HOLEY BASKETS: DT for Parshas KI SAVO {By: Eliezer Guterman}

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HOLEY BASKETS

{By: Eliezer} How do we Break Patterns that Keep Going in Circles?
Based on the Teachings of: R’ Shalom Rosner
 
Perek 26, Pasuk 4
וְלָקַ֧ח הַכֹּהֵ֛ן הַטֶּ֖נֶא מִיָּדֶ֑ךָ וְהִ֨נִּיח֔וֹ לִפְנֵ֕י מִזְבַּ֖ח ה’ אֱלֹקיךָ
“And the Kohen will take the basket from your hand, laying it before the altar of the L-rd, your G-d.”
 
Baal Haturim: This is a ‘hint’ to the laws of Bikurim (first fruits that must be brought to the Temple) and the amount involved. Chazal explain it is 1/60th of one’s produce from the word טֶּ֖נֶא (basket) which equals in Gematria (9+50+1=) 60. And this is why there is no letter “ס” (Samech = 60) in the entire section of Bikurim. 
Q#1) But if it is all about getting to this 60 amount, it should seemingly be FILLED with Samechs, not lacking them!?
 
Medrash Tanchuma: Moshe saw with prophecy that the Beis Hamikdash would be destroyed and that there would be no more Bikurim. Therefore, Davening was instituted in its place [according to Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov’s prayers]. 
Q#2) But what is the connection between bringing fruits and Prayers?
 
R’ Emanual Berenstein: Bikurim were only brought once we entered into the land of Israel. It was then when we took on a more ’natural’ existence [no more: Manna, clouds of Glory, clothing growing with us…]. Now, we were enveloped in natural laws, farming, and physical work. For the first time in our history since becoming a nation at Sinai and being given the Torah from G-d, there was a real, clear and present danger in forgetting Hashem. People could (G-d forbid) think that their own efforts were producing these agricultural results. Involvement in natural order and ‘reliance’ on predictive patterns could make people forget the One running the show. 
The Antidote to this Problem is the Bikurim. As the first produce grows, STOP and Remember that THIS is NOT Yours, and it is NOT from YOUR doing. Make the trip out to Hashem’s House and give it to His servants and recognize everything’s proper origins and place. Now with this special Mitzvah we will remember that G-d is large and in charge of everything. 
GM’ Shabbos [104 קד (“KoDe”)] Describes the Jewish Alphabet letters and the significance of their shapes ect… The message of Samech – 60 – is that it is a completely enclosed circle. People get ‘stuck’ in it and cannot get out of their trapped states/mindsets. They go around and around while only seeing natural creation and nothing beyond/past it. The first Samech ever in the Torah (which signifies its root meaning) is in the word Soveiv “goes around (and around…).” There are 6 days of ‘natural’ creation, but we have to take the Samech out of Bikurim and see past to the 7th day of Shabbos. Bikurim is about seeing beyond the 60, which is why it is one OUT of every 60 get brought, to get ourselves out of that mindset.
R’ Osher Chaim Levene: The proportion of 1/60 represents the lowest denomination that still retains a resemblance to and the slightest of connections with the entity to which it is compared [GM’ Brachos 57b: dreams 1/60 of prophecy, sleep 1/60 of death, fire 1/60 of Gehenom, honey 1/60 of Manna, & Shabbos 1/60 Olam Haba (and this is the same idea reflected in non-Kosher food nullifications of 1/60)]. Therefore, even while being involved in the work of ’sixty’ we have to be able to take a little bit out of it and connect with the Higher Reality.
The number for representing the Bikurim Mitzvah and this idea is drawn from the word טֶּ֖נֶא (basket). When looking at a woven basket from afar, it appears as one whole solid unit. But, when we take time to come real close and study it intently, we are able to perceive that it has many holes through which light can shine through. It is our duty to use Bikurim to see G-d’s light through the worldly natural basket instead of being stuck inside the cyclical Samech perception.
 
Derech Hashem (Ramchal): A soul wants to stay in Heaven. After it is thrown down to the ground, it is Prayer (now-a-days) that prevents it from sinking too low. By asking G-d for what we need, and TALKING to Him throughout the day, this is how and why Prayer takes the place of (our missing) Bikurim. We can accomplish the same goals of breaking false realities/perceptions by maintaining a true constant connection with Hashem. This way we remind ourselves Who is surrounding us, creating us, and constantly supporting us. The most important task we have is Deveikus to Hashem, and as R’ Nachman describes, it is accomplished through Hisbodidus (talking alone to Hashem every single day to maintain that special connection).
 
May we all continually see through the holes in our baskets and recognize who is truly growing our fruits. When we call on G-d to be the obvious frontrunner in our lives, He will surely answer with the coming of Moshiach and the Third Beis Hamikdash, speedily in our days. Amen.

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