Ki Tavo 2023


By Rabbi Moshe Goodman, Kollel Ohr Shlomo, Hebron

This parsha opens with a passage that discusses the Bikurim/First Fruits ceremony. This painting depicts the pilgrimage to the Temple with these first fruits, as can be seen by the people carrying baskets of fruits and a large ox among them, as described in the mishna of tractate Bikurim. We see many sheep accompanying this pilgrimage, since the Torah commands one to bring an animal sacrifice when making pilgrimage to the Temple.
We see a fire in the image of a lion descending from the heavens towards the altar. This follows perfectly with our Sages’ description of a fire in the image of a lion descending from the heavens upon the altar as a sign fom Heaven that the sacrifice upon the altar was received in satisfaction before Hashem [when the sacrifice was not satisfactory an image of a dog appeared]. We see seven hasidim to the left of the Temple flying in the air. There are birds flying/perching on the [the “basket” upon the] back of one of these hasidim. These may resemble an eagle according to our Sages, who say that an eagle protects its young by carrying them on its back. Therefore, interestingly, in this painting we see the four figures of the Chariot of Yehezkel, I.e the lion, the ox, the eagle, and the human. These figures, found with the resting of the Holy Presence, are befitting to be found around the Temple, focal point of the Holy Presence. Also in this painting we see an expression of solid, vegetation, animal, and human, considered by the Kabbalists to correspond to the four worlds of Asiah, Yetzira, Briah, and Atzilut, respectively.
Above the Temple we see the King Mashiach exclaiming: “Humble ones [referring to Israel] the time of your redemption has come!” This is in accordance to the teaching of our Sages that such will be at the time of the redemption.
The image of the Mashiach with the first fruits, brought from the Holy Land to the Temple, together seem to display how the the Messianic era grows from the renewed rooting of our People in the Holy Land towards the rebuilding of the Temple. Hebron, Beacon of the Holy Land, is pivotal in this process!