Pe’Ah: the Corners of Our Fields

Anna Fine Foer

About Anna Fine Foer

Anna decided she was going to be an artist when she was 11-when she lived in Paris for a summer, visiting every museum.While a fibers major at Philadelphia College of Art she became fascinated by the relationship between maps and the land they represent.After emigrating to Israel, Anna worked as a textile conservator in Haifa and Tel-Aviv. She studied at the Courtauld Institute in London, where she received an advanced degree in Textile Conservation. Back in the US, Anna worked for the Textile Museum in Washington, D.C and as a freelance conservator. At the same time, she continued to construct collage landscapes with scientific, political and meta-physical significance, depicting three or more dimensions on a two-dimensional plane.Anna lives in Baltimore and has two adult sons. Her work has been exhibited at the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Maryland Governor’s Mansion, and the Israeli Embassy and is in the collection of the Haifa Museum of Art and the Beer-Sheva Biblical Museum. She was awarded a prize for the Encouragement of Young Artists for work exhibited in the Artist’s House in Jerusalem and received a Maryland State Arts Council grant for Individual Artists in 2008, 2016 and 2021.

About Pe’Ah: the Corners of Our Fields

The Torah’s model of tzedakah (social justice and support) includes a variety of agricultural gifts. Grain and produce that were left or forgotten during the harvest were available for the poor to glean. The corners of the fields (pe’ah) were also designated for the poor. A biblical source for these laws comes from VaYikra (Leviticus) 19:9-11: “When you reap the harvest of your land, you shall not reap all the way to the corner of your field, or gather the gleanings of your harvest. You shall not pick your vineyard bare, or gather the fallen fruit of your vineyard; you shall leave them for the poor and the stranger; …”In this case, the donation is power, gleaned from a field of solar panels in the Negev. Worthy not for profit organizations across Israel receive donated power from this source.The image I had of a scythe, to cut the “grain” was that of a Russian sickle that represents agricultural workers and is easily recognized as the Communist symbol, relating well to the concept of the collage.The relevance to Shmita is through the practice of gleaning, related to the famous story read on Shavuot of Ruth and Naomi.