By: Yael Bister (11th)
In this week’s Torah portion, Parshat Emor, God informs Moshe about the specific rules and mitzvot for Jewish people to keep.
One of these mitzvot is the mitzvah of Pe’ah, leaving a corner of one’s field for the poor. While this seems like a very generous thing to do, but aren’t there better ways to give to the poor? Poor people would have to have to work to get the food from the corner of the field. Why are we making them work for their food?
The mitzvah of Pe’ah allows the poor people who do not have enough for food to feel like they have a purpose. By working the land with their own bare hands it allows them to feel like they worked for their food. When people are handed things they don’t feel a sense of accomplishment, leading them to take things for granted. This principle can also be applied to our everyday lives. Sometimes we take for granted that we have food, water, and a roof over our heads.
This mitzvah allows us to be thankful for what we get every day and shows that sometimes we have to put in a little work to get something back.