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Values Index - Tzedakah and Healing

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There are some poor people, called "Arash", whose business consists entirely of selling animal hides to non-Jews. During festivals, such as Passover and Sukkot, some of them leave a few hides in a non-Jew's shop before the festival sets in, so that they might be sold during the Sabbath or festival, or during Chol Hamo'ed [intermediate days of the festival]. I was asked if they are right in doing so, since it is forbidden to do commerce during Chol Hamo'ed, and definitely not during the Sabbath. The question is whether non-Jews may trade in these hides in their stead, and then transfer the money to them. They are poor and needy…
I was very fearful of publicly permitting this to simple folk, who do not know how to distinguish between one ruling and another, and who make their own parallels between cases; they might eventually permit this without even any deduction [in price] and could openly mention the Sabbath day and festival…They might forget, and not remember that this is not permitted unless the words Sabbath and festival are not mentioned.
However, when they come to ask concerning cases when market day falls on Chol Hamo'ed and they wish to give an item or another to a non-Jew to sell, this should certainly be allowed, and with no misgivings, at a reduced price and without mention of Chol Hamo'ed. Even simple folk, since they, in principle, did mention it to the non-Jew prior to the Sabbath. This [ruling] is an innovation. We did not find it forbidden in the Hoshen HaMishpat, so that according to the law it is possibly permissible to give a non-Jew something to sell during Chol Hamo'ed before the festival, even if one explicitly instructs him to sell it during Chol Hamo'ed, having found a basis for this concerning the Sabbath though not Chol Hamo'ed. In any case, despite that this is not explicitly permitted, ruling that they reduce the price as the law stipulates and not mention Chol Hamo'ed, out of worry that they may explicitly tell the non-Jew to sell it during Chol Hamo'ed, is not worthy of severity. Even if you claim that they might mention Chol Hamo'ed, who would say that it is forbidden…?
Chessed LeAvraham, Part 1, Orakh Haim, paragraph A, Bezalel Halevy Ashkenazi Press, p. 22a – 23a, Salonika, 1813

Wealth, in principle, is bestowed by the Almighty only in the manner mentioned above, in partnership with the poor, who must be given "sufficient[ly] for whatever he needs". Meaning, given even a horse upon which to ride and a servant to run before him. This teaches us that all are equal before the Almighty, and that one should not boast. Yet it is, at times, appropriate for the wealthy to rejoice before people; this is not really pride, but comes from their great joy at what God has bestowed upon them, having granted them the opportunity to be a vessel that has influence on others, although giving charity in secret is the highest level of charity. The Wise One [Ecclesiastes] says about this "that God will call every creature to account for everything unknown, be it good or bad". And our forefathers, of blessed memory, interpreted this in Tractate Megillah, concerning "Whether it be good, or whether it be evil”, by saying "one who provides money to a poor person as a loan during his needful circumstances". "Needful circumstances" are to be understood as the needful circumstances of the poor person who, being poor in any case, is always needy. There may be times when the poor will receive many gifts from people, during which period he is not needy. It can also be interpreted to mean the needful circumstances of the rich person giving the loan who, despite being in needful circumstances, overcomes his or her inclination and empties his household to fulfill the commandment. Such a person's reward will undoubtedly be more than doubled, and beyond measure.

Melel Avraham, Part A, Mishpatim weekly Torah Reading portion, p.75a, Shlomo Bilforti and Associate Press, Livorno, 1874
"If one watches the wind, he will never sow; and if one observes the clouds, he will never reap". For if a person is exacting with the poor, saying "This one seems worthy to be given [charity] and is not a cheat, this one is a cheat and I will not give him" - such a person will never give charity, for a human being sees into the eyes, while God sees into the heart. A person who appears worthy in your eyes may possibly be a cheat, while one who seems like a cheat to you may be a worthy person and not a cheat. This is similar to individuals who wish to sow their field yet remain on their guard in case the winds arrive and scatter the earth covering the seeds so that the seeds will not grow. Thinking this way will prevent sowing forever. Similarly, a person seeking to reap their field who looks for clouds in the skies every day, lest the rains fall on their harvest, prevent it from drying and ruin it, will not be able to reap because of these thoughts. So it is with you, O rich person. If you let this thought come to mind and say this one is worthy of being given and this one is not, you will never give charity during your entire lifetime. Rather, let no poor person who approaches you leave emptyhanded, and leave this issue in God's hands, who will consider it charity…
Ofrot Tevel, p.64, published by the author, London, 1850

It is permissible to fulfill a commandment that partially involves Heaven and partially involves people with the intention of receiving a reward. This is what is meant in Scripture by "to keep the way of the LORD by doing what is just and right", which contains two parts: One concerns people – what is just (charity), that benefits people, and what is right – to instill peace between man and his brethren, and to rescue the oppressed from their oppressors… The text says, "Justice, justice shall you pursue, that you may thrive" about which our Sages, of blessed memory, said and as I understand its literal meaning: "Justice, justice" – one for judgement and one for compromise"; it is permitted to act in order to obtain receive a reward, which is why it says: "...pursue, that you may thrive".

Brit Avot – Sermons, Responsa and Amendments, Vayera weekly Torah Reading, p.7a, Eliyahu Ben Amozegh & Friends Publishing, 1862
Just as a guest is always bashful in relation to the host who, with his wife, goes to the trouble of serving him, so should a person be bashful in relation to God - who bestows his goodness upon him, whose compassion overcomes Him, and who provides him with his daily sustenance – and not leave a hungry person until he has provided him with sustenance and bread.
This also suggests to us that when homeowner hosts a guest in his home he must receive him in joy and enthusiasm, and sit to eat with him at the same table as his children and household. As the Tannah [Mishnaic teacher] says, 'Let the poor be part of your household'; having him eat at his doorstep is so very foolish and shaming, certainly if he does not sit with him.
Holech Tamim VePo'el Tzedek, p. 44. Printed in Jerusalem, 1978

The following verse, "Do not rob the poor because he is poor", requires an accurate explanation. Does it mean that robbing a rich person is permitted?! And is the reason robbing is forbidden because the victim is poor? Robbing is forbidden, whether the victim be a rich or poor person. Actually, this may refer to those people who, out of pity, say that a poor person is not really poor but just makes himself seem so. This is what is meant by "Do not rob the poor" – saying he is not really poor. For he really is, but you rob him of the title "poor" so as not to give him charity. This is only the evil inclination's incitement preventing you from fulfilling a commandment. It also seems to me that the meaning of Scripture in "that which was robbed from the poor is in your houses" is that when they come to knock at your door, they are rejected with claims of their not being poor and only making themselves appear to be poor – but they really are poor. And that which was robbed from the poor is your saying that they are not really poor… and you do not give them charity; by doing so you are robbing them.

Ohel Yesharim – Morals and Sermons, p. 71, Machon Haketav, Jerusalem, 1981

"Cain brought an offering to the LORD from the fruit of the soil". Our Sages, of blessed memory, explained that Cain brought withered fruit, for he brought his offering offhandedly rather than out of desire and willingness. He therefore brought withered fruit that falls on its own from trees after having eaten the ripe and excellent ones himself. The Torah says, "(Bring) an offering of choice products"…and King Solomon, may he rest in peace, said "He who is generous to the poor makes a loan to the LORD", not like some people, who when giving charity to the poor give crumbs or leftovers from cooked food left on a plate that should be thrown away, something unsavory that an impoverished person might eat or discard. Or those who, when giving money, look for the smallest coin to put in the charity box, or to give to those of modest means, Torah scholars or orphaned children and the like… Jews giving charity should all give generously, therefore, and give things of choice and exceptional worth.

Sepher Izraeli, p. 9, Raphael Haim Hacohen Press, Jerusalem, 1965

“Faithfulness and truth meet”. Meaning that whenever one does charity for its own sake, in true faith, then “justice and peace kiss”, meaning that the attribute of justice and the attribute of peace join face to face, just as when a person kisses a friend face to face. Abundance then fills the world, mercy flourishes, verdicts become more moderate and the world is replete. This is also indicated by the verse “Hear, O Israel, the LORD our God is One”. The people of Israel inform one another and say to each other that the attributes of the Eternal - that is, the Name of mercy and the Name of God that means judgment must be bound together and united. That is what "God is One" means – that Jews inform one another and say to each other that "we are all to be face to face and joined by the love of God, that we may love Him with all our souls and with all our might" – referring to the commandment of giving of one's wealth to charity. That is the meaning of "Love the Lord your God".

Hacham Amor Abitbol, Omer Man, p. 263, Beit Oved Institute, Jerusalem, 1989
From my heart's musings, I say: The very act of giving charity is, in itself, a blessing. There is no blessing greater than a person who has been granted the privilege of wealth by the Creator and who can help the poor and needy, share his bread with the hungry, and give of his money to revive unfortunate souls. He enacts "and you shall be a blessing". By opening your hand to the poor and needy, you are the one influencing and opening Heaven's treasury to bless all your actions, therein is the blessing.
Eshed Hanechlim, Part 3, p. 266, Raphael Ben Haim Hacohen Press, Jerusalem, 2009
“She gives generously to the poor; Her hands are stretched out to the needy”. The differentiation between ‘poor’ and ‘needy’ is known; poor refers to someone who has never in his life seen “lights” [money] while a needy person is one who was once wealthy but has since lost his fortune. The latter is familiar with the taste of all things and feels cravings, and is therefore modest and embarrassed to take even a little charity, all the more so publicly.
That is the meaning of “She gives generously to the poor; Her hands are sent out to the needy” – she is punctilious when giving charity. When it concerns a poor person, who was born poor and does not care – she gives charity overtly, even if only a small amount. However, concerning the needy person, who is modest about his poverty and has cravings, it says “Her hands are stretched out to the needy”, meaning that she gives him a portion worthy of being taken with two hands; "stretched" [also means 'sent'] implies that she gives in a modest way and sends him on his way. Such a woman, who is so precise in her action, “…is not worried for her household because of snow”.
Baruch MeBanim, Original Commentary on the Book of Proverbs, p. 98b, Jerusalem, 1900
Exploitation and oppression draw their existence from the attribute of voracious selfishness in Man that knows no satiation or mercy, but favors exaggerated pride and much vanity, saying: Do all that is within your might – oppress the weak, abuse the poor, enslave under your rule those weaker than you by force and sword. This worldview justifies itself by the fig leaf of racist doctrine or by a misled philosophy that states that the weak were born only to be subordinated to those tougher than they… Judaism, on the other hand, institutes its worldview on the basis of the world's unity and the unity of Man, who is the pinnacle of creation and is responsible for the world's unity, flourishing and wellbeing; coming from of this worldview it declares: "Have we not all one father? Hath not one God created us? Why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother?" (Malachi 2, 10). And the Torah of Israel commands and states, 'For the poor shall never cease out of the land; therefore I command thee, saying: 'Thou shalt surely open thy hand unto thy poor and needy brother, in thy land.'
The poor person is not a lowly or superfluous creature in the world that you are permitted to abuse, torment and destroy or even to ignore, but is part of it all that will not cease to be. And you are commanded to sustain him, and not only at a wretched level of existence but with a generous heart and open hand, for poverty was created only to oblige generosity, just as evil was created only for mankind to transform it for the better.
Machmanei Uziel, Part B, Chapter 2 – Contemplation, Article 15 Oppression and Charity
"If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, do not act toward them as a creditor; exact no interest from them". This comes as a warning, in case you might not wish to give to a person as a gift and be content with giving only a loan. This is actually (appropriate) for the rest of the people – those who are wealthy and well-off, but concerning the poor person, do not remain content with giving the chance gift when they happen to come by. They should always eat at your table, as the Tannah (Mishnaic sage) said, "…may the poor be members of your household".
This is why "If you lend money" is written; it means to say that if you seek to be content with giving a loan, that is for "My people" – the wealthy and the well-off. But a loan is not sufficient for the poor person – they are to be among you when eating, with you when drinking. And should it happen that the poor always eat and drink with a person, and that with time they begin to act in trickery so that the poor person understand on their own and leave; or begin to ignore them at mealtimes, and from time to time act forgetfully and not call them to share bread, so that they understand on their own and leave; or trick the borrower by pretending that they need to receive interest from them while they really must not, so that the poor individuals conclude that they are short of money and leave them on their own...
That is why concerning the first case, it says "do not act towards them as a creditor" – don't pretend to forget to eat and, concerning the second case, it says, "exact no interest from them": Do not take interest that you do not need, just to make them understand on their own and leave.
Lev David, Volume 1, p.30. Published privately by the author's sons, 1990
We have learnt that moral liberty indeed follows from the Torah and provides, to our mind, one of the beautiful explanations against the belief attributed to the Law of Moses as being primitive and arbitrary ruling, as it were.
The idea of human dignity created in Judaism created would be entirely meaningless without the triumphant declaration of liberty. Man is free; he therefore requires constant perfecting.
Israel and Humanity, Chapter 2, Human Dignity, p.126, Harav Kook Institute Press, Jerusalem, 1967
It is also known that a person needs his surroundings and home to be at peace, otherwise, heaven forbid, his home will become a dwelling place for the sitra akhra [realm of evil] and an angel of poverty will pursue him. This is derived from magid rakhtza [from the Passover seder], for through Torah he removes [motzi] the sparks of Torah and holiness from the sitra akhra - on condition that he is motzi matza [matza also means strife], i.e., that he eliminate strife and quarrels from his home. And greatest is peace, that was given to those who love the Torah, as has been said: "Great peace have they that love Your law", for if not, heaven forbid, then maror karuch [bitterness is involved], for if he is always in conflict then the sitra akhra forever pursues him; this is the meaning of maror korech. And he who fears G-d and whose deeds are all for the sake of heaven is to carefully weigh his ways and also to give charity; furthermore, should his charity be done covertly [tzafun] he will then mend the sparks of holiness…by distributing [alms] to the poor and to Torah scholars, and by supporting the tired knees [barech] of masters, and this is the meaning of shulchan orech tzafun barech: Charity should be done in secret.
Geulat Hashem, Piskei Dinim leShoavei Ma'im, p. 17a, Israel Kushta and Friends, Livorno, 1864
Until recently, mizrachi communities maintained soup kitchen funds.
As a child, I knew an old beadle (whose name was Agabebe ben Yitzhak Shemesh) who would go from door to door on Friday afternoons, collecting bread and cooked food for distribution in Jerusalem's poor neighborhoods. He would deliver what he collected to the poorest families and to those with many children.
When the World War broke out in 1914, this custom was halted and, for some reason, has never resumed. I am acquainted with several mizrachi families who, to this day, do not sit for their Sabbath Eve meal before their mothers have delivered some foods and bread to the poor of their neighborhood.
Pirkei Minhag VeHalakha, p. 68, Kiryat Sefer Publishing, Jerusalem, 1960

"When you acquire a Hebrew slave" – Should you wish to acquire a slave, acquire a Hebrew slave first. Do not say, I will acquire a slave whom I will have work for me forever, and not acquire one whom I will have to release after six years – for the brand of slavery on Israel is transitionary, not permanent, the reason being that they are the servants of the Almighty – and he shall be released by you on the seventh year.

Or HaHaim, Exodus, Mishpatim Reading Portion, p. 17, in Eshkol Press Mikra'ot Gedolot, Jerusalem, 1876
It is known that one must try to provide for the poor person before his appeal for support and assistance. It has been said, concerning this, that if a poor person first had to extend his hand, then the letters of the Name will arrive in reverse, and this is termed "hind", while if a person extends his hand to the poor before he [the latter] puts out his hand to take, then will the Name arrive straightforwardly, and this is termed "countenance".
It is also known that peace will come through charity, and has been said, "And the work of righteousness shall be peace". This is what is meant by "The LORD lift up His countenance upon you", that if you achieve bringing the letters of the Name's countenance straightforwardly, He will then give you peace.
And it is also known that it is by the merit of charity that we are redeemed, and that they, of blessed memory, said that the name of the Messiah is like the name of his Master's, as it says 'our just Lord', which explained in Scripture by what follows, 'So shall they put My name' - on the People of Israel, as it were, meaning that the Name of God is carried by the Messiah, who will arrive speedily in our days, and very soon, Amen.
Divrei Hizkiahu, p. 26, Rabbi Ezra Haim Hashalem Printing, Damascus, Aram Tzuba, 1921

The suffering in Egypt is mentioned first, the eating of the bread of affliction, and then comes a valiant call to those who are in need to come to eat. What does it mean? That one who gives does so generously. Were this a pleasurable food, one would invite poor people to eat, but to invite the poor to bread such as this…And then it repeats, saying "all in need" etc. The Haggadah means to tell us that we must make a Tikun (repair) to abandon slavery for liberty, meaning that Jerusalem is to be redeemed only through charity, as it says in Scripture. This is why it says "all in need", this year we are here, next year in the Land of Israel.

Magid L'Yaakov: A Commentary on the Haggadah, Orot Yahadut HaMaghreb, Lod, p. 78

A person must bear loving feelings towards poor people, with all his or her heart and soul, in mind, speech and action: In mind – by praying about the poor's distress, that the Holy One, blessed be He, take pity on them and rescue them from their poverty. In speech – by soothing the poor with comforting words: "Your happiness is in the World-to-Come; do not worry, this too shall pass; many orphans have succeeded in wealth and children; the principal thing in this world is the World-to-Come; 'Your table is lain out with rich food'. This follows from what was said in the Talmud, that 'whoever consoles [a poor person] with words receives eleven blessings'. In action – by giving them some sustenance, in keeping with one's means. Meaning that one who has the means should give generously of Sheba's gold, as did Hillel the Elder, who acted respectfully towards the well-bred poor person, running ahead of him. And if one does not [have the means, one gives] even a little bit of sustenance – as in bread or food; one should give a generous piece of bread, and then sooth them with words.

'Edut Be'Yehosef, p. 91a, Zuckerman Printing, Jerusalem, 1926
What is said in the verse, "Zion shall be redeemed with justice, and they that return by righteousness" suggests that Zion was redeemed by First World War, when an explicit judgement and law issued by all nations decreed that it [Zion] was to be given to the Nation of Israel, "justice" referring to the judgement issued by the nations. "They that return" – meaning the return and ingathering of the exiles – will, however, take place through charity, that is, merit and good deeds… We must each try to make a vigilant effort to avoid sin and to increase in good deeds, charity in particular, so that we may hope and expect to deserve that the declaration about to be issued by the heads of nations will favor the people of Israel and the ingathering of the exiles.
Torah Vehaim: entry on redemption, pp. 72-74, Hai Haddad Press, 1963

"This being the case, if a dying person (lit. bedridden by illnes) voiced instructions and said: Whatever this tree produces is for the poor, or all income from this house is for the poor – it belongs to the poor. There are Geonim who disagree on this matter. Since poor people can receive only what can be obtained, they cannot receive what has yet to come into this world, but I tend to disagree. For a person does not instruct that something be obtained, but does instruct that his words concerning charity or trust be fulfilled just as one instructs to fulfill a vow." The Rabbi (author o)] Kessef Mishneh, as does the Beit Yoseph in Hoshen Mishpat 212, asks: How can the poor obtain anything if heirs make no oaths and those who bequeath to them are not in this world? He explains that since they overheard (the commitment) and remained silent, it is as though they received in order to give. End quote. With all due respect, it is a weak reason, and the commentary, of blessed memory, wrote that the reason is to fulfill the dying person's words. In my modest opinion, since we have the words of the dying person in writing or similarly submitted, or when a dying person voices such a thing, it is as though it were already handed to poor people. This is why our master mentions the law concerning what is obtained by poor people from a bedridden person, and all the more so for a healthy one.

Ma'asseh Rokach, Volume Four, Halakha 16, p.268, Samuel Akiva Schlesinger, Tel Aviv, 1974

"And they came, the men along with the women ('al hanashim), as many as were willing of heart, and brought bracelets, and earrings, and rings…all jewels of gold". Both men and women – see RaSH"I's commentary (on 'al - "along with" which), he explains as "next to". In my modest opinion, it ('al) can be explained as being literal: They brought the jewels "on the women", while they were wearing them, and Moses then had them removed. The reasoning is that it says "from every person whose heart so moves him". According to this, the men and women were led by their generous hearts, despite the need to adorn the women and their having no other (jewels). Also, to prevent you from saying that the men may have brought the women against their wishes, since women can be tightfisted, in particular with their adornments. To remove any such doubt, they were brought (the jewels) on the women.

Pi Hachamim, Meir Eina'im, p. 67, Orot Yahadut HaMaghreb Publishing, Lod, 2000
Whoever lingers in keeping a short weight or measure in his home or shop transgresses, as it says: "You shall not have in your pouch alternate weights, larger and smaller". One is still transgressing even if one does not ever measure according to it, and this transgression remains in effect even during the Yom Kippur Ne'ilah prayer. This is the rule for similar cases – not to delay in getting rid of a paid bill. Nor should one delay with a silver-plated copper coin and the like.
Likutei Khemed, Part One, Rules on Weights and Theft, and False Pretense, Halakhot 1-3, pp. 131-132, Hapoel Hamizrachi Press, 1976
We went to the Holy City, to the Tiferet Yerushalaim Beit Midrash, where there are 14 study houses, and tutors in each one; some teach children, and there are adults studying Talmud as well as a magnificent synagogue. Next to this place is a study house named Doresh Zion - there are study houses there as well - and a large courtyard with many houses built within it and wretchedly poor people living there. They said that entry is based on drawing lots, since the poor are numerous, and for this reason they draw lots. Whoever wins the lot enters there to live with his household for up to three years. Once the three years are over, they are moved and other poor people enter, also on the basis of lots, for up to three years.
Korot Zemanim Vemasaot, p. 42, The Afghan Jews Research Institute Press, compiled by Reuven Kashani, Jerusalem 2013

"The righteous man walks in his integrity; happy are the children who come after him.” Three attributes can be found in people who give charity: There are those who wish to support Torah scholars, the sages who deal in the subtleties of study in the yeshiva, so that they become teachers who instruct law to the People of Israel. There are those who adore those scholars who know Aggadah, who recount the literal explanations (pshat), stories with morals and charming tales. And then there are those who like to give charity particularly to those poor and miserable people who go from door to door, because they are overcome by compassion by their wretchedness. So that what is lacking in one (who gives) can be found in the other. However, those who are accustomed to giving charity to all supplicants benefit from all three, for they support yeshiva scholars, Aggadah storytellers and the poverty-stricken. Measure for measure – they will have children who are wise – for having supported teachers, children who are Aggadah scholars – for having supported Aggadah scholars, and children who are wealthy – for having provided for the poverty-stricken. "The righteous man walks in his integrity" means that one gives charity with integrity to all three, without giving more value to one over the other; "happy are the children who come after him", because they benefit from all three values.

Rabbi Nachman Angel's Drushim VePerushim, p. 185, published by the Sephardi Community Committee, Jerusalem, 1977
"Give to him readily and have no regrets when you do so". I once saw a man, the greatest person of his times, approached by a poor person originally from a privileged background, who shared his suffering with him. He gave him a proper donation, and then gave him a second one. This man was asked, "What is this, Master Rabbi?" His reply was that the first time he had given to ease the poor man's distress, because of the suffering he had described, and that the second time was for the sake of the commandment. This is what the verse says, "Give to him readily" – meaning to say, twice, and then "have no regrets when you do so" – that is, giving should not be done out of your suffering heart or pain, for then the commandment will not be entirely fulfilled; give for the sake of the commandment.
Likutie Nissim, Parshat Re'eh, p.273, published by the author, Tel Aviv, 1971
"Rav said to Rav Hamnuna: My son, if you have [money], do well for yourself. [There is no point waiting,] as there is no pleasure in the netherworld, and death does not tarry. Should you say: I will leave for my children, who told you the law of the netherworld [which of you will die first]?" If you have been privileged with wealth, distribute it yourself as early in life as you can to benefit your soul, do not tarry. The reason given is that should your inclination seek to seduce you into giving to charity after you reach the netherworld, the Almighty will not be pleased. The Almighty's principal appreciation comes from a person's deeds while he is living and owns his choices, by a person who is held back by his inclination, yet overcomes his inclination. Should you say that you are still a young man and that you have the time to distribute [charity] during your life after you age, the text for this reason it says, "and death does not tarry" – lest you die early in your youth. Should you say, "I will leave for my children" – I do not wish to distribute charity at all, not during my life nor after my death and will only leave all the wealth as an inheritance to my children – this, too, is absurd and foolish.
Likutie Nissim, Parshat Re'eh, p.273, published by the author, Tel Aviv, 1971

In a tale concerning Abba Hilkiah the Talmud says that the value of charity given by women surpasses that of charity given by men, for a man gives only money, and the needy do not immediately benefit from the charity they receive, having first to make a purchase and then cook. Women, however, who give prepared food to the needy, immediately meet their needs. This helps explain the text: "The generous man is blessed, For he gives of his bread to the poor." "The generous" – the one giving charity; "is blessed" – whose reward is greater than another giving charity, in the case that "he gives of his bread to the poor". Actual bread, ready for "the poor" to eat, for he brings benefit closer to the poor. This is also indicated by the text, "My fruit is better than gold, fine gold, And my produce better than choice silver". It means "My fruit is better" – when I give charity, it is better if I give a fruit that is ready for eating; it is better than "gold, fine gold" – than giving the needy silver or gold. "And my produce" also, things that are eaten as they are, are "better than choice silver".

Em HaBanim Semeha, p. 212, Orly Press, Tel Aviv, 1985

"May your home be open wide, may the poor be members of your household" means that the gate of your courtyard facing your house is to be open in such a way that the poor seem to be inside your home, to make it easier for you to go towards them and give to them yourself. This is a greater good deed that sending a messenger. Comfort them with encouraging words, for those who do so are blessed with eleven additional blessings, which is not the case when a messenger is used… This is how the Torah's verses in the Re'eh weekly reading portion should be understood: "You must open your hand and lend him sufficient for whatever he needs… which is why I command you: open your hand to the poor and needy kinsman in your land." One might ask why the words "open you hand" are repeated in the two verses… this may indicate that despite your courtyard gate being open, you should open yet another door, in such a way that the doorways face your dwelling-place, so that you may actually see the poor and give to them from your own hand, and not send a messenger, which is why it says - by way of emphasis - "your hand".

Bigdei Shesh, Chapter 1, pp. 56 – 57, Published by A. Hania, Jerusalem, 2000
"And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South" – If one is "going on" – increasingly fulfilling commandments and good deeds in this world, the Holy One blessed be He returns the wealth one gave to charity… but if in "going on" one is decreasing in the fulfilling of commandments and charity, one's wealth is also "going on still towards the South". Just like the son of a pious man who gives the tithe of his field with a poor attitude, subtracting every year: the Holy One, blessed be He, subtracts from his wealth until only a tenth of what he would give is left for him…
Furthermore, concerning one who is hosting guests. If he is "going on" –is excessive in his meal, and eats meat and fowl and fish – the guest becomes embarrassed and does not return to his home again – "going on still". But if he prepares a small meal of rice and beans, and various vegetables, "going", as in "decreasing" – the guest is not as embarrassed and, "going on", returns once again.
Kiseh Rachamim – Commentary on the Torah, Parshat Lech Lecha, p. 14

"The school of Rabbi Yishmael taught: The sentence of Noah was also decided; but he was spared through the kindness of God due to the fact that he found favor in the eyes of God, as it is stated: “For I regret that I have made them. And Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord”. And it says, above, "Rabbi Yoḥanan says: Come and see how great is the power of robbery, as the generation of the flood violated every precept, but their sentence to be destroyed was not sealed until they extended their hands and engaged in robbery, as it is stated: “For the earth is filled with robbery through them, and behold, I will destroy them with the earth” One asks, why Noah's sentence was sealed, since he was a righteous person? Should we say that he was not righteous, how then did he find grace in the eyes of God? One cannot say that this was because he acted as do those who seek to please others, for whom this might suffice even if the person is not upright. This could never be the case with God, who knows the heart's thoughts; no person who is not upright and worthy could find grace in His eyes. One must therefore say that Noah did not engage in robbery, which is the reason the Generation of the Flood's sentence had been sealed, since Noah did not deserve the Flood. The sentence was sealed even for Noah, because he was not righteous in all his deeds, but he found grace because of this fact, and could therefore become the remnant of the world. This is why RASHI, of blessed memory, interprets "righteous – in his deeds, without robbery".

Divrei Shalom, sermon, p. 84, HaHaim VehaShalom Publishing, Jerusalem, 1990
"Rav Yehuda says: One who wants to be pious should observe the matters of tractate Nezzikin. Rava said, the matters of Avot. And some say, the matters of Berakhot." Just as we are mindful about blessings, in knowing which blessing is to be recited for each and every commandment - since we must apply mindfulness in blessings, in particular - and just as we must devote our thought to precepts concerning damages and monies in ruling Halacha and in passing judgement, so - concerning the words of Avot – we must be mindful of how we comport ourselves and should circulate among people in a civil manner.
Pirkei Raphael, First Chapter, pp.79 – 82, Hish Press, Ramla, 2011
This results in bringing immigrants to the Land of Israel. Even just an apartment but even more so in the case of those who have a share in buildings. They are essential to Israel for hosting guests and when visiting the sick, it is an outstanding and invaluable good deed. It represents the right pillar, the one that has remained whole for our Jewish brethren outside Israel, the principal one of the three pillars upon which the entire world rests so that it not collapse, as is written in the saintly Mishna: "On three things the world stands: on the Torah, on the service and on acts of lovingkindness". Now that in exile the Torah has been neglected, as they said in the Talmud, Tractate Hagigah: "Since the Jewish people were exiled there has been no greater neglect of Torah study than this", and sacrifices also were annulled in the Diaspora, all that remains to keep the world standing, therefore, is the pillar of lovingkindness
Land of Israel sermon, in Peter Rehem, p. 12, Jerusalem, 1961

"…to bring Me gifts. You shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him". One can say that this suggests that a truly penniless person who cannot afford to give charity to the poor is therefore to soothe him with words, comfort him and appeal to his heart, by saying "See, my brother, I am like you, and it is written that "His mercy is upon all His works, His wrath is momentary and His mercy eternal", and similarly pleasing words that can provide the poor person requesting alms with encouragement. Such things have important value, for it says in the Talmud that whoever consoles [a poor person] with words receives eleven blessings, whereas whoever gives receives only six blessings. This is what is implied by "Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts" – material gifts, while an individual "whose heart so moves him", shares in the distress of the poor person's plea and soothes him with words only, is also considered as giving charity and as though his gift was "accepted for Me."

Nefesh Haya, part B, p.125, Harav Matzliakh Institute, Beni Brak, Neta' Sha'ashu'im Netivot Institute, 2007

"Her lamp never goes out at night". This refers to the commandment of charity, which is unlike other "lamps". Other commandments are extinguished by transgressions, as our sages, of blessed memory, said concerning the verse "For the commandment is a lamp; The teaching is a light". For commandments are like the light of a lamp; just like the wind can extinguish them, so are commandments [good deeds] extinguished by transgressions. Torah resembles the light of day. Even when all the winds of the world blow, it does not budge from its place. Thus, Torah is not extinguished by transgressions as are other commandments. Similarly with the commandment of charity – it is not extinguished by transgressions.

Mahane Reuven, Sermon on Charity, p.81, Bnei Issachar Publishing, The Sephardi Library, jerusalem 2003
A person must be thoughtful of orphans and widows even if they happen to be wealthy. It is an outright transgression to mock them or cause them any anger or sorrow, and all the more so to curse them. It is, however, permissible to be persevering with them in what concerns teaching them Torah, craft or the right path.
Mocking, angering or cursing any Jewish person is a transgression, but doing so to orphans or widows counts as two transgressions. In any case, one is not to treat them as one might anyone else, but one is to differentiate and act with great compassion, whether the orphan has lost his or her mother or father. The saying that "orphan" refers only the loss of a mother… actually means that the loss of a mother is more obvious that the loss of a father. How long are we, on this matter, to consider someone to be an orphan? Until the person does not require support from others and can take care of themselves, as do adults.
Mizmor Le'Assaf, Ethics for Sunday, p. 128b, Livorno, 1864
The great moral that we learn from eating the bread of affliction [matzah] on Passover and from sitting in the Sukkah on Sukkoth - leaving a fixed dwelling for a temporary one informs us that we are not permanent residents in this world, but only visitors: here today and gone tomorrow. The principal hope for the faithful is the afterlife. Eating matzah, the bread of affliction, can be similarly understood, in that eating should be moderate and limited to bodily sustenance needs.
Dwelling in the sukkah and eating the bread of affliction are equal for both rich and poor in that the rich person cannot boast with his wealth. As the Bible says: "The rich and the poor meet together, the Lord is the maker of them all". Through these actions, therefore, the rich person will be familiarized with the poor person's situation, gain compassion for him and provide him with support. 'The sated person does not feel the pauper's hunger' may be a popular saying, but when a rich person eats the bread of affliction himself, not being accustomed to it all year, and also when he dwells in the sukkah, since the way of the rich is to dwell in beautiful and comfort abodes and he is now sitting in a roofless hut covered with only branches, his compassion is at once aroused, and he becomes convinced and sensitive to the pauper's distress.
Keter Yom Tob, Chapter Seven, Sukkot Festival Customs, p. 2, מכון ג'ק] ]G.K. Institute Publishing, 1998

Our Sages, of blessed memory, in their commentary on Chronicles, said: "Israel has gone many days without the true God" – What does "without a true God" mean? This teaches us that whoever deals exclusively in Torah is like a person without God. End quote. The author of "Eshel Avraham" wrote that our Sages, of blessed memory, meant that a person who deals exclusively in Torah, but not in charity, is like a person without God. The reason they give is that a person who deals in Torah and believes in God, yet nevertheless does no charity is considered a soul whose image does not entirely follow the outline of His actions, as they, of blessed memory said, concerning the verse "You shall walk after the Lord your God": Follow His attributes and actions, just as He is compassionate, be compassionate. But the image and actions of person who deals in Torah but not in charity remain outside that person's soul. Also, we know that charity is done either physically or with money, which explains what King Solomon, may he rest in peace, said. As a human being you must realize that, "to be in the shelter of wisdom" – by dealing in Torah, as you do, also requires that you be "in the shelter of money" – to be compassionate and generous, to be charitable with your money. In this way, it will be seen that the image of your soul completely follows the outline of His actions, blessed be He, and that you truly have a God, and that one without the other is not possible.

Sass Anochi, p. 166, Yehuda Razzon Press, Casablanca, 1937

The reason that the Holy One, blessed be He, did not create Man to be perfect on his own as he did (other) creatures was because had He done so, this would have destroyed social grouping and human society, for each person would have sufficed for themselves and not needed anyone else; most of the Torah's commandments would have become void, not having any application. For if one's food were readily available, how could any of the positive and negative commandments contingent on agriculture be fulfilled – such as not having an ass and an ox plow a field jointly, or sowing a field by crossbreeding, or leqet, shihekha or pe'ah (obligations to assign parts of the harvest for the needy)… If each person were self-sufficient and did not require anyone else, what place would there be for commandments between man and his fellow person - such as righteousness, charity, charitable loans, the interdiction to take interest, to maintain just scales and measures, and proper pay for workers, reimbursing collateral - and the commandment to love your neighbor as thyself, which is the greatest principle of Torah…

Imrei Shimon, p. 185, Tzalakh b"r Rabbi Yaakoc Mansour, Jerusalem, 1968

Charity is a commandment that has no limit in its reward, a commandment from which a person benefits in this world and the value of which is carried over to the World-to-Come, as the Tanah wrote. A person should be vigilant concerning this commandment, for since it is not an unaffordable expense, the punishment for carelessness is compound. Our Sages, of blessed memory, went to great lengths concerning this mitzvah and extended its worth, by saying that it is one of the world's three fundamental pillars. A discerning intelligence immediately points to the fact that the world's existence depends mainly on charity…lending to poor people and soothing them with gentle speech. For if one does not lend to them and appease them, they may die of hunger. By visiting the sick, or in helping by locating and bringing medicine one may be the agent that heals; or burying the dead, who would otherwise be abandoned on the ground. And there are many similar matters. Therefore, beyond the simple understanding of our Sages' words … we can say that the world's existence, in a natural sense, depends on charity.

Dei Hashev VeEm LaMasoret, p. 77b, Yehuda Razzon Press, Casablanca, 1950

Just before Passover a person came to me with a bag of flour from which matzah had been baked and in which a bit of dough was subsequently found stuck inside the bag. He went to the halakhic instructor here in the city of Haifa, may it be built and established, Rabbi Atai, blessed be he and his name, from the Ashkenazi community, who sent him to me to instruct him on whether it is to be permitted or proscribed for use. I noted that the sticky spot was very small, so that even if it had fallen in in its entirety, the entire amount justified ignoring it. One might have felt a doubt in allowing it, for one must be attentive to the words of those who would proscribe it, even if there are some who might claim that there is no trace of its taste. But my heart would not permit me to proscribe it, for this was a poverty-stricken person, who had no means to purchase more, and would be excluded from the festival's celebration. I therefore thought I might find a way to allow it.

Responsa by Rabbi Shlomo Eliezer Alfandari – the Saintly Grandfather, Part One, Orach Chaim, section 15, p. 36, 2nd Edition, printed in Jerusalem, 1990
“Would you impugn My justice? Would you condemn Me that you may be right?” God reveals to Job that the basis for all his claims is that he wishes to see himself innocent; he therefore makes claims against God: Why does God let the wicked succeed? Why does He not bring them to judgment? But Job does this, perhaps unwittingly, for a particular reason. He wishes to see God as responsible, and himself as innocent – as though he has no part in all these events. However, God does not consent. God tells him, I am not your servant that I should cleanse the world of wicked people so that you may live in peace, this is not my role. I placed people like you in this world so that they fight for justice and law. If you have so powerful a sense of law, integrity and justice, you are obliged to take action, and to not remain passive and shout why I don’t do anything... You are reversing the entire order of creation, this is not the order I created in my universe...I want people to be charitable and to do justice. I do not always wish to act directly. I provide people with the opportunity to take action, and if they do not, the wicked prosper, but human beings are those who are responsible for this. I want them to be responsible.
Hacham Sliman David Sasson, Natan Hochma LeShlomo, A Conversation on Job, p. 164, Jerusalem, 1989
"Let your home be wide open" – Every person must open his home and heart to all who approach him. We must see to food for those who request food, we must see to lodgings for those who require lodgings. And we must provide support to those who request it. We must excel in the attribute of compassion. It is appropriate that a person open his heart and home to all those who are needy and willing, see to it that your home is always open to all people, to provide a place to sleep and foodstuffs to those who request them. It is forbidden for a person to take money from people requesting a blessing or sound advice, and if one is nevertheless given money, he should give the money as a donation to charity so that it be distributed to the needy.
Having no writings of his teachings, we have written up what was said in his name by his children and pupils.
Some people give charity out of shame, when they see wealthy people offering coins to the poor, for example. The dignity of a person who does not give, however, will be compromised. He gives for this reason, because of shame, so that his dignity not be compromised. Then there are those who give charity to the poor because of their complaints, fearing that the poor might complain to them and curse them… In all such cases, they do not give with a full heart, and because of this it says "Give to him readily", meaning to say – there are two gifts: one from the heart, and one not fully from the heart.
Yismach Moshe, Sermons on the Torah, Part B, p. 293 – 294, Jerusalem 1989
…"how, undeterred by fear of God, he met you on the way, when you were famished and weary, and cut down the stragglers in your rear". 'How he met you by the way' hints at the commandment of charity, since it is known that the word 'way' is a term for charity, as Scripture says, ' that they may keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice'. Thus it is always; the more important a commandment, the more does the evil inclination seduce a person to avoid it…
This is what 'how he met you on the way' means – that it chills you on the way, the way referring to the commandment of charity ['met' and 'chill' in Hebrew share the same letters]; he cut down the stragglers in your rear' – 'stragglers' is to be read as those who lag behind in this commandment will be pursued. The entire claim of the evil inclination rests on saying that 'you were famished and weary' – you were made faint and weary for scant earnings, and others will come and to take them with ease.
Dvar Tov, p. 34b, Jerusalem, 1914

"…while you, who held fast to the LORD your God, are all alive today." One cannot, of course, hold fast to the Shechina; the verse's meaning is that we adhere to His commandments, fulfill His commandments and learn from the light and goodness of His ways. Thus, we find that the Holy One, blessed be He, visited the sick Himself, as we see when He came to visit our father Abraham. From this we learn that great people must also visit less important people, and that stringency about rank is not pertinent to fulfilling commandments. This is particularly so in the case of this commandment, in that the heart rises at the sight of another's distress; when one asks for compassion and the prayers are accepted it as though one had revived the ill person. And upon the sight of such distress, one seeks out those things that are necessary, and is obligated to sweep and clean their house, for a place full of litter causes an illness to become worse, as does sleeping in a filthy and dusty place. Whoever cleans does an act of great loving kindness. And one who visits the sick yet does not pray for their recovery has not fulfilled the commandment. Happy are those who treat the poor when they are ill, and make efforts to visit the sick, and have people who inform them about who might be ill so that they may send flower nectar, fowl and all they might need.

Me'Am Lo'ez, Genesis Chapter 1, p. 345, New Edition, 1967

"Happy are they who maintain justice, and do righteousness at all times." The meaning is that those who maintain justice are happy, teaching us that we are judged as sons; who can this come about? Precisely by giving charity at all times. Even at times when one is not doing the Almighty's will, meaning when one is transgressing, even then - doing charity attests that we are to be judged as sons… According to this, what our rabbis of blessed memory meant can now be understood: "Greatest is charity, in that it expedites the redemption", for it says, "Observe what is right and do what is just". They ask, saying that according to the verse it would seem that both are necessary – what is right, and what is just – how then did Rabbi Yehuda preach "Greatest is justice alone"? This fits well with what we have stated, that the meaning of the verse is "maintain justice". They are judged as sons; how can this be? "Do what is just" is followed by the answer: "for my salvation is near to come".

ISH HaEmunim, Sermons on the Festivals of Israel, Sermon 3 for Shabbat Teshuva, p. 86, Jerusalem, Zuckerman Printing, 1888
Maimonides, of blessed memory, wrote the Halakha on gifts to the poor, in these words: "There are eight levels of charity, each greater than the next. The greatest level, above which there is no greater, is to support a fellow Jew by endowing him with a gift or loan, or entering into a partnership with him, or finding employment for him, in order to strengthen his hand until he need no longer be dependent upon others etc."
This is what is meant by "Charity is greatest for it hastens the redemption". Meaning to say, the greatest charity – that is, strengthening those immigrating from the Diaspora so that they may earn a livelihood – is what hastens the redemption.
And Jerusalem can only be redeemed through this great charity, as it is said "Zion will be redeemed by justice." The RadaK [Rabbi David ben Yosef Kimchi, 1160 – 1235] interpreted this as: justice – this means commandments between man and his fellow man. That is, Zion will be redeemed by [observing the] commandments between man and his fellow man.
That is, to strengthen the hands of the weak and reinforce failing knees, to provide them with employment and craft so that they may earn a livelihood, for if there is no livelihood there is no redemption, as our Sages of blessed memory said: "Greater is livelihood than redemption", for redemption is by an angel – as it is said, "And He sent an angel, and brought us forth out of Egypt", and livelihood is by the Almighty – as it is said, "Thou openest Thy hand, and satisfiest every living thing with favour".
The Writings of Rabbi Yehuda Alkalai; Volume 2, Goral leHashem, paragraph 17, pp. 540-541, Mossad Harav Kook Press, Jerusalem 1974

"Speak to Aaron and his sons: Thus shall you bless the people of Israel and say to them" that "The LORD bless you and protect you" - those who give a tithe to the priest and a tithe to the poor. "Bless you" by channeling great wealth to you. This indicates that the wealthy are like funnels into which the heavens pour generously, in order that they fill empty vessels – the poor on earth below. Should there be any obstruction below that prevents channeling plenty to the poor, the heavens will no longer pour forth, but should the hand be open – it being the bottom aperture – the channel that funnels plenty rushing down from above will even be widened.

Minhat Yehuda, p. 44, Mas'oud Charbitte and Amram Hazzan Printing, Fes, 1935
"Give to him readily and have no regrets when you do so, for in return the LORD your God will bless you…" I will interpret this according to what they said in the first chapter of Tractate Hagigah p.5b, in reference to the verse 'For G-d shall bring every work into the judgment concerning every hidden thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil'. What does 'whether it be good or whether it be evil' mean? Shmuel said: He who provides his charity to the poor in his hour of distress. And RASHI, of blessed memory, interpreted: He who provides – in the usual sense, he who provides charity to the poor in his hour of distress, and not in the hour before his distress, so that the poor person may choose the best moment to purchase his foods at a low cost.
This implies that if one gave before 'his hour of distress', and then the poor person was again in need - in his hour of distress - that he can give him a second time, even in his hour of distress, and not that he provide for the poor person [only] in his hour of distress. This is what is meant by saying: if he already gave – before his hour of distress; 'readily' means to give him once again, in his hour of distress. '…and have no regrets when you do so' – thus refers to the second time, in his hour of distress, 'for in return' that you fulfill giving 'readily', that is, giving twice, 'the LORD your God will bless you'.
Doresh Ba'adi, Re'eh weekly portion, p. 66a, Goldenberg Brothers Publishing, Brooklyn (2000)
"If you lend money to My people, to the poor among you, do not act toward them as a creditor". This can be understood, as we know, that giving charity is beyond value, and that the advantage of charity is that it is given anonymously, in ways that do not embarrass the needy. One should always recall that what one gives to the poor is in one's possession only as a pledge, as our sages, of blessed memory, said: The money of the poor is only deposited with the rich as a pledge, for the Holy One, blessed be He, wishes to accord people with privilege (of good deeds), and therefore created both poor and rich people.
This is what is meant by ""If you lend money to My people": When you give charity to the poor, then "you lend money to My people". Consider it a loan, so as not to embarrass the needy, for the Holy One, blessed be He, will, in time, return it to you; you give, on the one hand, and the Holy One, blessed be He, gives to you on the other.
Yesh Me'Ayin – Original commentary on the Torah and HaZa"L, Volume 1, p. 167, A.B. Press, Jerusalem, 1978

"Your hands were not bound, and your feet were not put in fetters". Two types of charity are familiar to us. In the first, a person gives but makes no effort to have others give. This is termed "One who has hands" – for the person opens his or her hands to give. The second type concerns those who make the physical effort to go from place to place, from shop to shop, to ask others to give to the poor but do not give on their own. This is termed "One who has feet" – a person who fulfills the commandment using their feet. Then there are those who take action and have others act as well, who give and who also collect from others, to involve them in the mitzvah; this is called "having hands and feet". That is the intent of Scripture in saying, "Your hands were not bound" – meaning that your hand should be open to (giving) charity; "your feet were not fettered" means to say: Use your feet as well, take the trouble to go from place to place to collect charity.

Vayomer Yitzhak,Part 3, Srmons, Sermon 2, p. 25b – 26a, Published by HaRav Matzliakh Institute, Bnei Brak, 1982

Charity should be given anonymously, one should not boast about giving charity. A person who boasts will not only not be rewarded but, as we know, may be punished. We are not, however, concerned by arrogance when giving charity is publicized, since it leads to more charity being given; people learn from one another and then contribute wholeheartedly. Despite that the person doing so might be suspected of arrogance, since the purpose is, in the long run, excellent - in that the people increase their giving of charity - it is permissible.

Pnei Yitzhak, Sixth Volume, Sermon 3 for Shabbat Shuva, p. 14b, Jerusalem, 1903

Jews who travel on camels in caravans with Sons of Ishmael in the great and terrible desert do not, as everyone knows, ride on horseback and must publicly desecrate the Sabbath to remain with the caravan because of the dangers of tarrying alone in the desert over the Sabbath. The question arises whether it is right to object that they travel by caravan in the desert, so that they are not led to desecrating the Sabbath, despite the fact that they have no way of surviving other than traveling with a caravan… It is permitted to leave the settlement in a caravan on Sundays, Mondays or Tuesdays, for these three weekdays relate to the previous Sabbath and are considered as after the Sabbath. One need not refrain from leaving because of the upcoming Sabbath and if because of impending life-threatening danger one must desecrate the Sabbath, it is permissible and involves no prohibition. But it is forbidden to leave the settlement on Wednesdays, Thursdays and on the Sabbath eve, for these three days relate to the upcoming Sabbath and are considered as preceding the Sabbath.

Teshuvot HaRav, Section 16, Kushta, 1547
The Lord said to the prophet Isaiah: '…concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands, command ye Me' and we, too, to whom shall we command you? These are your interests, your flesh and blood, your relations, your masters, we have arisen and been inspired to impose upon ourselves and others, along with us, the meaning of 'charity is to be imposed', to gather a fair donation, with a good eye and in generous spirit, immediately, without hesitating and saying I will give tomorrow, to revive the spirit of these unfortunates and to handsomely fulfill the emissary's mission for the holy land 'for it is time to be gracious unto her, for the appointed time is come', and G-d will indeed see our righteousness, we have been strengthened and will not weaken, and this will benefit us and those following us, and our sons will not be surrendered to the sword, and our progeny will not lack bread, for wherefrom is charity to be found … Each and every one of you will give, and give again, for all comes from Him and His Hand giveth everything, and the poor among you have been sent by the Holy One, blessed be He, that you may be righteous, and to revive us towards this day, and through us will the scripture be fulfilled "But unto you that fear My name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in its wings; and ye shall go forth".
Vayizra Yitzhak, sermon on Tefillin, pp. 121-122, Ezra Haim Press, Damascus, printed in Aram Tzova [Aleppo], 1928

"These are the rules that you shall set before them: When you acquire a Hebrew slave". The Torah opens with the law that applies to a Hebrew slave, the first of all the laws to appear. The reason is that Torah plumbs the depths of human emotion, in particular that of the Israelite, in casese when a person is subject to the yoke of an individual similar to them. The Torah senses the deep, inner sorrow suffered by enslaved people that oppresses and embitters the spirit; enslavement is accompanied by domination, criticism and humiliation. This is all being caused by a similar creature, by another human being, and the person cannot reconcile himself or herself to the situation, human emotions beat within them at every moment: Why is he or she being oppressed and crushed under the master's heel, while the latter holds their head high and proud? In what way does he differ? Where not all people created by the Creator who provides for everyone, why has good fortune escaped them? These questions beat at their spirit and confuse their mind during every moment of every day. Their emotions gradually cool. The humanity within the person withers, dies at moments, until the spirit is finally entirely silenced, and the person becomes a living being with no feelings at all. Only animal needs remain; a person's vitality is reduced to feeling hunger and seeking how to sate it. The purpose of creation is, in a sense, diverted, for this was not the Creator's intent in creating humankind - the speaking and reflective being, capable of attaining the heights of wisdom. The Torah, therefore, had the law of the Hebrew slave precede all other laws, to place the restrictions necessary for us to prevent this. This is why it began by preventing a master from fully acquiring a Hebrew slave, stating that "he shall serve six years; in the seventh year he shall go free, without payment."

L'Yitzhak Re'akh, Mishpatim Reading Portion, p. 84, published by Eliyahu Hazzan, Jerusalem, 1993

The Talmud Torah is our major and most important cause for charity, since it cares for both the mind and the body. It cares for abandoned children and trains them in wisdom and in the sciences, and I therefore preach publicly about it, especially about the great and worthy achievements of its directors, who had this large building constructed. The institution had existed for many years and when the number of children eventually increased, they took the decision to house it in a large building to meet the new needs. It is a joy for all those who behold it, and provides food and drink, as well as clothing, for impoverished children. Pity and compassion cannot but arise in the hearts of the people of all our communities, near and far. They should continue to give donations for the benefit of this place, in order to raise and educate the children in religion and in resourcefulness, so that they become adults who find favor and approbation in the eyes of God and man.

Davar Be'ito, sermon for the distribution of gifts for excelling pupils, p. 309, Babylonian Jewry Research Institute Press, Or Yehuda, 2001
One should use one's wealth for charitable action, and provide food and drink for the poor to the best of one's ability, limiting spending for themselves and giving to the poor, and providing oneself with a small full yet full measure of satisfaction. In this way one comes to merit the World to Come… Aside from doing charitable acts for the poor, one must also be patient with them, listen to all they say and grieve together with them about their misery. One must attend to them the entire time they speak, and not say, "You have said enough, I have understood all you mean"; they should be cherished as are sons speaking before their fathers, and the longer they speak, the more one should be pleased…"
Mussar Hachamim, pp. 19-20, Machon HaKetav Publishing, Jerusalem, 1987
"May your home be open wide, may the poor be members of your household". A person, generous of heart, seeks to have the hungry enter his home and satiated … yet the person may not always remain at home, and spends the day in town. And even while they are at home, they may be sitting in the attic and be unaware of those who come begging, having left all such matters to those members of the household who are in charge of the property and kitchen. The latter, despite the fact that what they give is not theirs, may be miserly in giving each petitioner sufficiently to fill their need... and even lock the door to keep them away.
You are therefore commanded that "the poor be members of your household": This refers to those members of the household who are in charge of your property and your kitchen, who dwell in your home as tenants. Choose people who were once poor, who are familiar with the hardships of poverty, whether with hunger or with deprivation, that affect the body's health - How harsh and bitter these lacks can be for the needy person, and leave them helpless! - so that they may be filled with pity for the needy who are forced to knock at your door, respond to their plea, and give them what they require from the food and drink with which the house has been blessed, and not send them away empty-handed.
Hasdei Avot, Chapter 1, Mishna 5, p. 17, Jerusalem

The town's founding fathers long ago amended that whenever a bull, sheep or goat is slaughtered in town and its flesh is publicly sold by butchers, the fat and skin are to be appropriated by the public treasury for the needy, and butchers have no right to them… This fund was also designated for shrouds and other burial needs for the poor. And during the rainy season, they would take funds to support the street cleaners who cannot, during this period, earn a livelihood from their profession.

Halichot Teiman, Chapter on Israel Yishayahu, pp. 146 – 147, Ben Zvi Institute Press, Jerusalem, 2002
"Let your home be wide open" – so that every person may find relief from his distress therein: the hungry will find food, the poor find charity, the hard-pressed a loan, the ill medicine and so on. Not that they should all come at once, but that each should benefit, within one's capacity. The principle is that the homes of the people of Israel should have in them some item to benefit the poor… There was a poor woman in the city of Drakart who would rise early each morning, heat the stove and lend hot water or coals to her neighbors. There was a fire in town and she and her neighbors were saved thanks to this good deed. For despite the fact that they were poor, when they had the means their homes were wide open for the benefit of others.
Nachalat Avot, Chapter 1, pp. 213-214. Printed by Bros. Yitzhak and Eliyahu Abicassis Maghreb Printing, Jerusalem 1976

The deceased was a charitable individual. When people went to fulfill the obligation of gathering money for charity, he was often the first to give. We are all therefore obligated to eulogize him, even those who did not directly benefit from him. Measure for measure; just as he was a benefactor for other people, and his death put an end to the benefit and value they received, thus must other people come to his benefit and eulogize him. This is the reason the sages said that "The Holy One, blessed be He, will in the future prepare a canopy and shelter for those who fulfill the mitzvah of charity with those who toil at Torah. "For to be in the shelter of wisdom is to be also in the shelter of money". Just as the toil of some at Torah benefits others, so do those who fulfill the commandment of charity benefit others; just as Torah scholars are to be eulogized, so are those who fulfill the mitzvah of charity to be eulogized.

Divrei Yosef, Sermons on the Torah and on Festivals, Sermons for Eulogies, p. 140, Private publication of the author's manuscripts, Jerusalem 2010
Concerning the occupancy of a house, rented from him by Moussa for a period of time at a low rate, and now that prices of homes have risen, he seeks to increase the rent…
I ruled that he cannot now add to the rental fees since, despite the rise in prices of homes, he remained silent and didn't raise the rent and, as a matter of fact, collected from him every month at the low rate; he may therefore not add anything at all to the fee.

Tokfo shel Yoseph, Part 1, paragraph 34, p. 158. Bnei Issachar Sephardi Library Publishing, Jerusalem, 2004
"You shall accept gifts for Me from every person whose heart so moves him". We are informed here that the necessary condition for the fulfillment of any commandment is the elimination of worry and sorrow - even concerning the commandment of charity, the fulfillment of which entails sorrow. One must therefore gather strength, and be glad and of good cheer at the hour of obligatory giving, since this is the essence and summit of fulfilling the commandment. For this is how G-d commanded Moses: "Tell the Israelite people to bring Me gifts" – meaning to say: The people who are to be known by the name of Israel, who undoubtedly give willingly, are glad and of good cheer; to them you will say simply 'to bring me gifts'. But when you are to take an offering 'from every person whose heart so moves him', this means to say: When you know some imperfect person whose heart will be anguished and pained when giving, the words 'whose heart so moves him' are taken to refer to 'anguish'. To such people you are to say: Do not be sorrowful. When you 'bring Me gifts', I will soon reimburse you the offering you have given Me.willing' – this means to say: When you know some imperfect person whose heart will be anguished and pained when giving an offering, the words 'maketh him willing' is taken to refer to 'anguish'. To such people you are to say: Do not be sorrowful. When you 'take for Me an offering' I will soon reimburse you the offering you have given Me.
Yoseph Hen, Sermon B on the Virtue of Charity, p. 23, Abraham Teshuva Press, Tripoli, 1928
One who has poor relatives can ostensibly divide the charity he is in the habit of giving: half to those closest to him and half to all the other poor, as indicated in Tractate Pe'ah, Mishna 6, where we learn that "he may retain half and give half". Should one have a minimal amount – one hands it to them and they divide it amongst themselves. See Rabbi David ben Zimra's published Responsa, paragraph 147
Ginat Vradim, Section Orah Haim, Gan HaMelech, paragraph 70, p. 26, Yismach Lev Publishing, Jerusalem, 2008