The poor of one's household take precedence over the poor of one's city, and the poor of one's city take precedence over the poor of another city, as implied by [Deuteronomy 15:11]: "[Open your hand generously] to your poor and destitute brother in your land."

What would be the ruling for someone who for example worked a whole day in one city but lived in another city ? Is "your city" determined by where you sleep or does where you spend your day (and if you are a business owner - where you pay taxes and share in the cities ordinances) have any weight in terms of Tzedakah preferences.

** The person who I was discussing this with seemed to recall something from the achronim in the laws of Kimcha D'Pischa that says you need to give in the city where you work as well. Didn't make sense to me so I thought I would ask the MY community.

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    You're not going to find any classic source that deals with this, simply because the concept of the daily commute from one city to another is a very recent phenomenon.
    – Jake
    Sep 9, 2014 at 11:58
  • @Jake, This could well be dealt with by contemporary posekim, however. Where people allocate their tzedaka money is of great consequence, in many ways, and gets a great deal of treatment in the lieterature, if I'm not mistaken.
    – Isaac Moses
    Sep 9, 2014 at 13:05
  • @IsaacMoses If it were based on any halachic source pre-industrial revolution, the answer would be "home", since "workplace" was at best another city that a salesman / trader visited once a year, and there were several of them.
    – Jake
    Sep 9, 2014 at 13:07
  • @Jake, actually, now that you mention it, I'm not so sure that you're right. Merchants would travel great distances to, e.g., attend commercial fairs, and would spend significant time in the business location. And, significantly, there would be a great deal of money flowing around there. It's not inconceivable that a posek from then would at least consider requiring people to donate some of that money to the local poor before going home.
    – Isaac Moses
    Sep 9, 2014 at 13:12
  • @IsaacMoses You're describing something different: where a man would have a wife and kids in one city, and would live for several months or years in another city, where he did business. In that case, the place where the man resides is "ircha" for tzedakah, and someone from the town where his wife and kids live would take a lower tzedakah priority. No one considers a modern office building to be a residence, and s/he goes home every night, so it can't be "ircha".
    – Jake
    Sep 9, 2014 at 13:18

1 Answer 1


According to R' Herschel Schachter, the designation of "your city" for this purpose is based on association, rather than geography. In an interview on the topic with Jewish Action magazine, he said:

However, aniyei ircha does not refer to the poor people of your city literally. I live in Manhattan. Are all the poor people in New York considered my aniyei ircha? I don’t think so. Years ago, the cities were small and aniyei ircha were the people you knew. Today, aniyei ircha are the people with whom you associate, with whom you have a kesher. There are so many shuls in New York, but I don’t daven in all of them. There are so many mikvaot in this city, but my family only uses one. The shuls and mikvah from which my family benefits are considered aniyei ircha. The yeshivot where I, my children and my grandchildren learned, even in distant cities or countries, are considered aniyei ircha. The institutions with which I have a connection are aniyei ircha, and those with which I have no link are aniyei ir acheret [the poor of another city].

Based on this principle, it would seem that institutions or poor people that you associate with in your place of business count as "your city" just as much as those that you associate with in your place of residence, and more than those that you don't associate with who happen to be located in your place of residence.

  • see? I was right. You're not going to find any classic source that deals with this. :o)
    – Jake
    Sep 9, 2014 at 13:42
  • @Jake, my ignorance of the classic sources is far, far, from proof of their non-existence. :) I'm sure R' Schachter has sources to support his position, and maybe he describes them somewhere else. Hunting that down could make this answer more valuable.
    – Isaac Moses
    Sep 9, 2014 at 13:44
  • R' Schachter is one of the gedolei hador, his psak is gold. My only point is, this is a contemporary question, don't expect rishonim to deal with it.
    – Jake
    Sep 9, 2014 at 13:56

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