Deuteronomy portrays God as a gracious giver of gifts. It describes God as giving (n-t-n) Israel blessing (12:15); rain and crops (11:14-15); cattle and sheep (12:21); towns (13:12); settlements (16:5); sons and daughters (28:53); and the power to get wealth (8:18). All of this, of course, is in addition to God’s primary and most important gift: the land. Yet Deuteronomy worries that these gifts could easily become snares, that the people will feel entitled to God’s bounty instead of being grateful for it and that they will therefore come to forget the God who has given them so much. The first fruits ceremony prescribed in Parashat Ki Tavo is an attempt to keep gratitude from dissipating in the face of affluence and abundance.The Israelite farmer is directed to bring his first fruits to the Temple (26:1-11). The very act of offering “some of every first fruit of the soil” (26:2) is a way of acknowledging God’s gift and Israel’s indebtedness, but the farmer is also instructed to recite a liturgical formula situating his bounty in the context of God’s long history of gracious involvement with the people: “My father was a fugitive Aramean. He went down to Egypt with meager numbers and sojourned there; but there he became a great and very populous nation. The Egyptians dealt harshly with us and oppressed us; they gave us hard labor. We cried to the Lord, the God of our fathers, and the Lord heard our plea and saw our plight, our misery, and our oppression. The Lord freed us from Egypt by a mighty hand, by an outstretched arm and awesome power, and by signs and portents. He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Wherefore I now bring the first fruits of the soil, which You, O Lord, have given me.” (26:5-10).