Parshat Ki Tavo In Memory of Shimshon Ben Shalom
(א) וְהָיָה֙ כִּֽי־תָב֣וֹא אֶל־הָאָ֔רֶץ אֲשֶׁר֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לְךָ֖ נַחֲלָ֑ה וִֽירִשְׁתָּ֖הּ וְיָשַׁ֥בְתָּ בָּֽהּ׃ (ב) וְלָקַחְתָּ֞ מֵרֵאשִׁ֣ית ׀ כׇּל־פְּרִ֣י הָאֲדָמָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר תָּבִ֧יא מֵֽאַרְצְךָ֛ אֲשֶׁ֨ר יְהֹוָ֧ה אֱלֹהֶ֛יךָ נֹתֵ֥ן לָ֖ךְ וְשַׂמְתָּ֣ בַטֶּ֑נֶא וְהָֽלַכְתָּ֙ אֶל־הַמָּק֔וֹם אֲשֶׁ֤ר יִבְחַר֙ יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ לְשַׁכֵּ֥ן שְׁמ֖וֹ שָֽׁם׃
(1) When you enter the land that your God יהוה is giving you as a heritage, and you possess it and settle in it, (2) you shall take some of every first fruit of the soil, which you harvest from the land that your God יהוה is giving you, put it in a basket and go to the place where your God יהוה will choose to establish the divine name.

Regarding this first fruit of the soil (called Reishit), let us look at the below Medrash -

אֵין רֵאשִׁית אֶלָּא בִּכּוּרִים, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (שמות כג, יט): רֵאשִׁית בִּכּוּרֵי אַדְמָתְךָ וגו'.

When we see the word Reishit, it is talking about your first fruits, as it says (Exodus 23:19): "The beginning (Reishit) of the fruits of the land."

However, we all see another interpreation in the Medrash -

וְהַתּוֹרָה אָמְרָה בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים. וְאֵין רֵאשִׁית אֶלָּא תּוֹרָה, הֵיאַךְ מָה דְּאַתְּ אָמַר (משלי ח, כב): ה' קָנָנִי רֵאשִׁית דַּרְכּוֹ.

"Through the Reishis, Hashem created [the heavens and the earth]," and Reishis means Torah, as it says in the book of Proverbs -

(כב) יְֽהֹוָ֗ה קָ֭נָנִי רֵאשִׁ֣ית דַּרְכּ֑וֹ קֶ֖דֶם מִפְעָלָ֣יו מֵאָֽז׃

(22) “The LORD created me at the beginning (Reishit) of His course as the first of His works of old."

If both Torah and first fruit offerings are both called Reishit.. we must understand what connection they have to each other, and what we can learn from that connection between them.

And we can say, that the intention here can be learned from the following teaching from the sages -

כׇּל הַמֵּבִיא דּוֹרוֹן לְתַלְמִיד חָכָם כְּאִילּוּ מַקְרִיב בִּכּוּרִים

Whoever brings a gift to a Torah scholar, it is as though he has presented first fruits.

So we see that someone who helps support someone who is learning Torah, it is as if he/she is bringing the first fruits in Temple times! Which is why we can call the first fruits by the name Reishit, since the Torah is called Reishit and included in that are the people that study the Torah, and we know that supporters of Torah are as if they are learning it themselves, and can also be called Reishit.

And behold, just like Torah and the first fruits are called Reishit, so too the children of Israel are called Reishit! As is taught by the sages of Israel -

אָמַר רַבִּי בֶּרֶכְיָה שָׁמַיִם וָאָרֶץ לֹא נִבְרְאוּ אֶלָּא בִּזְכוּת יִשְׂרָאֵל, דִּכְתִיב (בראשית א, א): בְּרֵאשִׁית בָּרָא אֱלֹהִים, וְאֵין רֵאשִׁית אֶלָּא יִשְׂרָאֵל

Rebbe Berchaya says, the heavens and the earth were only created in the merit of Israel, as its written - "In the beginning (Bereishit) G-D created"And there is no (Reishit) outside of Israel, as we can see below -

(ג) קֹ֤דֶשׁ יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ לַיהֹוָ֔ה רֵאשִׁ֖ית תְּבוּאָתֹ֑ה כׇּל־אֹכְלָ֣יו יֶאְשָׁ֔מוּ רָעָ֛ה תָּבֹ֥א אֲלֵיהֶ֖ם נְאֻם־יְהֹוָֽה׃ {פ}

(3) Israel was holy to the LORD, The first fruits (Reishit) of His harvest. All who ate of it were held guilty; Disaster befell them —declares the LORD.

Based on this, we can give a lovely reason why the Torah beginnings with an enlarged letter Bet, as the Hebrew letter Bet can is actually a three letter acronym made up of the letters Bet בְּ, Yud י, and Tav ת - which stand for the three words -

Bikurim - first fruits

Yisrael - Israel

Torah - the Torah

This alludes to the reality that everyone from Israel must either be a Yissachar or Zevulun, which is either learning Torah, or supporting those that learn Torah, and both of those categories are called Reishit, as the study of Torah and the supporting of the study of Torah is both called Reishit, because we already know that supporting Torah study, is as if you are learning it yourself!