Friday Candle Lighting: 6:56 PM
Shabbat Ends: 7:51 PM
“You will come to whoever is the kohen in those days and you will say to him…” (26:3)
A blisteringly hot Wednesday.
Suddenly there’s a power outage. A visit from the electrician reveals the worst: “It’s the compressor in your A/C. You need a new one. Trouble is, the manufacturer can only get it here next Tuesday.”
“But what are we going to do on Shabbat?”
“Does your Shabbat table fit in the fridge? Listen, I think I can get you a new compressor before Shabbat. I’ll do my best.”
“You’re a tzaddik!”
And sure enough, by Thursday lunchtime the new compressor is in place and the house returns to its regular cool temperature.
On Friday afternoon the electrician’s phone rings. He notes the caller ID — it’s the people with the new compressor.
“Trouble,” he thinks to himself as he answers the phone.
“We just wanted to call you and thank you so much for fixing our air conditioner. You’ve really made our Shabbat. Thank you so much! Shabbat Shalom!”
Gratitude should never remain implicit. It should be expressed.
In this week’s portion, the Torah instructs us to give bikkurim — the first fruits — to the kohen. However, it’s not enough just to give them.
“You will come to whoever is the kohen in those days and you shall say to him.…” Rashi comments on the phrase “and you shall say to him” — “because you are not an ingrate.” In other words, what prevents a person from being an ingrate is the verbalization of his gratitude. Anything less is considered lacking.