Project Genesis

Mitzvos (Commandments)


When the Recipient of Charity Says It’s Not Enough

Question: If I give a poor person a few dollars (whatever it is that I have available) and they ask for more, saying that what I gave is not enough, what is the proper response? Should I give them more? Should I walk away? Am I to feel guilty? Should they have any responsibility in this occurring? I know I am not supposed to embarrass them, but what if they embarrass me?

Answer: Be polite and tell them that this what I have. You can walk away and should not feel guilty. How they should act is a question that should be posed by them to a Rabbi. Unfortunately, we often would like to base our responses on what the “other guy” should be doing. Our job is to worry about our own spirituality before the next guy’s, and to consider his physical needs before our own. If he embarrasses you, try to understand how desperate he must be.

All the best,


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