Food & Ethics

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When you enter the land and plant any tree for food, you shall regard its fruit as forbidden. Three years it shall be forbidden for you, not to be eaten. In the fourth year all its fruit shall be set aside for jubilation before the Lord; and only in its fifth year may you use its fruit- that its yield to you may be increased: I am the Lord your God. [JPS translation]

וְכִי תָבֹאוּ אֶל הָאָרֶץ וּנְטַעְתֶּם כָּל עֵץ מַאֲכָל וַעֲרַלְתֶּם עָרְלָתוֹ אֶת פִּרְיוֹ שָׁלֹשׁ שָׁנִים יִהְיֶה לָכֶם עֲרֵלִים לֹא יֵאָכֵל:
וּבַשָּׁנָה הָרְבִיעִת יִהְיֶה כָּל פִּרְיוֹ קֹדֶשׁ הִלּוּלִים לַיקֹוָק:
וּבַשָּׁנָה הַחֲמִישִׁת תֹּאכְלוּ אֶת פִּרְיוֹ לְהוֹסִיף לָכֶם תְּבוּאָתוֹ אֲנִי יְקֹוָק אֱלֹהֵיכֶם:

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The LORD then spoke to Moses at Mount Sinai, saying, “Speak to the sons of Israel and say to them, ‘When you come into the land which I shall give you, then the land shall have a sabbath to the LORD. ‘Six years you shall sow your field, and six years you shall prune your vineyard and gather in its crop, but during the seventh year the land shall have a sabbath rest, a sabbath to the LORD; you shall not sow your field nor prune your vineyard. ‘Your harvest’s aftergrowth you shall not reap, and your grapes of untrimmed vines you shall not gather; the land shall have a sabbatical year.

וַיְדַבֵּר יְהוָה אֶל־מֹשֶׁה בְּהַר סִינַי לֵאמֹר׃ דַּבֵּר אֶל־בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם כִּי תָבֹאוּ אֶל־הָאָרֶץ אֲשֶׁר אֲנִי נֹתֵן לָכֶם וְשָׁבְתָה הָאָרֶץ שַׁבָּת לַיהוָה׃ שֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים תִּזְרַע שָׂדֶךָ וְשֵׁשׁ שָׁנִים תִּזְמֹר כַּרְמֶךָ וְאָסַפְתָּ אֶת־תְּבוּאָתָהּ׃ וּבַשָּׁנָה הַשְּׁבִיעִת שַׁבַּת שַׁבָּתֹון יִהְיֶה לָאָרֶץ שַׁבָּת לַיהוָה שָׂדְךָ לֹא תִזְרָע וְכַרְמְךָ לֹא תִזְמֹר׃ אֵת סְפִיחַ קְצִירְךָ לֹא תִקְצֹור וְאֶת־עִנְּבֵי נְזִירֶךָ לֹא תִבְצֹר שְׁנַת שַׁבָּתֹון יִהְיֶה לָאָרֶץ׃ וְהָיְתָה שַׁבַּת הָאָרֶץ לָכֶם לְאָכְלָה לְךָ וּלְעַבְדְּךָ וְלַאֲמָתֶךָ וְלִשְׂ

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Adonai will not let the righteous go hungry, But God denies the wicked what they crave.
[JPS Translation edited for gender neutrality]

לֹא יַרְעִיב יְיָ נֶפֶשׁ צַדִּיק וְהַוַּת רְשָׁעִים יֶהְדֹּף

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A righteous person knows the needs of their beast, but the compassion of the wicked is cruelty. [JPS translation. Edited for gender neutrality]

יוֹדֵעַ צַדִּיק נֶפֶשׁ בְּהֶמְתּוֹ וְרַחֲמֵי רְשָׁעִים אַכְזָרִי

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If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; If she is thirsty, give her water to drink.
[JPS translation edited for gender neutrality]

אִם רָעֵב שֹׂנַאֲךָ הַאֲכִלֵהוּ לָחֶם וְאִם צָמֵא הַשְׁקֵהוּ מָיִם:

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Mind well the looks of your flock; pay attention to your herds; for property does not last forever, or a crown for all generations. Grass vanishes, new grass appears, and the herbage of the hills is gathered in.
[JPS translation]

יָדֹעַ תֵּדַע פְּנֵי צֹאנֶךָ שִׁית לִבְּךָ לַעֲדָרִים:
(כד) כִּי לֹא לְעוֹלָם חֹסֶן וְאִם נֵזֶר לְדוֹר דור וָדוֹר:
(כה) גָּלָה חָצִיר וְנִרְאָה דֶשֶׁא וְנֶאֶסְפוּ עִשְּׂבוֹת הָרִים:

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A sated person disdains honey, but to a hungry person anything bitter seems sweet.
[JPS translation edited for gender neutrality]

נֶפֶשׁ שְׂבֵעָה תָּבוּס נֹפֶת וְנֶפֶשׁ רְעֵבָה כָּל מַר מָתוֹק:

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To be partial is not right; a person may do wrong for a piece of bread.
[JPS translation edited for gender neutrality]

הַכֵּר פָּנִים לֹא טוֹב וְעַל פַּת לֶחֶם יִפְשַׁע גָּבֶר:

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Honor the Lord with your wealth, and from the first of all your produce.
[translation by Rabbi Daniel S. Nevins]

כַּבֵּד אֶת יְקֹוָק מֵהוֹנֶךָ וּמֵרֵאשִׁית כָּל תְּבוּאָתֶךָ

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He who goes out weeping,
bearing the seed for sowing,
shall come home with shouts of joy,
bringing his sheaves with him
[England Standard Version Translation]

הָלֹוךְ יֵלֵךְ וּבָכֹה נֹשֵׂא מֶשֶׁךְ־הַזָּרַע בֹּא־יָבֹוא בְרִנָּה נֹשֵׂא אֲלֻמֹּתָיו׃

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