Wednesday, August 14, 2013

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Levels of Charity

via Lma’an Yishme’u

The Rambam writes: We are obligated to fill the needs of every poor person according to his previous state. If he does not want to accept tzedaka, we need to find some other means, such as representing it as a gift or a loan.

There are eight levels in giving tzedaka. In descending order, they are:

1 - Giving a man a job so that he is not reliant on others;

2 - Giving without knowing who is the recipient and in such a way that the receiver does not know who is the giver;

3 - Giving in such a way that only the receiver knows who the giver is;

4 - Giving in such a way that only the giver himself knows to whom he is giving;

5 - Giving to the poor before being asked;

6 -Giving after being asked;

7 - Giving less than one is able to, yet with a smile;

8 - Giving in a cheerless manner.

(רמב"ם הל' מתנות עניים פ"ז, פ"י הל' ח-יד)

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