16 This is what the LORD has commanded, "Gather of it every person as much as they should eat; you shall take an omer a piece according to the number of persons each of you has in your tent." 17 The children of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little. 18 When they measured it with an omer, one who had gathered much had no excess, and one who had gathered little had no lack; every person gathered as much as they should eat. 19 Moses said to them, "Let no person leave any of it until morning." 20 But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them. [translation by www.kingjbible.com]
1. Why did Moses instruct the Israelites not to keep the food overnight? Why did some disobey him? Were their concerns legitimate?
2. Are the same legitimate concerns at play with wasteful approaches to food storage today? Are there other less legitimate forces at play?
3. How can we apply the message in this text to our current consumption of food?
(ט) בְקֻצְרְכֶם֙ אֶת־קְצִ֣יר אַרְצְכֶ֔ם לֹ֧א תְכַלֶּ֛ה פְּאַ֥ת שָׂדְךָ֖ לִקְצֹ֑ר וְלֶ֥קֶט קְצִֽירְךָ֖ לֹ֥א תְלַקֵּֽט׃ (י) וְכַרְמְךָ֙ לֹ֣א תְעוֹלֵ֔ל וּפֶ֥רֶט כַּרְמְךָ֖ לֹ֣א תְלַקֵּ֑ט לֶֽעָנִ֤י וְלַגֵּר֙ תַּעֲזֹ֣ב אֹתָ֔ם אֲנִ֖י יְהוָ֥ה אֱלֹהֵיכֶֽם׃
When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the corners 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 am Adonai your God. [JPS translation]
1. How is the system of leaving the corners and the gleanings and the fallen food for the poor different than donating food?
2. What practices or values from these laws could we integrate into our modern lives and societies?
When you reap the harvest in your field and overlook a sheaf in the field, do not turn back to get it; it shall go to the stranger, the orphan, and the widow -- in order that Adonai your God may bless you in all your undertakings. When you beat down the fruit of your olive trees, do not go over them again; that shall go to the stranger, the orphan, and the widow. When you gather the grapes of your vineyard, do not pick it over again; that shall go to the stranger, the orphan, and the widow. Always remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt; therefore do I enjoin you to observe this commandment. [JPS translation]
1. What does this text command us to do? Why does this commandment end with God's reminder to us that we were slaves in the land of Egypt?
2. Now that most of us do not live in agricultural settings, how can we apply these laws to our own gathering of resources?
1. Why should we help our enemies?
2. Are there ever instances when we should disregard this verse?
3. What is the significance of "bread and water?" (as opposed to generic "food and drink")