May 22, 2024

Fulfilling the Mitzvah of Pe’ah

Landscape View of Fields with Trees and Roads

The mitzvah of Pe’ah may have originally applied to agricultural practices, but its message of caring for the poor and vulnerable in our community continues to hold significance in modern society. Let’s explore the concept of Pe’ah and how it relates to other important values within Judaism and the Chabad movement.

What Does Pe’ah Mean?

Pe’ah is a Hebrew word that means ‘corner’ or ‘edge’. In Jewish tradition, it refers to the agricultural law of leaving the corners of one’s field unharvested for the poor and needy. This commandment is derived from Leviticus 19:9-11 which states:

“When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the corner of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not pick your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger; I the Lord am your G-d. You shall not steal; you shall not deal deceitfully or falsely with one another.”

This agricultural law is still practiced today in many Jewish communities, particularly in Israel. In addition to leaving corners of the field unharvested, there are also laws about leaving forgotten sheaves and fallen produce for those in need.

Pe’ah In a Modern Context

Pe’ah originally served as a reminder of farmers’ and landowners’ obligation to take care of those in need within their community. Today, the concept of protecting the poor continues to be an important principle in Judaism. It reminds individuals to not be solely concerned with their own well-being, but also the well-being of others.

How Pe’ah Relates to Other Jewish Values

Pe’ah is just one example of how Judaism emphasizes the importance of community service. Halacha (Jewish law) and Chabad leaders encourage us to practice philanthropy and tzedakah in many other forms; the Eight Degrees of Giving establish multiple levels upon which we can give, ranging from giving begrudgingly to giving joyfully and selflessly. This can range from hands-on actions like signing up to volunteer for a charity for the poor, to donating to charities that support children’s education, to raising awareness for community healthcare organizations and groups for orphans.

The Mitzvah of Pe’ah In Practice

Where Pe’ah originally spoke to the daily lives of Israeli farmers centuries back in Jewish history, its underlying purpose can be applied to modern contexts in many ways.

We can honor the underlying purpose of Pe’ah by engaging in other values like Hachnasat Orchim (welcoming guests into our homes) and practicing Kavod HaBriyot (respecting the dignity of all individuals).

Anavah (humility), Tzedek (justice), Bitachon (trust in G-d), Olam Chesed Yibaneh (building a world of kindness), Kiddush Hashem (sanctification of G-d’s name), and Avodah (service) are other important values that can guide actions both big and small.

Using Jewish Charity Tradition for Pe’ah-Inspired Giving

Cultural traditions in Jewish charity like Ma’aser Kesafim and Bikur Cholim provide us with an easy way to integrate Pe’ah, tzedakah, and community service into our daily lives. Ma’aser Kesafim, or tithing, involves giving 10% of one’s income to an important cause like support for widowed women or community hunger initiatives. Bikur Cholim, or visiting the sick, is a mitzvah (commandment) to visit and show compassion to those who are ill.

How Colel Chabad Promotes Jewish Practices and Customs Like Pe’ah

Colel Chabad’s track record spans back throughout the history of Jewish nonprofits as a whole. Our organization was founded by prominent Chabad figures and community-leading rebbes with the collective goal of Tikkun Olam (repairing the world) through acts of loving-kindness.

‘Kol Yisrael Arevim Zeh Bazeh’ is a phrase found in the Talmud, which translates to ‘all of Israel is responsible for one another’. This principle serves as the backbone of Colel Chabad’s mission and values. We believe that every Jew has an obligation to fulfill the mitzvah of Tikkun Olam on a global scale and are dedicated to creating opportunities that make doing so easy.

From providing food through community soup kitchens to helping disadvantaged families afford home heating during the harsh Israeli winters, there are countless ways to get involved and make a difference.

Fulfill the Mitzvah of Pe’ah By Supporting Colel Chabad

Give more than just prayers and blessingshelp Israel address its most pressing needs by contributing to Colel Chabad. Every dollar goes towards providing vital assistance to those in need, regardless of race or religion. 

Your search for the best Israeli charity to donate to ends here. Take the next step with Colel Chabad today.


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