Following a very interesting and animated discussion at the Shabbos table this past Friday night, I wanted to delve more into the halachos of who is an oni? I understand very clearly from the Neviim and from the Torah that we're supposed to especially look after three kinds of people: widows, orphans, and the poor.
The real meat of my question is as follows: Am I fulfilling any obligation and share of giving tzedakah by giving to someone who is admittedly poor, but who essentially lives off of the community, shows no desire to work or to learn Torah, and has no rabbinic letter of approval?
I would feel much more inclined to give to someone if they were at least either
- Looking for a job.
- Learning Torah.
- Working with a Rabbi; some rabbinic figure is aware of their situation and is trying to work with them to help them.
When I posed this question at the table, I got two people telling me that in no way would I be chayev to give tzedakah to such a person. Would I be?