Parshas Ki Savo begins with the mitzvah of Bikkurim. Every year, everyone would come to Yerushalayim with the first produce to sprout in their fields. They came to the Beis Hamikdash, presented their fruits to the Kohen, and thanked Hashem for their harvest. The time of Bikkurim was a special time in Yerushalayim as the nation as a whole celebrated the harvest, the Beis Hamikdash, and their relationship with Hashem. While this mitzvah only applied to produce grown in Eretz Yisrael, the connection of the mitzvah to the land runs even deeper. Out of all the produce grown, the only ones obligated in Bikkurim were the Shivas Haminim, the seven fruits considered special to Eretz Yisrael. In this way, the mitzvah also celebrated our residence of and the beauty of Eretz Yisrael.
An example of this idea is found in one of the first Rashis in the parsha. While explaining that only the Shivas Haminim were brought as Bikkurim, Rashi explains that the olives of Eretz Yisrael had their oil gathered inside of it. The simple explanation is that this is a compliment on how much oil you could gather from olives of Eretz Yisrael. However, there is much more to it than that.
The Sifsei Chachamim asks a simple question on this Rashi. Back in Parshas Eikev, the Torah discussed all the wonderful things about Eretz Yisrael, including the Shivas Haminim. When the Torah mentions the oil coming from the olives, Rashi explains this that the olives of Eretz Yisrael make oil; since there are olives that don’t make oil, this is an important point to make (See Devarim 8:8). But why in our parsha does Rashi explain it differently? Shouldn’t the compliment of the olives of Eretz Yisrael be the same in both places?
He explains that it depends what you are comparing. Back in Parshas Eikev, we were comparing the olives of Eretz Yisrael to the rest of the world. While the world in general has both olives that give oil and others that don’t, all the olives of Eretz Yisrael give oil. That’s what makes them so special. Here in Ki Savo, we are comparing the fruits of Eretz Yisrael to themselves. When it comes to Bikkurim, quality is definitely preferred over quantity. This mitzvah is meant to celebrate the Land and all that makes it great. Even if you don’t have much, the point is to bring your best.
There are olives that their oil is too strong for their flesh, and it comes spilling out of them. While it’s good to have such a surplus of oil, the fact that the oil flows out before you can harvest it means you are losing most of that oil. Additionally, it can also harm the flesh of the olive so by the time you get to the harvest, nothing is left. However, the olives that can hold their abundance of oil, you can still collect all that oil and also have perfectly preserved olives. Those are the ones you really want. This is just one example of how special the produce of Eretz Yisrael can be. Its normal olives are already better than the best olives of the world. And even within the Land, there is a second level of olive even better than those. And those are the olives you present in the Beis Hamikdash as your Bikkurim.