't come mixed, the Light that comes perfect, that we experience only as a blessing? The secret of this Shabbat is that bikkurim represent the secret of that perfect Light - the Light that does not have to be cleansed, the blessing that does not have to be cleaned up, the blessing that does not come with challenge. That is why the bikkurim is brought right away. It doesn’t have to be cleaned or picked. Right away, it has that energy, and is the perfected Light. It is not like any other connection we make or any other blessing we draw.
That’s the beginning of an understanding of what's available on this Shabbat. We understand that life has the positive and the negative, and every blessing has a shell, and our job is to receive that blessing and then fight to remove the shell and the darkness. But additionally on this Shabbat, we want to be elevated to the understanding that perfect Light also exists, and that is the secret of the bikkurim, Light that does not have to be worked. Once you receive it, you have it. Once you receive it, there's no challenge attached. Once you receive it, it's only pure Light.
When it says in the Midrash that the world was created for the bikkurim, it means the world was created so that ultimately every single one of us will start receiving the Light that is pure, the blessing that is clean, the blessing that does not have to then be challenged afterwards. That's the seed of the secret of Shabbat Ki Tavo.