Torat Moshe, Leviticus 19:9-10


תורת משה, ויקרא יט:ט-י

Original Text:

ולא יעלה על רוחך כי משלך אתה נותן לעני או כי מאסתיו מתת לו לחם כאשר נתתי לך. כי גם בני הוא כמוך, אך חלקו הוא בתבואתך, ולזכותך כוונתי לתת לו חלקו מתחת ידיך. וזהו החילו בלשון רבים, באומרו 'ובקצרכם,' וצאתו בלשון יחיד באומרו 'לא תכלה' וכו'. מתחילה אמר לשון רבים, לומר קציר ארצכם של בעל השדה ועני והגר, לפי האמת כי חלקם שם. ומה גם כי דרך העשיר להעמיד קוצרים שכירים עני וגר, ועל בעל הבית והקוצרים אמר 'ובקצרכם את קציר ארצכם.' ואחר כך אל בעל הבית 'לא תכלה' וכו'.


Do not think that you are giving to the poor from your own possession, or that I despised the poor person by not giving them as I gave you. For they are my children, as you are, and their share is in your grain; it is to your benefit to give them their share from your property. This is the meaning of the use of the plural form – “And when you [pl.] reap” – in the beginning of the verse, and the use of the singular – “You [s.] shall not wholly reap afterward.” At the beginning the Torah uses the plural to designate the common ownership of the field by the owner, the poor, and the stranger, for in truth, they share in it. Additionally, the owner usually hires poor people and strangers to harvest the field, so the use of the plural form of “reap” refers to the owner and the reapers. Afterward – do not wholly reap but leave the corner – is addressed to the owner themselves. [AJWS translation]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What is the nature of property and wealth? To whom does it belong?
2. How is this perspective different than how we consider property and wealth in our society today?

Time Period:
Related Texts:
Related Sourcesheets:Texts on Social Change v. Social Action, Uncovering Power in Judaism , Living in a Material World 2, Living in a Material World, If You're Egalitarian, How Come You're So Rich?

Comments on this Text