Our discussion today is about the obligation of hakaras hatov. In the hierarchy of all mitzvos, where does hakaras hatov stand? How important is it? What would you say?
In this week’s parshah, the Torah teaches us about the mitzvah of bikurim. The Torah tells us that when you plant fruit trees in Eretz Yisrael, you’re supposed to bring the first of the growth to the Beis Hamikdash, to be given to the kohanim. These first fruits are unique because they’re brought to the kohen in the Beis Hamikdash, but they’re not offered on the mizbeach. They’re given to the kohen. The Torah tells us the very great procedure that we have to do. There’s a whole meseches Bikurim that talks about the process of how you have to tie a string around the first fruit that emerge, and when they ripen you have to put them in a basket and then you have to march to Yerushalayim with pomp. A most tremendous mitzvah!