Teen Leadership Program Foodbank Trip

הָרָאוּי לִיתֵּן לוֹ פַּת - נוֹתְנִים לוֹ פַּת, עִיסָּה - נוֹתְנִים לוֹ עִיסָּה, מָעָה - נוֹתְנִים לּוֹ מָעָה, לְהַאֲכִילוֹ בְּתוֹךְ פִּיו - מַאֲכִילִים אוֹתוֹ בְּתוֹךְ פִּיו

Sifre on Parshat Re'Eh

To one for whom bread is suitable, give bread; to the one who needs dough, give dough; to one for whom money is required, give money; to one for whom it is fitting to put the food in that one’s mouth, put it in. [translation by Hazon

Suggested Discussion Questions

1. What might be the modern equivalent of the four things listed here? In your community? In Israel? Elsewhere in the world?

רבי אמי ורבי אסי חד אמר אינו דומה מי שיש לו פת בסלו למי שאין.

Either Rabbi Ami or Rabbi Asi said: One who has bread in their basket is not comparable to one who has no bread in their basket. [Translation by Uri L’Tzedek. Edited for gender neutrality]

Suggested Discussion Questions

1. What does it mean to have bread in your basket?

2. Rashi explains that one who does not have bread in their basket has food to eat today, but not tomorrow. How does this affect our understanding of the Talmud’s statement?

3. Who are the people today who do not have bread in their baskets? What is your responsibility towards them?

והוי שמח על שולחנך בשעה שהרעבים נהנים ממנה כדי שתאריך ימים בעולם הזה ובעולם הבא.

Always be happy when you are sitting at your table and those who are hungry are enjoying your hospitality, in order to lengthen your days in this world and the World to Come. [AJWS Translation]

Suggested Discussion Questions

1. Why should you be happy when you are feeding the hungry?

2. Why does feeding the hungry at your table lengthen your days in this world and the next?

3. Have you ever fed the hungry? How did it make you feel? Why?

(כח) מִקְצֵ֣ה ׀ שָׁלֹ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֗ים תּוֹצִיא֙ אֶת־כָּל־מַעְשַׂר֙ תְּבוּאָ֣תְךָ֔ בַּשָּׁנָ֖ה הַהִ֑וא וְהִנַּחְתָּ֖ בִּשְׁעָרֶֽיךָ׃ (כט) וּבָ֣א הַלֵּוִ֡י כִּ֣י אֵֽין־לוֹ֩ חֵ֨לֶק וְנַחֲלָ֜ה עִמָּ֗ךְ וְ֠הַגֵּר וְהַיָּת֤וֹם וְהָֽאַלְמָנָה֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר בִּשְׁעָרֶ֔יךָ וְאָכְל֖וּ וְשָׂבֵ֑עוּ לְמַ֤עַן יְבָרֶכְךָ֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בְּכָל־מַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָדְךָ֖ אֲשֶׁ֥ר תַּעֲשֶֽׂה׃ (ס)

At the end of three years you shall bring forth all the tithe of your produce in that year, and shall lay it up inside your gates... and the stranger, and the orphan, and the widow, who are inside your gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hand which you do. [Translation by Hillel and Panim]

Suggested Discussion Questions

1. Do you think that there is a difference between the mitzvah of leaving the corners of your field unharvested and the mitzvah of not returning to pick up what was left or forgotten? If so, what is the difference?

2. According to these verses, how much of any harvest belongs to the “owner?” Why? What does this tell us about who really “owns” the land? the trees? the labor? the produce?

3. What is the value of having the needy come to harvest their own portion?

4. We do not live in an agricultural society today. Do you think this text has contemporary relevance? How might we apply this sense of mandatory sharing of our earnings to the world we live in?

(יט) כִּ֣י תִקְצֹר֩ קְצִֽירְךָ֨ בְשָׂדֶ֜ךָ וְשָֽׁכַחְתָּ֧ עֹ֣מֶר בַּשָּׂדֶ֗ה לֹ֤א תָשׁוּב֙ לְקַחְתּ֔וֹ לַגֵּ֛ר לַיָּת֥וֹם וְלָאַלְמָנָ֖ה יִהְיֶ֑ה לְמַ֤עַן יְבָרֶכְךָ֙ יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹהֶ֔יךָ בְּכֹ֖ל מַעֲשֵׂ֥ה יָדֶֽיךָ׃ (כ) כִּ֤י תַחְבֹּט֙ זֵֽיתְךָ֔ לֹ֥א תְפָאֵ֖ר אַחֲרֶ֑יךָ לַגֵּ֛ר לַיָּת֥וֹם וְלָאַלְמָנָ֖ה יִהְיֶֽה׃ (ס) (כא) כִּ֤י תִבְצֹר֙ כַּרְמְךָ֔ לֹ֥א תְעוֹלֵ֖ל אַחֲרֶ֑יךָ לַגֵּ֛ר לַיָּת֥וֹם וְלָאַלְמָנָ֖ה יִהְיֶֽה׃ (כב) וְזָ֣כַרְתָּ֔ כִּי־עֶ֥בֶד הָיִ֖יתָ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם עַל־כֵּ֞ן אָנֹכִ֤י מְצַוְּךָ֙ לַעֲשׂ֔וֹת אֶת־הַדָּבָ֖ר הַזֶּֽה׃ (ס)

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]

Suggested Discussion Questions

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?