Deuteronomy Chapter 26

1And it will be, when you come into the land which the Lord, your God, gives you for an inheritance, and you possess it and settle in it,   אוְהָיָה֙ כִּֽי־תָב֣וֹא אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁר֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לְךָ֖ נַֽחֲלָ֑ה וִֽירִשְׁתָּ֖הּ וְיָשַׁ֥בְתָּ בָּֽהּ:
And it will be, when you come… and you possess it and settle in it: This [verse, which is immediately followed by the commandment of bringing the firstfruits,] teaches us that they were not obligated [to bring] “firstfruits” until they conquered the Land and divided it. - [Kid. 37b]   והיה כי תבוא וירשתה וישבת בה: מגיד שלא נתחייבו בבכורים עד שכבשו את הארץ וחלקוה:
2that you shall take of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you will bring from your land, which the Lord, your God, is giving you. And you shall put [them] into a basket and go to the place which the Lord, your God, will choose to have His Name dwell there.   בוְלָֽקַחְתָּ֞ מֵֽרֵאשִׁ֣ית | כָּל־פְּרִ֣י הָֽאֲדָמָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר תָּבִ֧יא מֵֽאַרְצְךָ֛ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יְהֹוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָ֖ךְ וְשַׂמְתָּ֣ בַטֶּ֑נֶא וְהָֽלַכְתָּ֙ אֶל־הַמָּק֔וֹם אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִבְחַר֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לְשַׁכֵּ֥ן שְׁמ֖וֹ שָֽׁם:
of the first: but not all the first, because not all fruits are subject to [the mitzvah of] “firstfruits”-only the seven species [for which the land of Israel is noted]. Here, in our verse, it says the word אֶרֶץ, “land,” and there [in the verse describing the praise of Eretz Israel], it says, “A land (אֶרֶץ) of wheat and barley, vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of oil-producing olives and honey” (Deut. 8:8). Just as the earlier verse (Deut. 8:8) is referring to the seven species through which Eretz Israel is praised, here too, [the verse is dealing with] the praise of the Land. [Rashi proceeds to explain two expressions in Deut. 8:8, which are relevant to the mitzvah of firstfruits, in light of the connection taught by our Rabbis above:] “Oil-producing olives” [refers to] “אֲגוּרִי olives,” [see Sifrei 26:2, meaning superior quality] olives that retain their oil, keeping it gathered (אָגוּר) [as it were] inside it. [Hence, it is the superior fruits which must be brought here]. — [Ber. 39a] [And in the same verse (Deut. 8:8):] “honey”-that is the honey of dates. — [Sifrei 26:2]   מראשית: ולא כל ראשית, שאין כל הפירות חייבין בבכורים אלא שבעת המינין בלבד. נאמר כאן ארץ, ונאמר להלן (לעיל ח, ח) ארץ חטה ושעורה וגו', מה להלן משבעת המינים שנשתבחה בהם ארץ ישראל, אף כאן שבח ארץ ישראל שהן שבעה מינין זית שמן זית אגורי ששמנו אגור בתוכו ודבש הוא דבש תמרים:
of the first [of all the fruit]: [What is the process of taking these fruits?] A man goes down into his field and sees a fig that has ripened. He winds a reed around it for a sign and declares:“This is the firstfruit (בִּכּוּרִים).” - [Mishnah Bikkurim 3:1]   מראשית: אדם יורד לתוך שדהו ורואה תאנה שבכרה כורך עליה גמי לסימן ואומר הרי זו בכורים:
3And you shall come to the kohen who will be [serving] in those days, and say to him, "I declare this day to the Lord, your God, that I have come to the land which the Lord swore to our forefathers to give us."   גוּבָאתָ֙ אֶל־הַכֹּהֵ֔ן אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִֽהְיֶ֖ה בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֑ם וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֣ אֵלָ֗יו הִגַּ֤דְתִּי הַיּוֹם֙ לַֽיהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ כִּי־בָ֨אתִי֙ אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁ֨ר נִשְׁבַּ֧ע יְהֹוָ֛ה לַֽאֲבֹתֵ֖ינוּ לָ֥תֶת לָֽנוּ:
who will be [serving] in those days: You have only the kohen in your days, whatever he is [and although he may not be as wise or holy as those of previous generations, you are obliged to address him with the respect due to his office as an agent of God]. — [Sifrei 26:3]   אשר יהיה בימים ההם: אין לך אלא כהן שבימיך, כמו שהוא:
and say to him: that you are not ungrateful [for all that God has done for you].   ואמרת אליו: שאינך כפוי טובה:
I declare this day: [The expression,“this day,” teaches us that the one who brings the firstfruits must make this declaration] once a year, and not twice [even though he may return with more firstfruits later that same year]. — [Sifrei 26:3]   הגדתי היום: פעם אחת בשנה ולא שתי פעמים:
4And the kohen will take the basket from your hand, laying it before the altar of the Lord, your God.   דוְלָקַ֧ח הַכֹּהֵ֛ן הַטֶּ֖נֶא מִיָּדֶ֑ךָ וְהִ֨נִּיח֔וֹ לִפְנֵ֕י מִזְבַּ֖ח יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ:
And the kohen shall take the basket from your hand: in order to wave it. [How so?] The kohen places his hand under [the basket, beneath the level of] the owner’s hand [which is grasping the basket at the top, by its rim] (Sukk. 47b), and [in this position,] waves [the basket together with its owner].   ולקח הכהן הטנא מידך: להניף אותו. כהן מניח ידו תחת יד הבעלים ומניף:
5And you shall call out and say before the Lord, your God, "An Aramean [sought to] destroy my forefather, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there with a small number of people, and there, he became a great, mighty, and numerous nation.   הוְעָנִ֨יתָ וְאָֽמַרְתָּ֜ לִפְנֵ֣י | יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֗יךָ אֲרַמִּי֙ אֹבֵ֣ד אָבִ֔י וַיֵּ֣רֶד מִצְרַ֔יְמָה וַיָּ֥גָר שָׁ֖ם בִּמְתֵ֣י מְעָ֑ט וַֽיְהִי־שָׁ֕ם לְג֥וֹי גָּד֖וֹל עָצ֥וּם וָרָֽב:
And you shall call out: Heb. וְעָנִית [Usually meaning to “respond.” However, in this context, this word] denotes the raising of the voice. — [Sotah 32b]   וענית: לשון הרמת קול:
An Aramean [sought to] destroy my forefather: [The declarer] mentions [here] the kind deeds of the Omnipresent [by stating]:“An Aramean [sought to] destroy my forefather.” That is, Laban, when he pursued Jacob, sought to uproot [i.e., annihilate] all [the Jews], and since he intended to do so, the Omnipresent considered it as though he had actually done it (Sifrei 26:5), for [regarding] the pagan nations of the world, the Holy One, Blessed is He, considers the [mere] intention [of an evil deed] as [being equivalent to] the actual perpetration [of the deed itself]. — [Yerushalmi Pe’ah 1:1 at end]   ארמי אבד אבי: מזכיר חסדי המקום ארמי אובד אבי, לבן בקש לעקור את הכל, כשרדף אחר יעקב. ובשביל שחשב לעשות, חשב לו המקום כאלו עשה, שאומות העולם חושב להם הקב"ה מחשבה [רעה] כמעשה:
who then went down to Egypt: And [apart from Laban,] still others came upon us to annihilate us, for after this, Jacob went down to Egypt [“and the Egyptians treated us cruelly…”].   וירד מצרימה: ועוד אחרים באו עלינו לכלותנו, שאחרי זאת ירד יעקב למצרים:
with a small number of people: [Namely,] seventy persons. — [Sifrei 26: 5; see Gen. 46:27]   במתי מעט: בשבעים נפש:
6And the Egyptians treated us cruelly and afflicted us, and they imposed hard labor upon us.   ווַיָּרֵ֧עוּ אֹתָ֛נוּ הַמִּצְרִ֖ים וַיְעַנּ֑וּנוּ וַיִּתְּנ֥וּ עָלֵ֖ינוּ עֲבֹדָ֥ה קָשָֽׁה:
7So we cried out to the Lord, God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression.   זוַנִּצְעַ֕ק אֶל־יְהֹוָ֖ה אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲבֹתֵ֑ינוּ וַיִּשְׁמַ֤ע יְהֹוָה֙ אֶת־קֹלֵ֔נוּ וַיַּ֧רְא אֶת־עָנְיֵ֛נוּ וְאֶת־עֲמָלֵ֖נוּ וְאֶת־לַֽחֲצֵֽנוּ:
8And the Lord brought us out from Egypt with a strong hand and with an outstretched arm, with great awe, and with signs and wonders.   חוַיּֽוֹצִאֵ֤נוּ יְהֹוָה֙ מִמִּצְרַ֔יִם בְּיָ֤ד חֲזָקָה֙ וּבִזְרֹ֣עַ נְטוּיָ֔ה וּבְמֹרָ֖א גָּדֹ֑ל וּבְאֹת֖וֹת וּבְמֹֽפְתִֽים:
9And He brought us to this place, and He gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey.   טוַיְבִאֵ֖נוּ אֶל־הַמָּק֣וֹם הַזֶּ֑ה וַיִּתֶּן־לָ֨נוּ֙ אֶת־הָאָ֣רֶץ הַזֹּ֔את אֶ֛רֶץ זָבַ֥ת חָלָ֖ב וּדְבָֽשׁ:
to this place: meaning the Temple. — [Sifrei 26:9] [The expression הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶה must refer specifically to the Temple and not to the Land of Israel in general, because the following clause:]   אל המקום הזה: זה בית המקדש:
and He gave us this land: [is to be understood] literally.   ויתן לנו את הארץ: כמשמעו:
10And now, behold, I have brought the first of the fruit of the ground which you, O Lord, have given to me." Then, you shall lay it before the Lord, your God, and prostrate yourself before the Lord, your God.   יוְעַתָּ֗ה הִנֵּ֤ה הֵבֵ֨אתִי֙ אֶת־רֵאשִׁית֙ פְּרִ֣י הָֽאֲדָמָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַ֥תָּה לִּ֖י יְהֹוָ֑ה וְהִנַּחְתּ֗וֹ לִפְנֵי֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ וְהִשְׁתַּֽחֲוִ֔יתָ לִפְנֵ֖י יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶֽיךָ:
Then, you shall lay: [The repetition of the expressions וְהִנִּיחוֹ (verse 4) and here, וְהִנַּחְתּוֹ] teaches us [that there were two procedures involving laying the hands on the basket and waving it, namely] that [the owner] takes [the basket] after the kohen has [completed] waving it; [the owner subsequently] grasps it in his hand during his declaration, and then repeats the waving procedure.   והנחתו: מגיד שנוטלו אחר הנחת הכהן ואוחזו בידו כשהוא קורא, וחוזר ומניף:
11Then, you shall rejoice with all the good that the Lord, your God, has granted you and your household you, the Levite, and the stranger who is among you.   יאוְשָֽׂמַחְתָּ֣ בְכָל־הַטּ֗וֹב אֲשֶׁ֧ר נָֽתַן־לְךָ֛ יְהֹוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֶ֖יךָ וּלְבֵיתֶ֑ךָ אַתָּה֙ וְהַלֵּוִ֔י וְהַגֵּ֖ר אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּקִרְבֶּֽךָ:
And you shall rejoice with all the good: From here, [our Rabbis] said that the firstfruits declaration is recited only at the time of “rejoicing,” namely, from Shavuoth until Sukkoth, for [then] a person gathers in his grain, fruit, wine and oil [over which he rejoices]. However, from Sukkoth and onwards, he must bring [his firstfruits to the Temple], but he does not recite the declaration. - [Pes. 36b]   ושמחת בכל הטוב: מכאן אמרו אין קורין מקרא בכורים אלא בזמן שמחה מעצרת ועד החג, שאדם מלקט תבואתו ופירותיו ויינו ושמנו, אבל מהחג ואילך מביא ואינו קורא:
you, the Levite: [From here, we learn that] the Levite is also obligated in [the mitzvah of bringing] firstfruits if they planted [trees] within their [forty-eight] cities. [Outside of these cities, they had no land.]   אתה והלוי: אף הלוי חייב בבכורים אם נטעו בתוך עריהם:
and the stranger who is among you: [I.e., the proselyte.] He brings [his firstfruits], but he does not recite the declaration, since he cannot say “to our fathers” [in the introduction to the declaration (verse 3): “I have come to the land which the Lord swore to our forefathers to give us”]. — [Mishnah Bikkurim 1:4]   והגר אשר בקרבך: (שם מכות יט) מביא ואינו קורא, שאינו יכול לומר לאבותינו: