Pe’ah – פֵּאָה – Corner
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. (Leviticus 19:9)
How big is a CORNER? Is it merely the point where the two lines of square or rectangle meet? Or is it the area contained in that space created by the intersecting point and two arbitrarily determined points along each of those lines?
(Are you about to stop reading because your were promised no geometry or anything resembling math?!?)
I am thinking about CORNER because of this fundamental commandment we find in the Holiness Code in Leviticus … to not harvest the Pe’ah – פֵּאָה – CORNER of your fields and leave them for the poor. I love the idea that we are commanded to leave a portion of our abundance for others. But, what is the size of the portion? How do we measure a Pe’ah – פֵּאָה – Corner?! How big is that Pe’ah – פֵּאָה – Corner?
It depends. It depends on the nature our abundance. It depends on how the harvest went that year. It depends on how gracious we feel towards ourselves. It depends on how gracious we feel towards others. It depends on how fearful we are of having enough. It depends on how faithful we are in being vulnerable. It depends. It is subjective. It evolves and changes … from year to year, moment to moment, circumstance to circumstance, person to person.
What does not change with any variables is the fundamental recognition of the value of sharing of ourselves. At the heart of the Pe’ah – פֵּאָה – Corner ‘directive’ in the commandment is the understanding that there are others who benefit from our giving and sharing of our abundance. This truth speaks to the spiritual and material realms which we inhabit. We are better and stronger when we share our abundance with one another.
Take some time to assess your harvest this season … What is the size of your Pe’ah – פֵּאָה – Corner? How will you share it with someone else?