In our Torah reading this morning, Ki Teiztei, we read about seventy four of the 613 Mitzvoth in the Torah. One of the Mitzvot, which I find to be particularly intriguing, can be found in Deuteronomy 24:19. It says "When you are harvesting in your field and you overlook a sheaf, do not go back to get it. Leave it for the foreigner, the orphan and the widow, so that the Lord your God may bless you in all the work of your hands."
I have always been a bit perplexed by this commandment. I think that I understand the rationale behind it. It seems logical that whatever was left behind by the farmer, whether it was left behind intentionally or unintentionally, was more valuable to the foreigner, the orphan, and the widow. If the original owner had thought it was important or worthwhile, they would never have left it behind in the first place. But on the other hand, just because I accidentally overlook something, or leave it behind, doesn't mean that I want to give it up or get rid of it. It just means that I may have made a mistake or overlooked something that could have been important.
Especially around this time of year, as we prepare the High Holy Day season, I think it can be helpful to think about things in our life that we left behind, whether we did so intentionally or unintentionally. It could be an object that we simply no longer used or forgot about, or perhaps a relationship and people in our lives that we simply did not invest in over the past year. I want to encourage all to us to think about why these things got left behind, in hopes of ensuring that we don't leave behind the things in our lives that are important, and remember to carry them with us into the future.