Recognition – In Memoriam of Mr. David M. Warren (Menachem Dovid ben Harav Yosef Z’L)
“When you enter the land that your G-d has given to you, as an inheritance, and you acquire it, and dwell in it... take of the first fruits... put them in a basket and go to the place of your G-d's choosing.” (Deuteronomy 26:1-3)
This Commandment was known as the Mitzvah of Bikurim.
The Mitzvah of Bikurim, bringing of the First Fruits, calls for each Jew to make a proclamation that only because G-d took us out of Egyptian bondage and gave us this land (Israel) flowing with milk and honey do we have success and have sustenance. The Kohen (Priest) would then accept the baskets of the first fruits. (Deuteronomy 26:4-12)
The Sefer HaChinuch (Mitzvah 606; published 13th Century Spain, Author Unknown) comments that, after praising G-d for saving and sustaining us, the individual would pray for continuing success. The proclamation and prayer are connected. Only after recognizing that everything comes directly from G-d, can we have a special relationship with G-d and beseech “our Father, our King” for continued success.
Bitachon BaHashem (Trust in G-d) involves not just knowing that G-d is the only source of sustenance but also that each individual has a personal relationship with the Creator and He alone has the ability to help us. The Mitzvah of Bikurim – bringing of the First Fruits – is a Mitzvah that makes us bear testimony to G-d's intimate relationship with every Jew, just as G-d had with our forefathers when taking us out of Egypt.
The Chovos Halevavos (Duties of the Heart; Translated to Hebrew by Judah ben Tibbon; 1161-1180) in the Gate of Bitachon (Trust), Chapter 3, describes five essential prerequisites for reaching complete Bitachon BaHashem (Trust in G-d). Part of the first prerequisite is the realization that it is not in the hands of others to either help or hurt a person without permission from G-d. If a person believes there are other forces or intermediaries able to benefit an individual, it would be impossible to establish a proper relationship with G-d. Help may come through others but all help comes from G-d. The first step towards building trust in G-d is to understand that we each have a special relationship with Hashem, “our Father, our King”, and that He is our sole source of blessing and sustenance.