In the time of the Beis Hamikdash when a farmer's first fruits of the season would ripen, he would mark them with a string and later cut them and bring them up to Yerushalayim in great ceremony. This is the mitzvah of Hava'as Bikurim - "The Bringing of the First Fruits".
When he entered the Beis Hamikdash he would present a basket of his first fruits to the Kohein and read the very touching proclamation spelled out at the beginning of this week's sedrah. Rashi explains the thought behind this proclamation as a way of showing gratitude.
The mishnah in meseches Bikurim teaches that while the farmer may make a shliach- a messenger/proxy- to bring the fruits up to Yerushalayim, nevertheless the shliach cannot read the proclomation on his behalf.
There is a valuable lesson that is derived from this. When it comes to saying "Thank You" you have to do it yourself. The act of thanking is incomplete unless a person is moved enough to use his own power of speech and say it for himself.
This lesson is echoed in another area of our Torah. When the Shemoneh Esrei was instituted by the Rabbis of the "Great Assembly" they knew that there would always be some people who need to hear it from the Chazan. And there was born the Chazaras Hashatz- the "Chazan's Repetition". Not withstanding the fact that the Chazan is reciting all eighteen brachos aloud the Chazal instituted that the Modim - the brachah of thanks, be recited by the congregation again in tandem with the Chazan.
Here too we see the importance of not utilizing a shliach, but personally thanking Hashem. This is the only meaningful way to do it.
This in mind, let us prepare ourselves for the Yomim Noraim ahead. In our Tefilos we will perform the confession called Viduy - which is related to the word Hoda'ah -to thank. Confessing our aveiros is also something that needs to be done by ourselves. Only by verbalizing our sins with our own mouths will we come to the true realization that we were wrong, much the same way that by personally saying "thank you" we are brought to recognize our true debt of graditude.
Posted By Dovi milstein to KollelH blog at 8/29/2010 11:29:00 PM
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