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This explanation of Holy Scripture aims to briefly touch upon some commanded giving in addition to the 10% which we have heard about – which is typically not known of in the general public.
Leaving the edge of your field for the poor etc.
“And when you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap your field right up to its edge, nor shall you gather the gleanings after your harvest. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.”
Leviticus 23:22 ESV
Peah is a portion of the fields produce (the corner/edge), that is left for the poor.
Perhaps you read about this form of giving/charity, though you never thought to enquire about how much to give of it.
Paraphrased, the dear Pharisees recommend in the Kehati Mishnah (free mobile app available) that the amount left in the field should be left is 1/60th minimum¹, and perhaps 1/50th normally, or 1/40th for the generous/wealthy.
This being said, why not 1/39th!
A person should note that a dear orthodox Jewish person will typically explain that tithes are typically only applicable to agriculture, and only in the Land of Israel. Nowadays, typically they are not kept. Instead, there is a custom to tithe ten percent of one’s income to the poor every single year, no matter where it lands in the Shmitta cycle (more on the seven year giving cycle later here).
One could perhaps apply this form of giving out of mindfulness from his income – along with his 10%.
An example from $500 of income would be; 500/39= $12.83. The Peah applied from a person’s income out of mindfulness from $500 is circa $12.83.
Fun fact: Peah is remembered in some Jewish circles by keeping the edges (sides) of a males hair a little longer than the rest.
There is an entire section in the Kehati Mishnah which relates to Peah in Seder Zerayim.
¹ Kehati Mishnah, Seder Zerayim, Peah 1:2
‘…neither shall you gather the fallen grapes of your vineyard. You shall leave them for the poor and for the sojourner: I am the LORD your God.’
(Leviticus 19:10 ESV, also see Leviticus 23:22)
Leket is described in the Kehati Mishnah, Seder Zerayim, Peah 4:10 as typically that which falls down to the ground during reaping the field – however only when what falls is little in amount; say one or two ears of wheat, not three.
Potential application today by way of one’s personal custom, might simply be some small amount of loose change/currency in one’s pocket/hand that was left after being paid etc. – or if ine dropped sone change on the ground.
Such would go towards the poor etc.
Please be mindful to not litter in the street!
The Seven Year Giving Cycle
An orthodox Pharisee today can confirm that there is a written seven year cycle found throughout the Bible, and it was as follows:
• Year 1 – Maaser Rishon (10% for Levites) and Maaser Sheni (Ten percent taken to Jerusalem and eaten there)
[Sheni component – is for food for festival Pesach/Sukkot, & balance to poof etc.]
• Year 2 – Same as Year 1
• Year 3 Maaser Rishon (10% for Levites) and Maaser Ani (ten percent given to the poor)
• Year 4 – Same as Year 1
• Year 5 – Same as Year 1
• Year 6 – Same as Year 3
• Year 7 – Shmitta (rest year for the land). No planting. To the poor from agriculture.
‘…The produce of the 7th year is actually communal. Anyone may collect it. The owner of the field may collect, but only enough for his own family.
Where Are We In The Seven Year Giving Cycle According to The Calendar That The Pharisees Have Set?
• Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), 2020 – Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), 2021
was year 6
• Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), 2021 – Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), 2022; is a Shemittah year (year 7)
• Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), 2022 – Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), 2023;
• Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), 2023 – Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), 2024;
• Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), 2024 – Rosh Hashanah (Feast of Trumpets), 2025;
[Assistive reference: https://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/562016/jewish/Shemittah.htm ]
Hoping this is beneficial to you.
What Would A Pharisee Typically Say About Tithing And Also The Seven Year Cycle Today?
One dear Pharisee has commented;
‘…The tithes you mention are only applicable to agriculture, and only in the Land of Israel. Nowadays, we do not keep them. Instead, we have a custom to tithe ten percent of our income to the poor every single year, no matter where it lands in the Shmitta cycle (seven year giving cycle)…’
This being said, one can certainly draw from the cycle as outlined in Holy Scripture in their walk.
There are other instructed forms of giving found in the Holy Scriptures and may your reading of them be fruitful.
May this be your most faithfully observant year yet!
Shalom and may the Holy G-d bless you beyond maximum; believing in His risen, created Son Adonai Yehoshua HaMoshiach (the Lord Jesus Christ). Amen.