Laws Pertaining to Giving Tzedakah

  1. When giving tzedakah, a person should be careful to be
    pleasant. A person who is unpleasant when giving tzedakah loses all the merit
    of the mitzvah, even if he gives a large sum. He also violates, “Your heart
    should not be grieved when you give to them.” (Devarim 15:10)

  2. It is forbidden to rebuke a poor man, or to raise one’s
    voice in addressing him, for he is broken and contrite, and “A broken and
    contrite heart, O G-d, You will not despise. (Tehilim 51:19) Woe to the person
    who embarrasses the poor. (Rambam Hilchos Matanos L’evionim 10:5)

  3. It is forbidden to give tzedakah to a poor person in public
    because it embarrasses him. The person who does so will be punished. But it is
    certainly permissible to give tzedakah in public to a poor person who asks for
    it in public. It is better not to give at all than to give in a way that will
    embarrass the poor person.

  4. Women should not be given tzedakah in secret because it is
    liable to raise suspicions. Nevertheless, women should also not be given
    tzedakah in public because it embarrasses them. To avoid these pitfalls, a
    person must exercise prudence and discretion when giving tzedakah to women.

  5. When a poor person refuses to accept tzedakah, it is
    permitted to induce him to accept it by telling him that it is a loan or a

  6. A person never becomes poor because he gave tzedakah. And nothing bad and
    no damages are ever caused by giving tzedakah. G-d has mercy on those who have
    mercy, etc. And if a person is harsh and unmerciful, his Jewish ancestry is in
    doubt. All Jews and those who are associated with them are like brothers, for it
    is written, “You are sons to your G-d.” And if one brother will not have
    mercy on another, who will have mercy upon him? And to whom can the poor of
    Israel turn? To the gentiles hate who them and oppress them? They can only look
    to their brothers.” (Rambam, Hilchos Matanos Aniyim 10:2) .

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