Distributing charity to gentiles

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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 also being distributed to Jewish paupers on that occasion.[3]


[1] Michaber Y.D. 151:12; Rama 251:1 “One distributes charity to gentile paupers together with Jewish paupers due to Darkei Shalom”; Tur 151 and 251; Gittin 61a; 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 [Michaber ibid; Rama ibid; Tur ibid]

[3] Shach Y.D. 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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