Monday, March 2, 2015

Giving to Everyone on Purim


Is there a requirement to give tzedakah to all who request it on Purim?

Normally, one is required to investigate a tzedakah recipient or fund before giving a gift that would reduce his tzedakah for others, lest he cheat authentically needy people. [There is an exception where the need is dire and immediate, as in a request for food.]

However, on Purim we are instructed to increase people's joy and to give gifts of money and portions of food. Therefore, the majority view of halachic authorities is that one should give to anyone who asks. [There is a minority view which contends that this rule applies specifically for official distributors of communal tzedakah funds.]

(Bava Metzia 78b; Bava Batra 9a; Yerushalmi Megilah 1:4; Mishneh Torah, Hilchot Megilah 2:16 and see Tzofnas Paneiach ibid.; Ramban to Bava Metzia 78b; Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 694:3; Shulchan Aruch Yoreh Deah 249:7, 257:1; Rivivos Ephraim 6:386)

Have a great day,

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