Shabbat Parashat Ki Tavo| 5763
Ki Tavo | | 1/13/2002
Our parasha opens with the mitzva of bikurim (first fruit) and determines that the obligation to bring them to Hashem begins “when you come to the Land… and conquer and settle it” (Devarim 26:1). Rashi explains that this comes to teach us that the mitzva of bikurim did not begin until the land was conquered and divided among the tribes. We should devote some thought to the possible alternatives for the beginning of the mitzva, had the Torah not specified conquest and settlement.
As the Yamim Noraim approach, we look for ways to improve our standing before the Divine Judge. We are told that he who goes beyond his obligations in dealing with his fellow man receives similarly beneficial treatment from Above (see Rosh Hashana 17a). In this light, we thought it was appropriate to discuss different levels of extra-judicial obligations and their terminology.
We have seen that the territory of Eretz Yisrael, listed in Parashat Masei in a halachic context, is smaller than that mentioned in Brit Bein Habetarim and elsewhere. Although the broad boundaries extend to the Euphrates River in the North, most opinions rule that King David’s conquests in that area were not halachically valid, because he shouldn’t have conquered lands outside Eretz Yisrael before all of Eretz Yisrael proper was conquered.
This edition of Hemdat Yamim is
A weekly divrei Torah leaflet: A Glimpse at the Parasha, Ask the Rabbi, From the writings of Harav Avraham Yitzchak Hakohen Kook, zt”l, Pninat Mishpat (Jewish Monetary Law).