October 28, 2009 12:19 am at 12:19 am #590704
The Matzav is getting worse every day with about 10-12 collectors coming to my door every day, I can”t afford more than just $25 a day for tzedakah, if i give each guy a few bucks i can open the door but then it”s a small donation and choshver rabbis might feel this a disrespect, or should i give the first few $10?October 28, 2009 1:19 am at 1:19 am #664638pookieMember
where do you live?October 28, 2009 1:23 am at 1:23 am #664639HIEParticipant
i live in flatbush and i get also quite a few collectors a day and in shul every morning there must be about 25 collectors EVERY DAY!October 28, 2009 1:26 am at 1:26 am #664640sammygolMember
I heard both sides from different people. On the one hand, there is a halacha that one may not turn an oni away emptyhanded. This applies even if you have already spent all of your ma’aser money. Yet, a peruta suffices. However, giving a dime to a collector shames him more than not answering the door. Therefore, I heard from a most respected posek that in such a situation one should open the door, and with respect explain that one cannot give at this time, while offering the person a drink, or a snack, something to alleviate the embarrassment inherent in collecting. Even then, not turning someone away only applies to a person collecting for himself – the oni, and not a gabbai tzedaka or a collector for a yeshiva.
The second side is that giving everyone a dollar does very little, while giving let’s say all 25 to one individual carries some weight in his situation. Should one, thus, pick those whom he considers in greater need, denying to the rest. If the rest are personally poor, you have the issur of turning an oni away. We aren’t obligated to personally fully provide to any individual, while we are forbidden from not giving to real aniyim.
Therefore, giving each a dollar, explaining that you simply cannot afford more at this time, and doing so besever panim yafos, is the best way to go about it. After all, a person collecting, due to his own state, realizes that not everyone has, and will not be offended if less is given, if it is given nicely.October 28, 2009 1:53 am at 1:53 am #664641bubbyrMember
I asked my Rav this question years ago. It was getting so bad, that there was little money left to give to the organizations I wanted to support. His answer to me was, give a couple of dollars to anyone who rings your doorbell but give your ma’aser where you choose.October 28, 2009 2:12 am at 2:12 am #664642sunflowerMember
guys i was once out of town and a guy came collecting and didnt leave he got like 50 dollars or something!October 28, 2009 2:22 am at 2:22 am #664643mchemtobMember
I have a general rule for the most part I will not open the dor when my husband is not home but if they’d like to leave an envelope/pushka they are more than welcome to and I will look it over and then decide what to send to whom. And I don’t know where you live but no choshever rabbis come knocking on my door.October 28, 2009 3:24 am at 3:24 am #664644Torah LoverMember
you should do what we do, give the people and orginazations you know desperatly need first…and then see what happens….we wish you much hatzlocha, and tizku l’mitzvohsOctober 28, 2009 3:28 am at 3:28 am #664645yehudipashutMember
I know how you feel. Its very hard when there are so many people who need help, and you want to help, but cant. From personal experience, I’d recommend giving more money to the first few. I say this because whenever I hold off, thinking I’ll give the money in my pocket to the other collectors who will surely approach me later in the day, at the end of the day I find the money still sitting in my pocket. Chap a rein giving as much as you practically can as soon as you can.October 28, 2009 8:28 am at 8:28 am #664648SJSinNYCMember
My mother has an envelope of dollar bills and she gives $1 to each person who comes. She donates directly to places that she knows will use the money properly (there have been too many fakers found collecting to give them anything substantial).
For women, all you have to say is “That is all my husband allows me to give when he isn’t around.” Works like a charm – who wants a woman to disobey her husband?October 28, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am #664649Be HappyParticipant
I think its how you give your donation. We have between 10 – 15 collectors some nights. We give small donations to each. My husband gives this with a smile and with many brochos we rarely have a collector who complains! (I am trying to learn from my husband)October 28, 2009 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm #664650jphoneMember
Is there a halacha in hilchos tzedak that says, give all you can to the 1st person who asks and then have nothing for the next person.
My personal practice is to give 3 or 4 dollars to whoever comes to the door knowing that a number of people will come. If it is not good enough for the person, i tell the collector, this is what i have, if you dont want it, i’ll give it to someone else.October 28, 2009 2:12 pm at 2:12 pm #664651
The probblem is that many collecters are well respected rabbonim in eretz hakodesh, to give them $1?October 28, 2009 2:55 pm at 2:55 pm #664652
Actually, the halacha is that someone who comes to your door and says they need food, you must give them food, no investigations. If someone comes collecting for money, then you can investigate. You do not have to give everyone who comes to your door.
I once gave some guy collecting some change I had in my pocket because that is all I had, a few seconds after I closed the door, the guy dumped it back in my mailbox, so my suspicions that he was a fraud were true. (and yes, MANY of these people are frauds.)October 28, 2009 3:09 pm at 3:09 pm #664653
“giving everyone a dollar does very little”
If every frum home in Flatbush gave at least $1-$2 to collectors who come to the door, then these fellows, who mostly collect for themselves or to buy apartments for children, can rake in at least $50 an hour. Not bad.
Remember, money given to someone who is not a qualified halachic Oni is not considered Tzadaka.
Collectors who are not Oniyim have no shame, they have Azuse.
In all cases, unless I know the collector, I don’t permit them in the house; or write a check; or come to the door when it’s late and dark.October 28, 2009 4:51 pm at 4:51 pm #664654feivelParticipant
“What should we do about so many collecters?”
what should we do?
we should be very grateful to HaKodeshBoruchu and b’Simcha gedolah for the opportunity to frequently and face to face perform such an awesome Mitzvah.
if we’re not sure the best way to do it, we should ask our Rabbanim.October 28, 2009 5:11 pm at 5:11 pm #664655
Except you don’t get schar for the mitzvah if it’s not tzedakah.October 28, 2009 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #664656feivelParticipant
Except you don’t get schar for the mitzvah if it’s not tzedakah.
but if you investigate in those situations that you should, and give according to Halachah,
you certainly have brought your Neshamah closer to Hashem every time you do such a Mitzvah, you have made yourself a better Eved, you have tried to brighten the lives of your fathers children, you have brought Nachas to the Ribbono Shel Olam. You have polished another facet on the diamond that is your Neshama.
you are fortunate indeedOctober 28, 2009 6:07 pm at 6:07 pm #664658
Or you took funds that were earmarked for tzedakah and gave it to a charlatan.October 28, 2009 6:28 pm at 6:28 pm #664659
Except you don’t get schar for the mitzvah if it’s not tzedakah
Maybe not exactly schar but s/t far greater.
I once learnt that it’s the money that is given to frauds that saves you from din. When the Satan approaches God to bring din on you for sinning, an angel (maybe the one created from the Tzedaka you gave) says to God, “Why do you have to look into EVERY sin this person did? Look how he gave money to someone and didn’t bother checking into the matter to see if the man was authentic. If he can do that and not be midakdake on every specific detail, so can You.” And to this Hashem listens.October 28, 2009 7:45 pm at 7:45 pm #664660
Very good. I heard that too, as well as very similar.
We need to be thankful for the charlatans, since when we need to give din v’cheshbon for all the times we DIDN’T give tzedaka to a needy person, we can answer that we were suspect as a result of the charlatans out there.October 28, 2009 8:00 pm at 8:00 pm #664661
Hud; Mezonos Maven – Maybe you guys have limitless resources, but I don’t. I want my hard earned money going to legitimate Oniyim and Tzdakas.October 28, 2009 8:32 pm at 8:32 pm #664662
cherrybim – I do. I’d like to send you a check.October 28, 2009 8:40 pm at 8:40 pm #664663shaatraMember
Give a few dollars to each oneOctober 28, 2009 9:05 pm at 9:05 pm #664665
Ok, thanks. Please send it to Yeshiva World C/O Israel Chesed Fund. Be generous.October 28, 2009 9:13 pm at 9:13 pm #664666
Many communities have vaadim set up to investigate collectors and ensure their veracity. This reduces the amount of colectors to the legitimate ones.
If you give tzedakah lishmah, you still get a cheilek the mitzvah for your ratzon hatov.October 28, 2009 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #664667
Thank you for sharing that. Pay no heed to the purveyors of negativity, as you have Emes on your side!October 28, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm #664669
Its ok Mezonos Maven. I’m starting to get used to the way ppl talk on this site…October 28, 2009 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm #664670
Cherrybim- I was not advocating handing out 100 dollar bills to random strangers. But if the action was done already, it’s a nice thing to think abt.
Also, imagine leaving a pizza store w/ an extra quarter as change-that kind of money can go to that beggar on the strret corner. You don’t have to write a check.October 28, 2009 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm #664671stonerMember
this whole thread is disgusting. just give tzedaka or dont if you think its a fraud you dont have to announce and discuss “fake collectors”October 29, 2009 12:12 am at 12:12 am #664672
Jothar – “If you give tzedakah lishmah, you still get a cheilek the mitzvah for your ratzon hatov.”
What about if you make a b’racha lishma on a posul esrog; do you also still get a cheilek of the mitzvah for your ratzon hatov?October 29, 2009 3:33 am at 3:33 am #664674
Cherrybim, if you had every reason to assume it’s a kosher esrog then yes. If it was based on peshiah then no. A human being in need of tzedakah, however, is not an esrog. Unless you know he’s lying, a diyun lekaf zechus is that he’s not, and you have a chiyuv to give him. Therefore, a ratzon hatov gives you a cheilek of the mitzvah. The vaadim help because then if someone doesn’t have a letter, raglayim ledavar he’s lying.October 29, 2009 4:30 am at 4:30 am #664675starwolfMember
We certainly do have to announce and discuss “fake collectors”.
these people are taking money away from those who really need it.
While I would include the donors in that, I especially mean the people that are really in need.
Fake collectors are robbing widows and orphans.October 29, 2009 10:36 am at 10:36 am #664677PosterMember
I get as many as 5-6 collecters a night, and I live in an apt. building!!!
But I guess we should be happy not to be the ones collecting it must be very humiliating….October 29, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm #664679Be HappyParticipant
Remember Hashem looks how we treat people. My most humbling experience was going collecting with a very needy lady. I learned that It makes such a difference when the money is given with a smile and a brocho. The person collecting really does not want to hear your difficulties.
Be thankful to be able to give and not be the one who is collecting.October 29, 2009 1:53 pm at 1:53 pm #664680
I’m not sure if you’re correct regarding schar to a faker. I have read that if you give, you do not get s’char.October 29, 2009 2:35 pm at 2:35 pm #664681
Since you can investigate, it is your responsibility to make sure the money is going to a halachic Tzdedaka.
Why should legitimate Oniyim and causes get short changed because someone is too lazy to do a chakira, an investigation, on every person who sticks out their hand? A Baal Tzedaka means that should not be hefkeirus in alloting funds; you are the Baal of the Tzedaka, with a cheshbon.
In my shul, those who are given the most, are collectors who approach the Rav first with shalom and and brief introduction. The Rav will usually put in a verbal plug for the cause or allow the collector to advocate.
What about collectors who come in teams to the home or close to Shabbos or with props?October 29, 2009 2:54 pm at 2:54 pm #664682cantoresqMember
My three personal favorites are Tomchei Shabbos, Chai Lifeline and Kids Kicking Cancer. Occasionally, I’m approached by friends on behalf of people they know who are going through tough times, and based on my firend’s vouching for these people, I give something as well. But I’ve long stopped giving money to any stranger who knocks on my door.October 29, 2009 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #664683gavra_at_workParticipant
It is a curse to give to those who do not need, and you do not get Schar, straight out gemorah Bava Basra 9b. You are better off paying taxes (for which you do get Schar, see same gemorah prior amud).
Personally, as I have said on other threads, my strict priority is to give to those within my community & to local yeshivos, but give something (very) small to all those who come around (which doesn’t happen often), whether they are “kosher” or I’m not sure. If they have a letter from the Vaad I will give somewhat more, but explain (when they want more then that) that the local community is my priority.October 29, 2009 4:50 pm at 4:50 pm #664684
gaw, IIRC the meforshim there discuss giving it because of rachmanus. There is a befeirush gemara which says that if you had in mind to do a mitzvah but was ne’enas then you still get the sechar mitzvah. The Nefesh Hachaim elaborates on it and says you get 2/3 of the sechar mitzvah as long as you had in mind to do it leshmah. I will iu”h try to hunt it down later.October 29, 2009 5:31 pm at 5:31 pm #664685jphoneMember
“What Should we do About so Many Collecters?”
Daven for them. Whatever the reason is they are asking you for money. Either they legitimately need it, or figure its easier to con a few dollars from a person. Daven that hashem should give them what they need, and if you have something you can give be it monetary or an encouraging smile or word, give that too.
The charlatans are pretty easy to figure out. Like the guy who once rang my bell demanding that I give no less than $180, or the guy who waltzed into the living room and plopped himself down on the sofa when only my wife was home, wouldnt take ten dollars and only when my wife called 2 neighbors and threatened to also call shomrim and the police, did he get up to leave, not before he offered some choice parting words.October 29, 2009 6:46 pm at 6:46 pm #664686gavra_at_workParticipant
If your arguement is that you get schar for the machshava, then you are (IMHO) correct.October 29, 2009 7:16 pm at 7:16 pm #664687
you read just the title of the topic not the questionOctober 29, 2009 7:38 pm at 7:38 pm #664688
“but was ne’enas”
Since the giver can investigate, he is not an oneis if he gives your money to a fraud.October 30, 2009 3:26 am at 3:26 am #664689
You can’t investigate people on the spot, unless your community has the central tzedakah vaad. No letter, no tzedakah, guilt-free.October 30, 2009 4:14 am at 4:14 am #664690
“You can’t investigate people on the spot”
Yes you can, but you don’t want to.October 30, 2009 2:58 pm at 2:58 pm #664691
How do you investigate someone on the spot and know if his son really is in the icu or he just married off 4 daughters?October 30, 2009 3:36 pm at 3:36 pm #664692cantoresqMember
If I had my druthers, I’d abolish door to door collecting altogether. It’s demeaning to the supplicants and creates ample for fraud. charitable giving should be centralized in local agencies which can then investigate applications for assistance and dole out money as needed and appropriate. These agencies would be funded by people’s maaser money. The way to keep infrastructure costs down is to keep the agencies small and inter-networked. Thus they could share certain administrative costs. Additionally small agencies might do a better job of maintaing donor confidence, which has been an issue that has long plagued larger organizations like federations (which incidentally were founded to do away with door to door supplicants for handouts). Something to consider.October 30, 2009 3:45 pm at 3:45 pm #664693tzippiMember
About giving to tzedaka to those who don’t deserve it: I heard this on the words “Hashem tzilcha.” If we give to someone who may not deserve it, but we’re not sure, Hashem will give to us (like a shadow following our actions) eve if we don’t deserve.
I would urge everyone to contact people in their communities to have the kochos to set up a vaad. Then when a collector comes, if s/he has a vaad letter, you can feel comfortable writing a check or giving freely, and you can give small cash donations to those who don’t if you feel uneasy.
As far as the original topic, what to do about so many, that is difficult. Ask a rav how to triage so you can do so in good conscience. Say the tefilla in Shema Koleinu, and read Birchas Haman daily to thank Hashem for letting you be in the position of being able to give, and to daven for those that they should have kol mishalos libhen filled l’tova.October 30, 2009 4:03 pm at 4:03 pm #664695
Jothar – “How do you investigate someone on the spot and know if his son really is in the icu or he just married off 4 daughters?”
Either you hear it from the Rav or if the collector comes to home, this is the perfect time to use your social and logical thinking skills. You can ask a few questions in a concerned nice way and see if the pieces fall into place. Try asking personal questions especially name and address, don’t forget they have yours. You are in essence both the Vaad investigator and the comforter at once. If you are satisfied that the need is legitimate, be generous with your gift.
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