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 Parshat  Ki-Tavo

  By Chana Engel  

I watched as my daughter tidied the kitchen,

I smiled, yes she made me proud.

'How responsible, considerate,' I thought to myself,

But I didn’t say anything aloud.


I had nothing to wear to an upcoming wedding,

So my cousin lent me an outfit.

I thanked her profusely for going out of her way,

But I didn’t do anything about it.


My neighbour offered to buy some groceries for me,

I expressed my appreciation outright.

And the next time I went shopping, I took her list as well,

I think I’m finally getting this right.


In the temple era, when the first fruits grew,

The farmers would collect some of them.

They picked out the best, put them in a basket,

To bring as a gift to Hashem.


It’s the mitzvah of bikkurim, to bring the first fruits,

To show some appreciation.

Yes you planted and harvested, toiled and reaped,

But ultimately it’s all G‑d’s creation.


It’s a skill to acknowledge the source of all good,

Recognise success as a blessing.

And thank Him a little, give Him back a share,

That’s the art of appreciation.


Bringing bikkurim is a twofold process,

There's a verbal thanking declaration,

And the gift itself, gratitude hands on,

Expressed in both speech and action.


Because gratitude is more than just basic manners,

Not just a non-committal 'thank you'.

It’s a commitment to invest, give something back,

Prove your appreciation is true.


Being thankful is good, expressing it is better,

Actually meaning it is great.

But returning the favour, doing something real,

Shows a gratitude that actually permeates.


So the next time someone lends you a hand,

Try thanking them with your whole heart.

And share some of your fruits, maybe even your best,

Slowly you'll master the art.


And if we get the ball rolling, with this gratitude game,

Doing something - the truest Thank you.

Not only will you be lending some hands,

The favours will start coming back to you.



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