Parshas Ki Savo
“And you shall call out and say before Hashem your G-d…” (Devarim 26:5)
It is a positive commandment that at the time when we bring the fruit of Bikkurim (the first fruit to ripen) to the temple that one must read over then the verses which are mentioned in the Torah in the paragraph of Bikkurim. They start with “Arami oved avi” and continue until “Hineh heiveisi es raishis peri ha’adamh asher nasata li Hashem”. About this it says “And you shall call out and say before Hashem your G-d…”.
Amongst the roots of this commandment are that since a person arouses his thoughts and describes truth in his heart with the power of the words of his mouth, it follows that when Hashem has been kind to him and has blessed him and his land that it has produced fruit and he has merited to bring them to the temple which is the house of our G-d, it is fitting that he should arouse his heart with the words of his mouth and to consider that it all reached him from the Master of the world and he must tell over His kindness to himself in particular and to the entire nation in general. Because of this he commences mentioning our forefather Ya’akov who was saved by Hashem from the hands of Lavan, follows on by mentioning our enslavement at the hands of the Egyptians and Hashem’s having saved us and after all of this praise he beseeches Hashem to make the blessing become permanent and through the arousing of his soul to praise Hashem and His kindness, he merits to be blessed. It is for this reason that Hashem commanded us to do this as He wishes kindness.
Amongst the laws of this commandment are that there is no obligation to read the “verses of Bikkurim” unless the land actually belongs to him, as in the verses he must say “Min ha’adamh asher nasata li” (from the land which You gave to me), and if the land is not his, he is unable to say this. It follows that women do not say these verses, as they did not receive a portion in the land.
From all of these ideas we must learn so that when we pray and supplicate before Hashem that we should be careful and accurate in the wording that we say, not to say things before Hashem unless they are completely accurate.
This commandment applies when the temple was standing. It only applies in Eretz Yisrael to men and not to women as already mentioned above. One who brings Bikkurim and does not read the correct verses over them has transgressed this commandment.