HaGaon HaRav Ulman: Tzedaka Begins At Home


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HaGaon HaRav Shlomo Zalman Ulman, a dayan and mo”etz (Moreh Tzedek) on the beis din of the Shevet Halevy Shlita, as well as av beis din in Kiryat Sefer explains that one should give tzedaka to those in need in one’s own community before looking elsewhere.

The rav explained that it has already been discussed and well known that the needy in one’s community are a priority, and this was announced so avreichim understand it is to be practiced as well. He calls on the tzibur to refrain from looking afar for worthy causes while there is work to be done in one’s own community.

“Those who give most of their tzedaka or ma’aser funds to tzedaka funds outside the city are simply acting contrary to Halacha”, adding “promises of brochos and ‘yeshuos’ do not override Halacha and the bracha will come by simply fulfilling the mitzvah as prescribed by Halacha”.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. 1. Isn’t there a concept of “Aniyei Yerushalayim k’aniyei ircha”? Can someone clarify with m’koros?
    2. Can someone tell me if “Kodem ir acheres” requires that ALL my tzedakah moneys go to “ircha” or does it simply mean that when FACED with two requests, “ircha” has kadima?

  2. Shauli-

    1. I have heard of that (I think in the name of the Chassam Sofer), but I don’t really understand the sevara. Lichorah, the idea behind aniyei ircha kodem is because if you don’t support your city, then who will? I don’t know if that applies to Yerushalayim (at least those who don’t live there).
    2. I think it’s a machlokes Aruch HaShulchan and Chassam Sofer whether it means as long as there are aniyei ircha then you must give everything to them, or it’s a percentage thing- most of your tzedakah should go to your family, then to your city, then to another city.