Who may be given Matanos Laevyonim-Who is considered a pauper?

Who may be given Matanos Laevyonim-Who is considered a pauper?

Some Poskim[1] rule that only those paupers who are extremely poor [and are beggars[2]] are considered Evyonim, and are to be given Matanos Laevyonim.[3] Other Poskim[4] rule that anyone who is poor, even not to the extreme mentioned above, is considered an Evyon and may be given Matanos Laevyonim.[5] Practically, anyone who cannot afford today’s normal monthly expenses is considered poor and may be given Matanos Laevyonim. Likewise, anyone who has extra necessary expenses that he cannot afford, such as heavy medical bills, or the marrying off of children, is considered poor in this regard.[6]

Are Yeshiva Bochurim considered like paupers in the above regard?[7]

Yeshiva Bochurim who do not have an income of their own are considered like paupers and may be given Matanos Laevyonim. It is questionable whether a Bochur with wealthy parents is also considered a pauper or not.


[1] Makor Chaim of Chavos Yair 694:3

[2] See Aruch Hashulchan 694/3

[3] There is a difference between an “Evyon” and an “Ani”. An Evyon is one who is so poor that he begs for money from others. An Ani is one who is poor but not to the extent that he begs.

[4] Aruch Hashulchan 694/3

[5] The reason: As the Torah itself interchanges the terms Ani and Evyon to refer to a poor person. Now, the reason the verse states “Matanos Laevyonim” and not Aniyim is because it is coming to teach us that one fulfills the Mitzvah not only by searching for poor brethren and giving them a donation, but also by giving those that beg. [ibid]

[6] Piskeiy Teshuvos 694/2; Tzedaka Umishpat chapter 2

[7] Piskeiy Teshuvos 694 footnote 16

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