Parshat Emor (V’Yiqrah – Leviticus 23.22)

The following is an Addendum to my previous post, “The Mishneh Says“-

Been studying Parshat Emor (V’Yiqrah – Leviticus 23.22) (as my birthday is coming up) – “When you reap the harvest of your Land, you shall not completely remove the corner of your field during your harvesting, and you shall not gather up the gleanings of your harvest. [Rather,] you shall leave these for the poor person and for the stranger. I am the L-RD, your G-D.”

The Mishneh (Peah 1:1) says, “These are the precepts that have no prescribed measure: ‘the corners “Peah” of your field [which must be left for the poor] – the firstfruit offering (“Bikkurim“), the pilgrimage, acts of kindness, and Torah study.”

The Sages instituted that 1/60th of a field must be left (azav) for the poor. (mathematically – 60 is fairly divided by 5, which equals 12, [as in the 12 Tribes]; or if you will, 60 divided by 3 equals 20 [20=Keter, crown or Kook, statute] and 20 divided by 5 equals four – there are four cubits each person is entitled to; moreover, if you divide 60 by 2 it equals 30 and 30 divided by 2 equals 15 which in Gematria equals Yah! 15 is further divided by 3 which is a fifth, as in Yoseph’s “kook” – statute: B’rashith (Genesis) 41.34 – “Let Pharaoh do this, and let him appoint overseers over the land, and take up the fifth part of the land of Egypt in the seven years of plenty.” It is also related to the warning not to oppress the stranger and the poor person: “I am the L-RD, your G-D.” [meaning – I am faithful to reward or punish -] “or the thing which he hath gotten by oppression […] he shall even restore it in full, and shall add the fifth part more thereto ….” V’Yiqrah 5.20-26.) In Gematria 60= Samech which means “support” as in, “He supports all the fallen, and uplifts all those bowed down.” Tehillim (Psalms) 145.14.

The Samech is the only letter of the Aleph-Bet that is missing from [the passuk – verse] V’Yiqrah 23.22!

There is a debate in the Mishneh between Baith Hillel and Baith Shammai as to which is more significant: Peah (Corners) of V’Yiqrah 19.9, 10 (the poor and the stranger) or Peah of Devarim (Deuteronomy) 24.19 (the widow, orphan and the stranger). There is also a debate as to whether two or three are leket (gleanings): Hillel says two are leket and three are not, while Shammai says three are leket and four belong to the owner!

I say (and this is only my opinion, not that of the Mishneh) that Shammai creates a case of doubt, and the Mishneh says, doubtful leket is leket! One cannot evenly divide 15 – it must be divided by three (as Shammai says, “One for the widow, one for the orphan and one for the stranger” Devarim 24.19) for there to be a fair distribution of 60 which is five or a fifth of 60 which equals the twelve tribes…. If one divides 15 by two, one has 7.5 and one cannot evenly (viz, “fairly”) distribute or allot Peah, Leket or Shichichah (forgotten sheaves) to 7.5 people.


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