Pisqa’ 284

Pisqa’ 2841


“When you beat your olives from their trees, do not strip the boughs of fruit

as you pass by” (Dt.24:20).

The early sages would beat their olives,

[instead of hand-picking them,]

in order to leave generous amounts

[on the trees for the poor].

On this basis they taught:

Were an olive tree standing

between three rows of grain

that were two beds apart,

and the harvester forgot about it—

this is not considered forgotten

[and remains the property of the owner

for the tree is distinctive]. 2

{An olive tree that has two se’ahs of fruit left,

and [the harvester] forgot about it—

this is not considered forgotten

[for two seahs of olives will certainly be missed].

Under what conditions?

As long as they haven’t begun to pick the olives.

But if they have begun to pick—

even if the olives were from

Netufah3 at the peak of its productivity —

this is considered forgotten [and belongs to the poor].

As long as the householder

has some olives beneath the tree,

he retains ownership of those on the tree.

R. Meir says:

once the beaters pass by

[he loses his ownership, and the olives belong to the poor]}.4


Your olives” (Dt.24:20)—

this excludes [from the rule]

the olives of [gentile] outsiders

[for the law applies only to Israelite fields].

“Your olives” (Dt.24:20)—

this excludes consecrated olives

[which belong to the Holy One, not the householder].

“Do not strip5 the boughs of fruit” (Dt.24:20)—

that is, do not flatter yourself 6

[for being charitable] at the pauper’s expense.

On this basis they taught:

One who did not grant to the poor the right to glean;

or if [the householder] granted rights to one but not to another;

or if he shared the labor with only one of them—

he is robbing the poor.

And it is stated [on his account]:

“Do not move a permanent boundary marker” (Prov.22:28).7


“Do not . . . strip the boughs . . . as you pass by” (Dt.24:20)—

this teaches that

[fruit left on the bough after it is beaten]

is considered forgotten.


“Do not . . . strip the boughs . . . as you pass by” (Dt.24:20)—

this teaches that

[the remaining fruit on the bough]

is considered Corner-offering.

“Let it be for the migrant, the fatherless, and the widow” (Dt.24:20).

Here is a reference to

the migrant and the fatherless,

and elsewhere (Dt.24:19) there is a reference to

the migrant and the fatherless.

Just as elsewhere [being a] migrant and fatherless

[entitles one to a sheaf] yielding up to two se’ahs,

so, too, here [being a] migrant and fatherless

[entitles one to a basket] yielding up to two se’ahs [of olives].8

  1. H:274-275;JN2:235-236.
  2. = M. Pe’ah7:2; //T.Pe’ah 3:10.
  3. According to Jastrow (p. 898, s.v. netofah), Netofah was a village near Bethlehem.
  4. The bracketed text is a continuation of M. Pe’ah 7:2 that has been omitted from some versions of Sifre.
  5. Heb: tefa’er; literally, “to go over boughs” (BDB: P. 802, s.v., p-‘-r, II)
  6. Heb: titpa’er; literally, “glorify oneself.” The midrashist is taking advantage of the root, p-‘-r, shared by the two otherwise unrelated verbs.
  7. = M. Pe’ah 5:6.
  8. Cf. Pisqa’ 285.3.