What's your style when poor people come collecting at your door?

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    Do you answer the door when a poor guy come collecting? Do they come often or seldom? Do you give them a dollar bill and shut the door or do you invite them in? Do you write them a check? How much? If they ask for more do you give more? Do you have your kid say, i’m not home?………….

    I am referring to poor people, generally from Israel that go collecting door to door. I ask all these questions since I do get poor people knocking on my door from time to time and I am wondering how other people respond.


    respond the way a yid should. unsure how, ask your rav.


    If it is at night, I will not open the door anymore. If it in the day and I am alone, ditto. I have handed money through my mail slot, and with wishes for hatzlacha. I NEVER write checks, and never will, unless I personally know the collector and for what he is collecting. That only happens when little kids come around for a Pesach candy order.

    ☕️coffee addict

    sorry to go off topic here, but this is a good thread for a very relevant question

    If Eretz Yisrael has a universal healthcare program then why aren’t people covered for any reason they have to go to the hospital, yet mesulachim come to my neighborhood with flyers that “medical expenses total ….”?

    The Frumguy

    I got a P’sak from my Rav that I should only give when they present a letter from a reputable source. It’s really out of hand sometimes.

    When they ask for more, I usually try to take back what I already gave and apologize for not giving what he/she had in mind.

    I’ve also had the same question as coffee addict.


    I see you guys dont realize what Obamacare is all about.

    The govt healthcare in Israel has many lousy doctors. Someone with a serious medical condition may need to see private doctors. There are even private hospitals. There are procedures that are not covered. Also, many times for serious sicknesses the cholim need to travel overseas for better doctors or care.

    Many people that come saying their brother/father is sick, are collecting for the family since the breadwinner is unable to work.


    Preface – I didn’t read The Frumguy’s comment when I first wrote this, so let’s see if it still makes sense:

    Slightly related, (theoretically,) especially in a situation where a person is not in such a good financial situation themselves, how is one supposed to respond when Israeli tzedaka collectors are given a decent amount of money and then ask (or even demand) for more?

    Some people seem to think that Americans living in Israel are rich, therefore they should be singled out more than other Jews in Israel for tzedaka collecting. *shakes my head*


    Offer them a drink and to use the facilities. They are human beings also?


    Slight rant here had one ring my doorbell at 10pm tonight. There was a mazal tov its a girl sign on the door. I am pretty sure they could have figured out that wasn’t a great idea. Some people unfortunately have no seichel.


    jbaldy22, We know, because we’re on the CR, maybe he doesn’t visit the CR. How should he know you get a Mazel Tov (oh! I forgot you put a sign on the door, maybe he couldn’t read English / Hebrew / Russian / Spanish)


    If I’m home alone I don’t answer or sometimes, while keeping the door closed I tell them to come back when my husband will be home. My husband learned that the best way to give tzedaka is to make the poor person feel like he is the one who is giving and that the best way to do that is to have him teach you a little Torah. When my husband is home, he brings them in, sits them at a table, offers water and food and asks them for their insight on something he learned that day. He also learned that the derech of a poor person is that they are bashful so if they ask him to give more than he planned to give he politely refuses.


    interjection, you have and amazing husband.


    First of all, if you are a woman and alone in the house (or only with small kids) don’t open the door and ask them to come back later when your husband is in.

    With that said, let’s focus on two aspects.

    1) Aniyim

    2) Money and Tzedaka

    1) Aniyim – when people are financially secured and have never tasted poverty, poor people become a challenge to relate to. It is similar to a Meah Shearim chossid trying to relate to a Californian Hippie with long dreadlocks. What your challenge is is to learn to focus on trying to understand each Ani from where he stands. This is not easy and takes a lot of effort.

    Here’s an example on how:

    Let’s say a guy comes to your door and is collecting to marry off his child. He needs to collect around $120,000 for his daughter. Now, it is easy to say, “what right do you have to rely on others to pay for your daughters housing? I don’t even fork out money to buy my own children their houses!” However, let’s look at it from their perspective.

    You have a daughter of marriageable age and you are trying to find a real quality guy for her. However, today the mentality remains (for better or worse) that no one will even consider her unless she comes with a considerable dowry of at least $100k. You are a Cheder Rebbe who earns a humble salary. Your wife works full time as well in spite of the fact that she has a house and seven kids to attend to as soon as she comes home. Working on a tight budget you barely get by living a very humble life style in which your children, wife, and yourself are clothed by second hand clothing and deal with mixed matched furniture and Keilim. Despite your being very responsible with your bank account, you are now obligated to take upon yourself a huge financial debt for your daughter’s sake. You have never accepted tzedakah ever and now you are forced to go to a strange country and stick your hand out begging for financial support. Despite the great personal humiliation, you are willing to do so out of your great love for your daughter.

    Now after reading the above do you feel the same towards this beggar? Do you now take pity on him?

    Perhaps you might feel that he should be stubborn and refuse to accept shidduchim that demand money.

    To that I will tell you that I personally know a very big Talmid Chochom who after 6 years of his daughter being rejected purely due to financial matters went to Rav Elyashiv, z”l for advice. He was told “Pikuach Nefesh! You have to borrow the money!” He then proceeded to collect the nearly $100k to marry off his daughter. B”H she got married shortly after that.

    You should know, I’m telling you that if you knew how big a Talmid Chochom we are talking about you’d pay him for the zechus to marry into his family. None-the-less, Rav Elyashiv, z”l told him “Pikuach Nefesh! You have to borrow the money!”

    We can’t expect individuals to make the changes necessary in the Shidduchim scene. This needs to be done by the Gedolim.

    2) Money and Tzedaka – we need to ask ourselves the following question. “As a general rule only 1% or less worldwide in every country are classified as “Extremely wealthy”. Imagine growing up in a lifestyle where you’d never know what it means to hungry if not for the six annual fasts. You’ve never known what it means to have holes in your shoes or pants because your parents buy you new stuff (top designer brands) way before that point. You eat off of the most expensive china that sits on top of silver plates that serve no other purpose other than to add beauty. You’ve never been in a car that is older than 5 years old, nor in one that is not upholstered in leather interior. You’ve always have had tutors for any subject that you struggling in at school. Your vacations cost more than many people make in a year. You sleep on the softest beds with the most expensive down pillows and quilts. Your father gets you into the most prestigious Universities by hook or crook if necessary. After graduating your father gives to a significant sum to start your own business and if/when it fails he bails you out of any debts and then sits down with you to show you what mistakes you made that you should avoid in the future. And finally, when the day comes that your parents pass away, your assets increase 10 fold. (All these example are pulled from cases that I personally know about. No exaggerations.)

    Such an easy life! Doesn’t it make sense that if Hashem loves us so much he should give us all such Brachas?! Why only such a small percentage of people are blessed with such wealth? Does Hashem love the Rich more than the Poor? Obviously not!

    W/O going into the proofs that Hashem loves us all and a detail explanation of what the Tafkid of Aniyus is, lets discuss the Tafkid of Ashirus.

    Most would say that the Tafkid of an Ashir is to support the poor. I beg to differ. The real Tafkid of Ashirus, L’Fi Aniyus Daati, is to become a Gadol in Chessed and Rachamim like Avraham Avinu and to attach oneself to Hashem through these acts of kindness! That is their shleimus! Unfortunately, most fall very short of this. Yes, they give Tzedakah and perhaps with an open heart, but as long as you don’t recognize that this is your ability to attach to Hashem and walk in his ways (???????? ???????? ?????? ??? ???????) you are missing the boat!

    In another words, REJOICE WHEN AN ANI IS COMING KNOCKING AT YOUR DOOR! He’s helping you to attain your greatness!


    Softwords – Very well said. Yasher Koach!

    I once asked my Rebbe a similar question and he had a similar thought. Nebuch on the society that requires so much money to marry off a daughter. Nebuch on the society that does not allow its members to earn a living to the point where they will not need to ask for Tzedaka. It is most certainly wrong. However, all of that is certainly not the fault of the Ani who is standing before you. He needs it to marry off his daughter, WHO WILL NOT GET MARRIED without the money. Therefore, it certainly is Hachnosas Kallah to give it, and one must allow them to marry off their children (within the gedarim of Hilchos Tzedaka, of course).

    Once again, great job.

    One caveat: There are Gevirim who without gedarim would literally have people coming to them M’Boker Ad Erev. It is very fair for such people to have a family and Torah life, and not to be bothered during those times.


    my style when poor people come to my door: Prada is always stylish.


    Softwords, that’s a very nice story about Rav Elyashiv, except for the minor detail that it doesn’t really make sense. Can you explain how a man being unable to find a chosson for his daughter is “pikuach nefesh”?


    Can you explain how a man being unable to find a chosson for his daughter is “pikuach nefesh”?

    IMHO (not for softwords), girls who have been taught their entire life that their raison d’etre is to have a husband and children, and then not able to do so, can cause severe depression, extreme tendencies and suicidal thoughts.


    my style when poor people come to my door: Prada is always stylish.

    Why flaunt before an Ani?!

    (I was going to say popping tags at the thrift shop, but decided it could be taken the wrong way).


    Mazeltov JBaldy


    I am not an ashir (ashira), but I have married off two kids and NEITHER one was for anything remotely resembling $100,000. If I had to find that kind of money every time one of my children was about to get married, the two who are married would still be single. Where did this number come from???????


    Thanks oomis.

    My point was that people should be able to realize on the own that coming past 10:00 PM to a house with young kids and repeatedly ringing a doorbell is unlikely to get them accolades. It was especially egregious because of the sign which was kind of obvious regardless of what language they speak or read. Some of the collectors are oblivious and some unfortunately just don’t care.


    Where did this number come from???????

    oomis: Cost of an apartment. When you have two young children getting married who have no chance of making a living on their own (as per their society), they can’t even pay rent. Therefore they need an apartment bought for them so they won’t be out on the street.


    Very informative. How MUCH do you give per poor person on average? 1 Dollar, 5,18, depends on his story? depends on how much is in the charity fund?


    According to the Shulchan Aruch it is assur to give more than a small amount of money (now what a “small amount” is can be up for debate, but still) to anyone who goes door to door personally soliciting tzedakah.


    @homer – I’ve done that too, especially when they’ve been out in the hot sun all day.

    @jbaldy – *facepalm* IKR?



    So, how does a typical Charedi fanily living at or below poverty level come up with $100,000 per daughter? After paying airfare, living expenses and giving the dirver his share, it would take years going door to door

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