Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu met on Sunday with children from the Valley of Springs (Emek Hamaayanot) Regional Council ahead of the holiday of Shavuot, which begins at sundown on Tuesday.
The children brought the Prime Minister a basket of locally grown fruits, in memory of the Biblical commandment for farmers to bring the "first fruits" (bikurim in Hebrew) to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. "First fruits" had to be one of the seven species that the Bible lists as Israel's best crops - wheat, barley, grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives and dates and each year's "first fruits" would be brought to the Temple from the holiday of Shavuot on. Farmers would go to their orchards early in the season and mark the first fruits that appeared on the trees so that once they ripened, they could be brought to the Temple, accompanied by joyful song and music in gratitude for the harvest.
Prime Minister Netanyahu told the children, "I thank you for the basket of first fruits and I wish you and all Israelis a happy Shavuot. The first fruits are a symbol of growth, development and renewal; may all our efforts bear fruit."
The first fruits were from a new, educational section of a 70-year-old experimental farm in the Valley of Springs Regional Council area that was developed in order to preserve local children's and residents' links to the soil and the achievements of both the experimental farm and local farmers.
In the video below (in Hebrew), Netanyahu is seen with the children as they explain about the fruits they have brought.