Parshas Ki Setzei
“And you will forget a bundle in the field; to the stranger, the orphan and the widow it shall be!” (Devarim 24:19)
It is a positive commandment when a bundle is forgotten in a field that one must leave it there and not return to take it when it becomes known to us. About this it says “And you will forget a bundle in the field; to the stranger, the orphan and the widow it shall be!” which means that you must leave it there for them.
Amongst the roots of this commandment are that the paupers and indigenous people in their neediness and destitution look at the grain harvest of others and when they see other people bundling up their sheaves of grain in the field according to the blessing of Hashem which He has given to them, and they think in their hearts to say “Who will allow that I would have the same as them, that I could gather bundles into my house? If only I could bring even one bundle to my house, I would be so happy with it. Because of this it was one of the kindnesses of Hashem to His creations that in order for them to fulfil this desire, when by chance the owner of the field would forget a bundle, they can keep it. There is also a purpose for the owner of the field as by this he will acquire a good soul for in truth it is with the characteristic of benevolence and blessed soul that he does not worry about the forgotten bundle and instead leaves it for the paupers and on owners of good souls the blessing of Hashem rests forever.
This commandment applies both to men and to women in those places where Terumah and Ma’aser (tithing of produce) applies.