Time for a Shazak Bikkurim Scenario:
It all begins with a farmer in the Land of Israel, let’s call him Farmer Jones – no that doesn’t work, let’s call him Farmer Ephraim. That works! Farmer Efraim works soooo very hard in his field, planting, watering, and pruning. He can’t wait to see his produce finally ripen. Every day he goes down to the field to inspect.
And then one day…
“Oh my! Baruch HaShem!” Farmer Ephraim exclaims. “The very first produce of the Shivas HaMinim has ripened. I am sooooo excited.”
So very excited that Farmer Ephraim starts to sing!
“Bikkurim, Bikkurim, What a great Mitzvah…! A Mitzvah, a Mitzvah, it’s all for HaShem!” (pretend you see musical notes, and pretend that Farmer Ephraim, who sings off-key, is a great singer.)
…After a while…
“Now, let me take a look. Is it wheat? No. Barley? No. A date? No. A grape? No. A pomegranate? No. An olive? No. So, what is it? Let me take a closer look… it’s a FIG! I would just love to sink my teeth into that delicious, nutritious, GMO free, organic, home-grown fig.”
But instead Farmer Ephraim ties a string around the fig, and declares:
“This fig will be Bikkurim – a special gift for the Kohen who serves HaShem in the Beis HaMikdash.”
Indeed, Farmer Ephraim understands that the produce of his field is a miracle! Only HaShem can send rain and make the sun shine, so food can grow from a tiny, little seed.
Farmer Ephraim waits until the other Shivas HaMinim in his field have fully ripened so he can take all of them to the Beis HaMikdash.
Time passes… tick tock, tick, tock… and finally the holiday of Shavuos, the first opportunity to bring Bikkurim, is around the corner.
“The time has come! It’s time to journey to Yerushalayim with our Bikkurim gift!”
Even the trip to the Beis HaMikdash was special. Jewish farmers from the area – as many as possible – would gather together with their Bikkurim produce in the early morning hours, as they sang songs of praise to HaShem. These Jewish farmers were taking their first and finest produce and were ready to donate it to the workers of HaShem’s Beis HaMikdash – the Kohanim.
One can only imagine how amazing this “Bikkurim parade” was! It was led by an ox whose horns were decorated with gold and silver (!), and its head was crowned with olive branches. There were musicians playing the flute. Even the baskets containing the produce were special – beautifully woven wicker baskets… and for those who could afford them it was baskets of silver and gold. All the farmers were super excited!
“Look at all the people welcoming us!” they exclaimed when they reached Yerushalayim.
The Bikkurim procession was greeted and welcomed by all sorts of people in Jerusalem – including the Kohanim and Levi’im, and sometimes even the king was part of this welcoming committee! Can you imagine?!