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How to Give Charity?

For October 2, 2022

Tehillim - Psalms 41:2

אַ֭שְׁרֵי מַשְׂכִּ֣יל אֶל־דָּ֑ל בְּי֥וֹם רָ֝עָ֗ה יְֽמַלְּטֵ֥הוּ יְהֹוָֽה׃

"Fortunate is the one who is thoughtful and sensitive to the poor (Rashi - ill), being careful not to shame them when offering help. In this merit, G-d will save him on a day of evil, sparing him from any harm."

When we want to offer poor people our help through charity, there are 8 different possibilities.

1 - Give him a job or a loan [preferably without interest] so that he can take care of himself in all dignity.

2 - Giving money to needy people without them knowing that you are giving it and without you knowing that they are taking it. In Israel I saw public refrigerators that people could fill and from which people could take. A beautiful example of this.

3 - Knowing who you are giving to without the person knowing it is from you. For example by putting a sum of money in the mailbox.

4 - Knowing who you are giving to, whereby the person knows that it is from you. In an indirect way. The greatest sages used to tie coins into their dressing gowns and throw them behind their backs, and the poor would come up and pick the coins out of their dressing gowns, so that they would not be ashamed.

5 - Knowing who you are giving to, where the person knows it is from you. For example, giving money to a beggar.

6 - Only give when someone asks for it. This is a low level because it is humiliating for that person.

7- A lesser level than this is when one gives inadequately, but gives gladly and with a smile.

8- If one gives because one has to. For example, because one feels socially watched by others.

It is all about leaving needy people in their own dignity as much as possible.

If we read for the poor, the sick, we can learn the same lesson. Even when we help the sick, we should do so in a voluntary way, with a friendly face, in a way that allows the sick person to retain as much dignity as possible.

Brought By Angelique Sijbolts


Angelique Sijbolts is one of the main writers for the Noahide Academy. She has been an observant Noahide for many years. She studies Torah with Rabbi Perets every week. Angelique invests much of her time in editing video-lectures for the Rabbis of the Academy and contributes in administrating the Academy's website in English and Dutch. She lives in the north of the Netherlands. Married and mother of two sons. She works as a teacher in a school with students with special needs. And is a Hebrew Teacher for the levels beginners and intermediate. She likes to walk, to read and play the piano.

More from Angelique Sijbolts



Chabadapp: chumash with Rashi


Maimonides’ Eight Levels of Charity


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