First Fruits (Bikurim)


How can the mitzvah of Bikkurim, the commandment to bring one’s first fruits to the Temple, enrich the way we experience our lives? According to the Mishna, Shavuot is the season opener for Bikkurim. This ritual is accompanied by a prayer that links the new fruits offering to an acknowledgment of and appreciation for God’s hand in bringing the Jewish people to the land of Israel. Why is that? Using the text of the Bikkurim prayer as a jumping off point, learners will explore the value of thankfulness, the variety of ways gratitude can be expressed, and discuss the ways in which it impacts both the person who is expressing gratitude as well as the receiver. (See attached thank you template below.) Creative learning activities such as listening to an Israeli song called Toda by Uzi Hitman (see further study section) and recording their reactions to the song (see attached todah template below) are featured in this resource.

The learner will:

  1. Understand how gratitude enriches our lives

  2. Know what the Bikkurim offering is, what prayer was recited upon presenting it, and the connection to Shavuot

To be able to write three things for which they are personally thankful in their lives, and three things for which they think all people might want to express gratitude.

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

  4. Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

  5. A further study option/s to related materials on the JEBD site or to external links

computer with speakers

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