Refusing someone who's collecting tzedakah

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  • #845174
    mommamia22
    Participant

    This concept of “give small amounts, just in case” seems correct.

    What should a woman do if her husband refuses and she’s with him? Is it ok to ask him if he would mind if she gives??

    #845175
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    There is extra Schar for what your money achieved. That is what you don’t get when you give a fraud.

    #845176
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Emunah, your job as the one with the money is to simply give Tzaddaka, not being Mechanech Aniyim.

    #845177
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Emunah, your job as the one with the money is to simply give Tzaddaka, not being Mechanech Aniyim.

    You are more than welcome to give to causes that hurt you. How about a collector for Yeshivat Chovavei Torah? Would you say the same and give? How about “Jews for J” (not to compare the two)? You have to draw the line somewhere.

    There are priorities in Tzedaka in Shulchan Aruch, just like any other mitzva. One should always try to follow Shulchan Aruch.

    #845178
    oomis
    Participant

    Kol Haposhtin Yad “

    From what I am reading here, it sounds more like, Kol HaposhIN

    Yad.

    #845179
    ZosHaTorah
    Participant

    There was a fairly well-known Chassidish Rebbe from Yerushalayim collecting for his yeshiva at our shul last night. I gave him everything in my wallet – $24. He then proceeded to give me a 2-minute bracha in Hebrew, of which I maybe understood 10% of it. He also wrote down my name, my wife’s and all my children in his notebook. Hmmm, I’m not sure exactly what transpired, but I still feel good about giving.

    #845180
    HaLeiVi
    Participant

    Gavra, since you like talking in extremes, are you telling me that before giving a haggard pauper your hard earned quarter, you’ll hire a private investigator to check if he ever took a car service when he could have braved a trudge in the snow!?

    #845181
    DovidM
    Member

    At weddings, there can be so many people collecting that if I gave five dollars to every person who asked I would be giving out 80 to 100 dollars in tzedekah. After a point, I just shake my head, and say, sorry. Since the people collecting saw me give to others, they know I have reached my limit.

    As for those you see on the street, I caught one guy standing on the street with a crutch. When he asked me for money, he didn’t realize that I had seen him get on the same train I took, but then in perfect health. I thought at the time he was returning the crutch or bringing it to a friend. Now, he was coughing and leaning on the crutch for support. I couldn’t resist saying, “Aren’t you the guy who got on at such-and-such stop around 10 am?”

    I do think that there is merit to not subjecting a request for money as if I was a loan officer in a bank. A dollar here or there to someone who might be undeserving is not worth my time or trouble to cross-examine them. A dollar I give to someone willingly is counted in my merit whether the man or woman is a phony or not. Hopefully, it will also set aside harsh judgment later on.

    #845182
    BTGuy
    Participant

    Hi gavra-at-work.

    You were replying to a specific point. One you created and bent to fit what you had to say. lol

    You can go on and on, but the point is if someone comes to your door or is collecting tzedaka in any manner, and you are wondering if they are legit; give. Dont hold back.

    It is a mitzva to give and the heavens act accordingly.

    The way you said what you did, is dangerous. Had someone NOT been a fraud, even though you suspected it, and you refrained from giving. THAT is a transgressing; a big one.

    Please dont poskin for people to gamble on chas vshalom making a transgression in tzedaka. Give two dollars or some change. Aight? lol

    I am sure there are other proofs, but I quickly found that the Aruch Hashulchan states that if you suspect a person may be a fraud in collecting clothing, you can investigate it because the person can wait.

    BUT..if you suspect a person may be a fraud who is requesting food, do not investigate it.

    Also, if you are ‘CERTAIN’ the person is a fraud, as I state earlier, obviously, do not give, which is also stated in the Aruch HaShulchan.

    Naturally, I am open to you finding a proof for holding back tzedaka because you have a feeling the person is a fraud. You are free to create a new scenario so your view fits, too.

    #845183
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    HaLeiVi:

    Exactly the point. Once the question is “where do you draw the line”, and you admit there is a line to be drawn, everyone will draw it were they feel is best.

    As I said, the SA has what to say regarding the matter as well.

    #845184
    BTGuy
    Participant

    Hi gavra-at-work.

    Exactly what point?

    You WOULD hire a private investigator to check on the person?

    At this point I think you backed yourself into a corner, and on a topic that is not a light weight one.

    As a reminder, the thread is discussing someone who “senses” the one seeking tzedaka does not have a genuine need.

    In light of a rabbinic quote, statements from the Aruch HaShulchan, with all due respect, where exactly DO YOU draw the line when YOU “sense” someone is not genuinely needy? And, what makes you “sense” they are not needy?

    You dont have to give a specific answer since most of us follow the Jewish perspective.

    #845185
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    BT Guy:

    Exactly. As long as you follow SA, you can’t go wrong.

    I’m not sure what I “twisted”. You said by giving to someone who turns out to be a fraud you get Schar. The Gemorah says you don’t. That has nothing to do with whether you should or should not give him/her. For that there are Halachos in SA (as you brought one. There are others as well). If you have a question, ask your LOR, not me.

    #845186
    BTGuy
    Participant

    Hi gavra-at-work.

    Again…(for the last time) what do you mean by “Exactly” lol

    You are being anything BUT exact by saying, “follow the SA”. I think that is officially called an over generalization and is in no way a proof or defense.

    Since you failed to get anywhere near as detailed as the quotes and statements provided to you, I take it you are stuck and just holding to your opinion.

    By the way, you do get Schar by giving to someone who ends up being a fraud. I know from whom I learned that from, and you probably heard of his name too.

    I appreciate your tenacity, but it does not contain any proof or quote from where get the idea that one does not get schar by giving without investigating, should the collector be a fraud.

    You also failed to say where YOU “draw the line” when you “sense” someone may be a fraud. I am interested in how you can tell from ten collectors at your door, who may be a fraud, and then hold back from giving them a few bucks.

    Again, throwing us to the “SA” is not a response.

    I do agree with one thing, to ask our LOR.

    So please dont poskin, in the meantime, for anyone to hold back tzedaka from anyone asking unless they KNOW the person is a fraud, a per the SA. What you are telling us to consider and act upon, again, is not Jewish.

    In fact, the SA says not to give ONLY if you are CERTAIN someone is a fraud, and it even says do NOT investigate when someone is asking because they or someone they know is hungry.

    The tone of your posts implies to not give even outside those parameters, yet you have failed to give a basis for your view.

    I hope you stand corrected.

    #845187
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    Hi gavra-at-work.

    Hi BtGuy!

    Again…(for the last time) what do you mean by “Exactly” lol

    You are being anything BUT exact by saying, “follow the SA”. I think that is officially called an over generalization and is in no way a proof or defense.

    Defense of what?

    Since you failed to get anywhere near as detailed as the quotes and statements provided to you, I take it you are stuck and just holding to your opinion.

    I don’t have an opinion that I am aware of stating. Please tell me what my opinion is so I can stick to it 🙂 My opinion is that of the Shulchan Aruch. YD Simin 249.16. Take a look there.

    By the way, you do get Schar by giving to someone who ends up being a fraud. I know from whom I learned that from, and you probably heard of his name too.

    Source? Not a quote, an inside source.

    I appreciate your tenacity, but it does not contain any proof or quote from where get the idea that one does not get schar by giving without investigating, should the collector be a fraud.

    Offen the Gemorah I quoted earlier in the thread. Read it.

    You also failed to say where YOU “draw the line” when you “sense” someone may be a fraud. I am interested in how you can tell from ten collectors at your door, who may be a fraud, and then hold back from giving them a few bucks.

    There is no reason why you can not give a quarter to someone who asks for it, Tzedaka or not.

    My Rov specificly says there is no Chiyuv to give to anyone who comes to my door without a letter from the local Va’ad. In fact, he reccomends that I tell them as such, so that they can be investigated by those who know what they are doing. That for me is the line. Once again, there is no reason why a quarter can not be given in any case.

    Again, throwing us to the “SA” is not a response.

    I do agree with one thing, to ask our LOR.

    Boruch Hashem 🙂 See the SA that I brought earlier (249.16), that is a response. Ask your LOR for practical application.

    So please dont poskin, in the meantime, for anyone to hold back tzedaka from anyone asking unless they KNOW the person is a fraud, a per the SA. What you are telling us to consider and act upon, again, is not Jewish.

    Chas V’shalom! Where do you think I said that someone should act not Jewish? 🙂 And where did I say “Don’t give”? See SA YD 251.1&2 for parameters, but that’s not my statement. I’m just the mailman.

    In fact, the SA says not to give ONLY if you are CERTAIN someone is a fraud, and it even says do NOT investigate when someone is asking because they or someone they know is hungry.

    The words “someone they know” is not in my version of SA. If you look at the Gemorah that the halacha is based on, the reason only applies if the asker is in front of you, due to Pikuach Nefesh. Ask your LOR for actual Halacha.

    The tone of your posts implies to not give even outside those parameters, yet you have failed to give a basis for your view.

    I hope you stand corrected.

    Once again, I have said nothing (in earlier posts) about giving or not, except to say that some causes should not get (I believe you would agree regarding Jews for J?).

    I await your sources (of which B’mechilas Kavodcha you have not brought a single one). I have no problem retracting if I turn out to be incorrect.

    #845188
    BTGuy
    Participant

    Hi gavra-at-work.

    This is not personal, just a matter of discussion style.

    You keep circumventing points to fit a square peg in a round hole.

    Additionally, you cannot clarify when you are asked to clarify and you fall back on repeating the same, original statements.

    I will leave you with this thought:

    Suppose you give tzedaka to someone you never thought could be a fraud.

    The person hands you a letter and looks as though he is weary from collecting, and you give money and never think twice. You never question his validity.

    You would never know this, but suppose that person was a fraud. Again, you would never know this.

    So, in such a case, in front of Heavenly eyes, your status in that situation is only as a guy who threw out a few bucks.

    IF, you have no schar, did you, chas veshalom acquire an aveira of baal tachshis regarding money because you didnt investigate properly? (Remember those collecting for hunger, you cannot investigate, as per SA)

    Your role in that event was solely that you threw away money, according to how you poskin.

    Anyway, your implied suggestion of not giving when you “sense” someone may not be legit, was incorrect.

    If I am wrong, then tell me what you would recommend if you and I were coming out of Maariv together, and someone approached us for money, and we “sensed” he may be a fraud since he didnt exactly look like he was from that shul or from the area. Would you tell me not to give to him? To put the few bucks back in my pocket?

    #845189
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    IF, you have no schar, did you, chas veshalom acquire an aveira of baal tachshis regarding money because you didnt investigate properly? (Remember those collecting for hunger, you cannot investigate, as per SA)

    I totally didn’t understand where you were going. Thanks for clearing it up.

    How about a simpler example. A guy says he is poor and hungry and asks you for a banana, which you happen to have. Turns out he doesn’t really need it, and shouldn’t be getting Tzedaka.

    Did you do the right thing Halachicly? Yes.

    Do you get Schar for giving Tzedaka? No.

    Are you Over Ba’al Tashchis? No, since you followed what Halacha said you should be doing.

    Is that “Gemilus Chessed” anyway? Maybe, I don’t know.

    Will Hashem reward you for “doing the right thing”? That is a good philosophical question. My guess is that He will give Schar for following Chazal who paskened that you should give, but I can’t tell you that with certainty.

    However, if the asker is a known Rasha (e.g. he smokes as a Mummar L’Tayavon), that changes the equation. Ask your LOR for practical Halacha.

    I think this answers your question (as per what my opinion is). If it doesn’t, let me know.

    If I am wrong, then tell me what you would recommend if you and I were coming out of Maariv together, and someone approached us for money, and we “sensed” he may be a fraud since he didnt exactly look like he was from that shul or from the area. Would you tell me not to give to him? To put the few bucks back in my pocket?

    You can do what your Rov tells you to do. My Rov holds there is no Chiyuv to give, and yes, I am better off giving those few dollars for Chinuch of children or Bedek HaBayis of a shul. That is his (and I believe the Pashtus) reading of the Shulchan Aruch.

    P.S. CV that I thought you meant anything personal. I hope you did not take my comments as such, and if you did, I apologize.

    #845190
    BTGuy
    Participant

    Hi gavra-at-work.

    I know you didnt mean anything personal and I apologize if my tone came across harsh.

    While you dont have to apologize, I will say I accept just so the slate is cleared, just in case. Otherwise, know I understand we are merely discussing a topic and our differences are in no way personal.

    I commend you for keeping a grasp of this complex posting between us. It IS complex, and both of us are respecting the understanding we have from our respective rebbes.

    Simply, I seriously did hear from a well-known rabbi that when we give tzedaka, regardless of the details of the person asking, you get the schar for giving. He went on to say that in many ways they are doing us a favor by collecting because giving a few dollars is a true life insurance policy. Of course, I am paraphrasing and he was not speaking lightly on the subject.

    In fact, he went on to say even if a non-Jew asks you for tzedakaa, you should give for pretty much the same reason.

    I dont know if you would chalk my understanding up to daas torah, but I will, b’lee neder, try to find a way to get a proof for his statement where I dont come across like I am challenging what he said just out of the blue.

    Peace, and have a great Shabbos!

    #845191
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    I commend you for keeping a grasp of this complex posting between us. It IS complex, and both of us are respecting the understanding we have from our respective rebbes.

    Certainly. I was hoping for a source so that I could learn from it, but even if you don’t have one, you should certainly follow YOUR Rov.

    Hatzlacha.

    #845192
    BTGuy
    Participant

    Hi gavra_at_work.

    You are correct and I appreciate you prompting me to clarify this important issue, and to learn something that I previously did not know. Thank you.

    From what I was told, if one gives tzedaka to someone or an organization and they turn out to not use the money properly, even if you dont know it, you do not get the mitzvah of giving tzedaka.

    I was told the person does not go away totally empty handed because they acquire a merit for “wanting to do a mitzvah”, according to the gemara, but they are not getting the specific mitzvah of giving tzedaka.

    If I still need to sharpen my understanding, please let me know in the event you come across this and have a moment to post.

    : )

    Kol tuv!

    #845193
    gavra_at_work
    Participant

    BTguy:

    Thanks for getting back to me on this.

    [email protected]

    #845194

    My personal policy (when I am in the mood of abiding my own rules) is to ALWAYS give, even if its a little, and even if its not because I think the beggar needs.

    We ,especially as Yidden, must have rachmonius on ppl. When we ask Hashem to answer our prayers and look down , notice us, and give us a bit, we hope He is not going to look the other way and say “You dont really look truly in need to me”. Thats the midda of Hashem, to give. We ought to emulate Him.

    #845195
    mommamia22
    Participant

    Always…

    I love what you wrote (“we hope He won’t say ‘you don’t really look truly in need'”.

    Well said!

    #845196

    I didn’t make it up. Its from a high source in Torah.

    #845197
    minivan
    Member

    When someone comes to my house collecting,I do not open the door. On the street I always give if I have money on me. .50 cents or a dollar is not going to make a dent on anyone. I always learned when I was growing up that you should always give tzdaka even if you think their a phony because if they are real, great!and if they are a phony it will be taken from them and go to someone who needs it. You still get the schar.Especially if my kids are with me so they learn to give(which they have).

    #845198
    BTGuy
    Participant

    Hi arwsf.

    Excellent post with perfect hashkafa.

    #845199
    emunah613
    Member

    To those who think they are so righteous because they give a guy a small amount of money when an oni stretches out his hand: Take the tzedaka challenge!

    If you care so much about giving to your fellow Jew in need, as some of the postings claim, then when the next person stretches out his hand to you, you will take five minutes to listen to him and hear about what his needs are. Perhaps you can make a real difference by directing him to a tzedaka agency that can really help him, or figure out an eitza for his situation. Being a rachman means just that-showing that you care.

    I challenge those who so hotly debated this topic to try it this week and post what happened. I for one, would greatly like to see the writers of this forum take this challenge and tell us all what people were collecting for, where they were from, and what they did about it.

    #845200
    gubbish
    Participant

    heres an interesting q: is it better to give the change in my pocket to the guy playing guitar on the subway if the change thats in my pocket will end up in the pushka? (keep in mind the possibility that i may actually use the money for like candy or something?

    #845201

    I don’t know if this is going too far, but I get real irked when I see people suffering. I am talking about non jews. I don’t have to be a non jew to help a non jew, right?. I mean, I pass by in the subway, real suffering souls, addicts, homeless, hungry, or some with limbs missing holding out a cup just hoping to get enough for a coffee and sandwich.

    Its sad, cause this country spends so much on military and foreign aid and yet our own citizens are suffering!

    I always think, perhaps next time I know I’ll be using that particular subway station I will preplan and pack up a bunch of sandwichs and snacks in paper bags to hand out.

    #845202
    dullradiance
    Participant

    If you dont want to/cant give – say a nice word or a bracha: “Money is not what I can give you – however …” and end with “you should be matzliach”, “Hashem should help you”, “Refus”h”, etc.

    Try to look empathic when you say it. Oh and mean the bracha.

    A sincere bracha from a layman is never trivial. (From Al tehey birchas hedyot kal b’eynecha.)

    #845203
    dullradiance
    Participant

    I don’t mean to hijack this thread, but how do you deal with this. I am davening shachris when four or more (chasidish) looking men come in and spread out collecting. (Shortly later, another group of four or more come in collecting.) They come every day. They are not collecting for themselves. They won’t say if their collections go into the same pushka at the end of the day.

    We are taught not to speak in shul with a mashal of standing before a melach basar v’dam. Imagine turning to the person next to me to talk about a football game or the stock market. Here I am standing in shul and these collectors (who should know better) disturb and ask for a coin. Every day.

    Rant over.

    #845204
    gubbish
    Participant

    maksim to u dull. if a few chassidim walked into a fancy business meeting collecting $ because they knew ppl there had money, they wold be kicked out right away. it definately ruins the decorum of omeid lifnei basar vdam. although, you do have do balance that with da lifnei mi atah omeid, be reminded of Hashem, and scissor’s comment about ze keili v’anveihu…

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