Mishneh Torah, Gifts to the Poor
Chapter 1א׳
1 א

הַקּוֹצֵר אֶת שָׂדֵהוּ לֹא יִקְצֹר אֶת כָּל הַשָּׂדֶה כֻּלָּהּ אֶלָּא יַנִּיחַ מְעַט קָמָה לָעֲנִיִּים בְּסוֹף הַשָּׂדֶה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג כב) "לֹא תְכַלֶּה פְּאַת שָׂדְךָ בְּקֻצְרֶךָ" אֶחָד הַקּוֹצֵר וְאֶחָד הַתּוֹלֵשׁ. וְזֶה שֶׁמַּנִּיחַ הוּא הַנִּקְרָא פֵּאָה:

One who reaps his field should not reap the whole field entirely but rather he should leave a little bit of standing grain for the poor at the edge of the field, as it is written, (Lev. 23:22) You shall not reap all the way to the edges of the field. It is the same whether one is reaping [with a tool] or plucking [by hand], and that which is left is what Scripture refers to as péah [the "edge"].

2 ב

וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁמַּנִּיחַ בַּשָּׂדֶה כָּךְ בָּאִילָנוֹת כְּשֶׁאוֹסֵף אֶת פֵּרוֹתֵיהֶן מַנִּיחַ מְעַט לָעֲנִיִּים. עָבַר וְקָצַר אֶת כָּל הַשָּׂדֶה אוֹ אָסַף כָּל פֵּרוֹת הָאִילָן לוֹקֵחַ מְעַט מִמַּה שֶּׁקָּצַר אוֹ מִמַּה שֶּׁאָסַף וְנוֹתְנוֹ לָעֲנִיִּים שֶׁנְּתִינָתוֹ מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג כב) "לֶעָנִי וְלַגֵּר תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָם". וַאֲפִלּוּ טָחַן הַקָּמָה וְלָשׁוֹ וַאֲפָאוֹ פַּת הֲרֵי זֶה נוֹתֵן מִמֶּנּוּ פֵּאָה לָעֲנִיִּים:

Just as one must leave [some standing crops] in the field, so too when one gathers the fruit of trees, one should leave a little for the poor. If he does transgress [the negative mitzvah against harvesting one's field completely] and reaps all the field or gathers all the trees' fruit, he should take a little from what he reaped or gathered and give it to the poor, for giving it is a positive mitzvah [divine commandment], as it is said, (Lev. 23:22) You shall leave them for the poor and the stranger. Even if the standing grain is ground, kneaded, and baked into bread, the one who gives from it is considered to have given péah to the poor.1That is, the first part of the verse, (Lev. 23:22) You shall not reap all the way to the edges of the field, corresponds to the prohibition against reaping all of the field, and the second part of the verse, you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger, corresponds with the injunction to give the food to the poor, no matter what form it is in or how far it has been processed. "Leaving them for the poor and the stranger," therefore, actually indicates actively giving.

3 ג

אָבַד כָּל הַקָּצִיר שֶׁקָּצַר אוֹ נִשְׂרַף קֹדֶם שֶׁנָּתַן הַפֵּאָה הֲרֵי זֶה לוֹקֶה. שֶׁהֲרֵי עָבַר עַל מִצְוַת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לְקַיֵּם עֲשֵׂה שֶׁבָּהּ שֶׁנִּתָּק לוֹ:

If all of his produce that he reaped was destroyed or burned before he gave péah, he deserves punishment [with lashes], for he has transgressed a negative mitzvah and cannot fulfill the positive one [to rectify the situation] for the opportunity has been taken from him.2See Babylonian Talmud Makkot 16b. Punishment, according to the rabbis of the Talmud, usually took the form of lashes, where the offender was whipped across his or her back, based upon Deuteronomy 25:3. Because no one was ever to receive more than forty lashes, the standard number to be received was thirty-nine or less if that is what the offender could bear. Negative commandments were usually punished with lashes while positive commandments were not, but in this case, the commandments not to gather certain agricultural produce involve negative commandments whose transgression could be made up for by fulfilling positive commandments. In this case, it is only when the opportunity to fulfill the positive commandment is also lost and the situation cannot, therefore, be rectified in any fashion that punishment is incurred. This rabbinic understanding of liability also applies to the next two laws.

4 ד

וְכֵן בְּלֶקֶט כְּשֶׁקּוֹצֵר וּמְאַלֵּם לֹא יְלַקֵּט הַשִּׁבֳּלִים הַנּוֹפְלוֹת בִּשְׁעַת הַקָּצִיר אֶלָּא יַנִּיחֵם לָעֲנִיִּים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט ט) (ויקרא כג כב) "וְלֶקֶט קְצִירְךָ לֹא תְלַקֵּט". עָבַר וּלְקָטָן אֲפִלּוּ טָחַן וְאָפָה נוֹתֵן לָעֲנִיִּים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא כג כב) "לֶעָנִי וְלַגֵּר תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָם". אָבְדוּ אוֹ נִשְׂרְפוּ אַחַר שֶׁלְּקָטָן קֹדֶם שֶׁנָּתַן לָעֲנִיִּים לוֹקֶה:

And so it is with leket [overlooked gleanings] as one reaps and binds, one may not gather the fallen stalks at the time of reaping, but rather one should leave them for the poor, as it is said, (Lev. 23:22) Or gather the gleanings of your harvest. If one transgresses [the negative mitzvah against reaping one's field completely] and reaped them and even kneaded and baked them, one should give them to the poor, as it is said, (Lev. 23:22) You shall leave them for the poor and the stranger. If it is destroyed or burned after one has gleaned but before one has given to the poor, one deserves punishment.

5 ה

וְכֵן בְּפֶרֶט שֶׁנִּפְרַט מִן הָעֲנָבִים בִּשְׁעַת הַבְּצִירָה וְכֵן בְּעוֹלֵלוֹת שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (ויקרא יט י) "וְכַרְמְךָ לֹא תְעוֹלֵל וּפֶרֶט כַּרְמְךָ לֹא תְלַקֵּט לֶעָנִי וְלַגֵּר תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָם". וְכֵן הַמְעַמֵּר וְשָׁכַח אֲלֻמָּה אַחַת בַּשָּׂדֶה הֲרֵי זֶה לֹא יִקָּחֶנָּה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כד יט) "וְשָׁכַחְתָּ עֹמֶר בַּשָּׂדֶה לֹא תָשׁוּב לְקַחְתּוֹ". עָבַר וּלְקָטוֹ אֲפִלּוּ טְחָנוֹ וַאֲפָאוֹ הֲרֵי זֶה נוֹתְנוֹ לָעֲנִיִּים שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כד יט) "לַגֵּר לַיָּתוֹם וְלָאַלְמָנָה יִהְיֶה" זוֹ מִצְוַת עֲשֵׂה הָא לָמַדְתָּ שֶׁכֻּלָּן מִצְוֹת לֹא תַּעֲשֶׂה הַנִּתָּק לַעֲשֵׂה הֵן וְאִם לֹא קִיֵּם עֲשֵׂה שֶׁבָּהֶן לוֹקֶה:

And so it is with peret [separated fruit] that fell from the vine at the time of harvesting and with olélot [malformed grape clusters], as it is said, (Lev. 19:10) You shall not pick your vineyard bare [te'olél] or gather the fallen fruit [uferet] of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger. So also with one who stacks sheaves and has forgotten a sheaf in the field. This person may not recover it, as it is said, (Deut. 24:19) And overlook a sheaf in the field, do not turn back to get it. If one does transgress [the negative mitzvah against picking up a forgotten sheaf] and gleans and even grinds and bakes, this one still must give to the poor, as it is said, (Deut. 24:19) It shall go to the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow. This is a positive mitzvah. Thus you learn that all these mitzvot are negative which are transformed into positive mitzvot, and if one does not fulfill a positive mitzvah, one deserves punishment.3Each one of these verses is two-fold; one part corresponds to the prohibition against gleaning or picking all of a crop while the other part is the injunction to give food to the poor. Each one of the gifts for the poor involves two acts: one of self-restraint and one of giving.

6 ו

כְּשֵׁם שֶׁהַשִּׁכְחָה בָּעֳמָרִים כָּךְ הִיא בַּקָּמָה. אִם שָׁכַח מִקְצָת הַקָּמָה וְלֹא קְצָרָהּ הֲרֵי זוֹ לָעֲנִיִּים. וּכְשֵׁם שֶׁהַשִּׁכְחָה בַּתְּבוּאָה וְכַיּוֹצֵא בָּהּ כָּךְ יֵשׁ שִׁכְחָה לָאִילָנוֹת כֻּלָּן שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר (דברים כד כ) "כִּי תַחְבֹּט זֵיתְךָ לֹא תְפַאֵר אַחֲרֶיךָ" וְהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר הָאִילָנוֹת:

Just as it is with forgotten sheaves [shikhecha, the "forgotten"], so it is with standing grain. If one has forgotten a portion of standing grain, one may not harvest it. It is for the poor. And just as with forgotten produce and their products, so also with forgotten fruit of trees altogether, as it is said, (Deut. 24:20) When you beat down the fruit of your olive trees, do not go over them again. So it applies to all other types of trees.4With regard to trees, however, there are exceptions, such as with carob trees. See 3:21.

7 ז

נִמְצֵאתָ לָמֵד שֶׁאַרְבַּע מַתָּנוֹת לָעֲנִיִּים בַּכֶּרֶם. הַפֶּרֶט וְהָעוֹלֵלוֹת וְהַפֵּאָה וְהַשִּׁכְחָה. וְשָׁלֹשׁ מַתָּנוֹת בַּתְּבוּאָה הַלֶּקֶט וְהַשִּׁכְחָה וְהַפֵּאָה. וּשְׁתַּיִם בָּאִילָנוֹת הַשִּׁכְחָה וְהַפֵּאָה:

Thus we have learned of four gifts to the poor concerning the vineyard: peret [the "separated fruit"], olélot [the "malformed grape clusters"], péah [the "edge"], and shikhecha [the "forgotten"]. [We learned] three gifts concerning produce: leket [the "overlooked gleanings"], shikhecha, and péah. And [we learned] two concerning trees: shikhecha and péah.5See Babylonian Talmud Chullin 131a-b. Maimonides offers a different way of organizing categories of "gifts for the poor," based on applicability. The categories of peret and olélot apply only to the vineyard while the category of leket applies only to the field. Péah and shikhecha apply to every situation.

8 ח

כָּל מַתְּנוֹת עֲנִיִּים אֵלּוּ אֵין בָּהֶן טוֹבַת הֲנָיָה לַבְּעָלִים. אֶלָּא הָעֲנִיִּים בָּאִין וְנוֹטְלִין אוֹתָן עַל כָּרְחָן שֶׁל בְּעָלִים וַאֲפִלּוּ עָנִי שֶׁבְּיִשְׂרָאֵל מוֹצִיאִין אוֹתָן מִיָּדוֹ:

With regard to all of these gifts to the poor, owners may not derive any benefit from them, but rather the poor come and take them regardless of the owner's wishes. Even if he [the farmer] is one of the poor of Israel, they take them from his possession.6See Babylonian Talmud Chullin 131 a-b. Even if the farmer is poor, he is still obligated to give to the poor as a member of the community. This principle that all may give is taken up again in Chapter 10, with the provision that collectors of tzedakah may not cause any public embarrassment to a poor person.

9 ט

כָּל גֵּר הָאָמוּר בְּמַתְּנוֹת עֲנִיִּים אֵינוֹ אֶלָּא גֵּר צֶדֶק. שֶׁהֲרֵי הוּא אוֹמֵר בְּמַעֲשֵׂר שֵׁנִי (דברים יד כט) "וּבָא הַלֵּוִי וְהַגֵּר" מָה הַלֵּוִי בֶּן בְּרִית אַף הַגֵּר בֶּן בְּרִית. וְאַף עַל פִּי כֵן אֵין מוֹנְעִין עֲנִיֵּי עַכּוּ''ם מִמַּתָּנוֹת אֵלּוּ. אֶלָּא בָּאִין בִּכְלַל עֲנִיֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְנוֹטְלִין אוֹתָן מִפְּנֵי דַּרְכֵי שָׁלוֹם:

Any "stranger" that is mentioned [in Scripture] with regards to the gifts for the poor can only refer to a convert, for it states regarding ma'asér sheni [the second tithe], (Deut. 14:29) Then the Levite...and the stranger...shall come. Just as a Levite is a member of the covenant, so also the stranger is a member of the covenant. Nevertheless, we do not prevent the poor of the Gentiles7Literally, "worshipers of the stars" or idolators. from these gifts. Rather, they may come along with the poor of Israel and take them for the sake of peaceful relations.8See Mishnah Gittin 5:8, Babylonian Talmud Gittin 61a, and Tosefta Gittin 3:13. Doing something "for the sake of peaceful relations" was ultimately a political reason, where a member of the community would act so as to avoid conflict with others, principally Gentiles. The Jewish community, which was often at the mercy of a hostile ruling power, needed to act so as not to provoke the authorities against them. See later in this treatise in 8:6-8, and also 10:2, where Maimonides states refers to the ruling powers' relationship with the Jews as "the idolatrous nations that hate them and pursue them." It has already been noted in the Introduction that giving to the poor of another ethnic or religious group was remarkable for that time.

10 י

נֶאֱמַר בְּמַתְּנוֹת עֲנִיִּים (ויקרא יט י) (ויקרא כג כב) "לֶעָנִי וְלַגֵּר תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָם", כָּל זְמַן שֶׁהָעֲנִיִּים תּוֹבְעִין אוֹתָן. פָּסְקוּ הָעֲנִיִּים לְבַקֵּשׁ וּלְחַזֵּר עֲלֵיהֶם הֲרֵי הַנִּשְׁאָר מֵהֶן מֻתָּר לְכָל אָדָם. שֶׁאֵין גּוּפוֹ קָדוֹשׁ כִּתְרוּמוֹת. וְאֵינוֹ חַיָּב לִתֵּן לָהֶן דְּמֵיהֶן שֶׁלֹּא נֶאֱמַר בָּהֶן וְנָתַן לָעֲנִיִּים אֶלָּא תַּעֲזֹב אֹתָם. וְאֵינוֹ מְצֻוֶּה לַעֲזֹב אוֹתָן לַחַיָּה וְלָעוֹפוֹת אֶלָּא לָעֲנִיִּים וַהֲרֵי אֵין עֲנִיִּים:

It is mentioned regarding gifts for the poor, (Lev. 19:10, 23:22) You shall leave them for the poor and the stranger, [that is to say] each time the poor have a claim on them [these gifts], when they have ceased to desire and return after them, the remainder is permitted to anyone, for it is not in and of itself sanctified like gift-offerings [which belong only to the Temple in Jerusalem].9Giving to the Temple in Jerusalem was a different kind of giving than giving to the poor including any kind of consecrated property or sacrifice, such as a gift-offering. Property became sanctified when the donor said a pledge to that effect and was immediately efficacious, and the use of the property other than for the Temple was prohibited.. Nor is one obligated to give their value's worth, for it does not say, "give them to the poor" but rather you shall leave them [for the poor]. It is not a mitzvah to leave them for wild animals and birds but rather for the poor, and these [animals] are not "the poor" [but rather they should be used by people].10See Babylonian Talmud 134b, where it says that we leave food for people and not for "ravens and bats." "

11 יא

מֵאֵימָתַי מֻתָּרִין כָּל אָדָם בְּלֶקֶט. מִשֶּׁיִּכָּנְסוּ הַמְלַקְּטִים שְׁנִיִּים וְיִלְקְטוּ אַחַר מְלַקְּטִים הָרִאשׁוֹנִים וְיֵצְאוּ. מֵאֵימָתַי מֻתָּרִין כָּל אָדָם בְּפֶרֶט וּבְעוֹלֵלוֹת מִשֶּׁהָלְכוּ הָעֲנִיִּים בַּכֶּרֶם וְיָבוֹאוּ. הַנִּשְׁאָר אַחֲרֵי כֵן מֻתָּר לְכָל אָדָם. מֵאֵימָתַי מֻתָּרִין כָּל אָדָם בְּשִׁכְחָה שֶׁל זֵיתִים. בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל אִם שָׁכַח אוֹתָהּ בְּרֹאשׁ הַזַּיִת הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר בָּהּ מֵרֹאשׁ חֹדֶשׁ כִּסְלֵו שֶׁהוּא זְמַן רְבִיעָה שְׁנִיָּה בְּשָׁנָה אֲפֵלָה. אֲבָל צִבּוּרֵי זֵיתִים שֶׁשְּׁכָחָן תַּחַת הָאִילָן הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר בָּהֶן מִשֶּׁיִּפְסְקוּ הָעֲנִיִּים מִלְּחַזֵּר אַחֲרֶיהָ:

When can anyone take leket? When the [poor] gleaners come [into the field] a second time and gather after the first group of [poor] gleaners and then depart. When can anyone take peret and olélot? When the poor have come into the vineyard and gone, what remains after them is permitted to anyone. When can anyone take forgotten olives? In the Land of Israel, if one forgot it [the olive produce] from the top of the olive tree, this is permitted from the first of the month of Kislev, for it is the time of the second rainfall, late in the season. But olives that are left piled up, forgotten under a tree, are permitted [to anyone] as soon as the poor cease from going through them.11See Mishnah Péah 7:2 and 8:1.

12 יב

כָּל זְמַן שֶׁיֵּשׁ לֶעָנִי לִטּל שִׁכְחַת הַזֵּיתִים הַמֻּנָּחוֹת בָּאָרֶץ תַּחַת הָאִילָנוֹת נוֹטֵל. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁכְּבָר הֻתַּר כָּל אָדָם בַּשִּׁכְחָה שֶׁבְּרֹאשׁ הָאִילָן. וְכָל זְמַן שֶׁיֵּשׁ לוֹ לִטּל שִׁכְחָה שֶׁבְּרֹאשׁ הָאִילָן נוֹטֵל. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן אֵין לוֹ שִׁכְחָה תַּחְתָּיו:

Any time that the poor person can take forgotten olives that were left on the ground under the tree, he [the poor person] may take them [that is, it does not depend on the time of the season], even after the time when anyone is permitted to take what was forgotten at the top of the tree. Any time he [anyone] can take forgotten olives that were left on the top of the tree [that is, beginning in Kislev], he may take them, even though he still may not take the forgotten olives from beneath the tree that the poor have not yet ceased to go through].12Maimonides follows an established tradition of dividing a tree in half between top and bottom (see Mishnah Gittin 5:8). The top includes those olives that would need to be beaten down with a stick while the bottom includes those that can be reached by hand. A tree, therefore, cannot be categorized under the requirement of being harvested all at once. In addition, olives left on the ground are like other produce in that, once they have been left behind by their owner, the poor may claim them, and after the poor have gone through them, they are available to anyone. The olives that were not beaten down from the top of the tree, however, depend upon the time of year before they can be considered abandoned by their owner. He bases this upon both Mishnah Péah 7:2 and 8:1. Ravad of Posqiueres, however, takes issue with this, also citing Mishnah Péah 7:2 for a different rule that states that as soon as the olives underneath are deemed to be forgotten so, too, are the olives above. This is reiterated in the Jerusalem Talmud, Péah 7:2, with the added explanation that even if the olives below may be remembered by the owner and not deemed to be forgotten, the olives above are deemed forgotten as soon as the worker has gone through with a harvesting rod and beaten down all that he wanted. In addition, Ravad claims that "underneath" need not only apply to that which is on the ground but actually on the lower branches of the tree, and he also cites the part of a Mishnah that says that if the tree has more than two seah of olives on it, then this clearly could not have been forgotten by the owner because it is too large a quantity. Ravad therefore understands that the status of whether or not the olives qualify as shikhecha depends entirely upon the actions and intentions of the owner and not the time of year.

13 יג

מַתְּנוֹת עֲנִיִּים שֶׁבַּשָּׂדֶה שֶׁאֵין הָעֲנִיִּים מַקְפִּידִים עֲלֵיהֶן הֲרֵי הֵן שֶׁל בַּעַל הַשָּׂדֶה. וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁעֲדַיִן לֹא פָּסְקוּ הָעֲנִיִּים מִלַּחֲזֹר עַל מַתְּנוֹתֵיהֶם:

The gifts for the poor that are in the field of which the poor have not claimed belong to the owner, even if the poor have not ceased from going through their gifts.13This passage speaks to the rabbinic understanding of the property of the poor. The poor own these agricultural products and have a claim to them even before the owner of the field has given them because these products are gifts from God and the owner of the field is merely a steward of God's will. It is only when the poor have not claimed the property that it can be understood as being abandoned property and, in that case, the owner of the field or anyone else can take possession of the produce.

14 יד

כָּל מַתְּנוֹת הָעֲנִיִּים הָאֵלּוּ אֵינָן נוֹהֲגוֹת מִן הַתּוֹרָה אֶלָּא בְּאֶרֶץ יִשְׂרָאֵל כִּתְרוּמוֹת וּמַעַשְׂרוֹת. הֲרֵי הַכָּתוּב אוֹמֵר (ויקרא יט ט) (ויקרא כג כב) "וּבְקֻצְרְכֶם אֶת קְצִיר אַרְצְכֶם" (דברים כד יט) "כִּי תִקְצֹר קְצִירְךָ בְשָׂדֶךָ". וּכְבָר נִתְפָּרֵשׁ בַּגְּמָרָא שֶׁהַפֵּאָה נוֹהֶגֶת בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם. וְיֵרָאֶה לִי שֶׁהוּא הַדִּין לִשְׁאָר מַתְּנוֹת עֲנִיִּים אֵלּוּ שֶׁכֻּלָּן נוֹהֲגוֹת בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם:

All of these gifts for the poor as they are in the Torah only apply to the Land of Israel, like gift offerings and tithes. Thus Scripture says, (Lev. 19:9, 23:22) When you reap the harvest of your land, [and] (Deut. 24:19) When you reap the harvest in your field. [But] it has already been explained in the Talmud14See Babylonian Talmud Chullin 137b. that the category of péah applies outside of the Land of Israel from rabbinic law, and it appears to me that it makes sense for the remaining types of gifts for the poor to all apply to outside of the Land of Israel from rabbinic law as well.15See Mishnah Kiddushin 1:9. In this law as well as the next, Maimonides makes a distinction between laws that are from the Torah itself and rabbinic rulings. While laws from the Torah are more directly authoritative, the laws of the rabbis rest on the authority of a tradition of sacred interpretation and were considered just as binding as the laws of the Torah. Indeed, some rabbinic laws carried very severe punishments for their transgression to discourage challenging their authority. The rabbinic law seeks to clarify the intent of the Torah, filling in the gaps that the Torah does not make clear. In this instance, the location of where these laws are in force in the Jewish community and the minimum amount that needed to be given are details lacking in the Torah that the rabbis fill in.

15 טו

כַּמָּה הוּא שִׁעוּר הַפֵּאָה. מִן הַתּוֹרָה אֵין לָהּ שִׁעוּר אֲפִלּוּ הִנִּיחַ שִׁבּלֶת אַחַת יָצָא יְדֵי חוֹבָתוֹ. אֲבָל מִדִּבְרֵיהֶם אֵין פָּחוֹת מֵאֶחָד מִשִּׁשִּׁים בֵּין בָּאָרֶץ בֵּין בְּחוּצָה לָאָרֶץ. וּמוֹסִיף עַל הָאֶחָד מִשִּׁשִּׁים לְפִי גֹּדֶל הַשָּׂדֶה וּלְפִי רֹב הָעֲנִיִּים וּלְפִי בִּרְכַּת הַזֶּרַע. כֵּיצַד. שָׂדֶה שֶׁהִיא קְטַנָּה בְּיוֹתֵר שֶׁאִם הִנִּיחַ מִמֶּנָּה אֶחָד מִשִּׁשִּׁים אֵינוֹ מוֹעִיל לֶעָנִי הֲרֵי זֶה מוֹסִיף עַל הַשִּׁעוּר. וְכֵן אִם הָיוּ הָעֲנִיִּים מְרֻבִּין מוֹסִיף. וְאִם זָרַע מְעַט וְאָסַף הַרְבֵּה שֶׁהֲרֵי נִתְבָּרֵךְ מוֹסִיף לְפִי הַבְּרָכָה. וְכָל הַמּוֹסִיף עַל הַפֵּאָה מוֹסִיפִין לוֹ שָׂכָר. וְאֵין לְתוֹסֶפֶת זֹאת שִׁעוּר:

How much is the [minimum] measure of an "edge" portion? From the Torah there is no [minimum] measurement. Even if one left one stalk, one is free from one's obligation, but from rabbinic law it is not less than one-sixtieth whether in the Land of Israel or outside, and one increases over and above one-sixtieth according to the size of the field, the number of poor people, and the blessing of sowing. How so? If a field is exceedingly small and one leaves from it one-sixtieth, it does not benefit a poor person. Thus in this case the measure is increased. And so if there are a great deal of poor people one adds [to the measure], and if the sowing is very little and nevertheless one took in a great deal because one was [unusually] blessed, one increases what one gives according to the abundance of the blessing. Anyone who adds to the measure of the péah portion increases his reward [by God], and there is no [maximum] measure to this added benefit.16See Mishnah Péah 1:1-2. The first line of Mishnah Péah reads, "These are the things for which there is no definite quantity: péah, first fruits, the festival offering upon appearing in the Temple, deeds of lovingkindness, and the study of Torah." Taken literally, this means that the Torah does not prescribe a limit in the application of this duty. The implication, however, is that there is no prescribed definite quantity for the reward of following these commandments, as Maimonides makes clear in this law. In addition, one is supposed to be as generous as possible.