Charity for a Gentile

Distributing charity to gentiles:[1]

It is permitted and encouraged to distribute charity to a gentile.[2] This applies even if the charity is being given to an individual gentile, or a group of gentiles, without it being distributed to also Jewish paupers on that occasion.[3]

 

 


[1] Gittin 61a; Tur 151 and 251; Michaber 151/12; Rama 251/1 “One distributes charity to gentile paupers together with Jewish paupers due to Darkei Shalom”; Regarding Matanos Laevyonim see: Michaber 694/3; M”A 694/6; Taz 694/2; M”B 694/10

[2] The reason: This is permitted, and encouraged to be done, in order to keep the state of peace with our gentile neighbors [Tur ibid; Michaber ibid; Rama ibid]

[3] Shach 151/18; 251/2; Taz 151/9; Darkei Moshe 251; Bach 151 and 251 “and so is the custom”; Ran Gittin ibid

Other opinions: Some Poskim rule one may not distribute charity to a gentile pauper if one is not also distributing charity to Jewish paupers at the same time. [Perisha 251; Gr”a in his opinion of Rama ibid; Mordechai Gittin ibid] Seemingly the reason for this is because when one is not distributing charity to others Jews, there will be no enmity caused if one withholds from giving to a gentile, as he is not expecting the money and does not notice any racism towards him. It is thus forbidden to give him the money, being it is forbidden to give a present to a gentile. [Michaber 151/11] If however one is giving out to other Jews and one specifically does not give a gentile pauper, this causes enmity.

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