In this week’s Parsha, Ki Tavo, we are given the text that the person bringing bikkurim, the first fruit, must recite. Read this recitation in Chapter 26 verses 3-10 and you will notice that it is a short history lesson. Why is this moment of offering first fruits, of all times, an appropriate time to be recounting history: how we got to Eretz Canaan and what we’ve been through as a people?
In this week’s parsha, Parshat Shoftim, we learn that during a war, it is prohibited to destroy any of the city’s fruit-bearing trees. Included in this commandment is the famous expression (Deut. 20:19) “Ki haadam etz hasadeh,” sometimes translated as “for the tree of the field is man’s life.”
At the end of this week’s parsha, we have a very intriguing mitzvah referred to as “eglah arufah,” a term which means “baby calf who is killed at the back of its neck.”
In this week’s parsha, Parshat Devarim, Moshe starts his final speech to the Children of Israel. He reminds the people that God “multiplied you, and behold, you are today as the stars of the heavens in abundance.” This is a fulfillment of the promise God had made to Abraham back in Parshat Lech Lecha that his descendents would be as numerous as the stars of the heaven. Most kids love stars and glitter so this is a chance to do any variation of a star craft.
In this week’s parsha, Parsha Ki Tetze, there are over 70 mitzvot listed! One of the most interesting of the mitzvoth is referred to in Hebrew as “Shiluah Haken,” meaning “sending away the mother bird.” The text is as follows: