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Well now that I see this is a good site, with no rude people. I shall ask my question. I lost quite a lot of important things in an apartment fire (no insurance) so .. I set up a gofundme thing (now deleted from the massive amount of threats , accusations, and hatemail) and joined a few Jewish forums to... see if anyone could give the URL link a few shares or something. Tzitzit , tefellin , prayer shawl , various books, etc. All lost . . . . This was a while back .. anyhow Am I wrong to have tried to obtain help? I was told it was not "kosher" to ask for help , and my situation was "fake" , and that it is impossible for me not to know any other Jewish people.... (There isn't a synagogue nearby I live in a very rural area) there is .. like a geonology type thing.. but they don't even practice Jeudaism so..thats a no go ... *I'm not asking for help here , I just would like to know if I am wrong for seeking help...

  • are you asking about Jewish law or nettiquette or some combination? – rosends May 26 '15 at 14:52
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    Why would it be wrong to ask for help? I think the best situation is if you can get letters of recommendation from a Rabbi that is well known. If that is not possible even from a less known Rabbi attesting to the authenticity of your situation. Why one would threaten you is beyond me. If one feels you are being untrue they can just not donate. It seems like you are connected with people that are mean spirited (from making fun of your name, to threatening, accusing, etc.). Perhaps it is time to find some real friends. – Gershon Gold May 26 '15 at 15:05
  • @GershonGold I think part of the problem is the virtual (unverifiable) aspect. If one is separate from a Jewishcommunity but wants to ask for help from a particularly Jewish angle, one can't get a te'udah and go door to door. The simplistic answer is "move where the Jews are" but that is not always feasible. So it gofundme a proper venue for soliciting "Jewish money." – rosends May 26 '15 at 15:08
  • @Danno: There can always be very unique situations. Most times a Jewish fellow has a connection with a Rabbi, Rosh Yeshiva, person who was Megayer him, person who was involved with making him Frum, and can get a reference letter even if they live in the Boondocks. – Gershon Gold May 26 '15 at 15:10
  • @GershonGold yes, but people in the boondocks won't know what to do with that letter. – rosends May 26 '15 at 15:11
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While there is no explicit commandment stating that you MUST ask for help when you need money, the implied mitzvah is that someone must give to someone who does ask for help. This implies that in order for the giver to perform the mitzvah, someone must ask him, though, of course, one should give even before being asked, if one knows that there is someone needy.

There are numerous verses in the Torah regarding supporting the needy. One notable one is:

Deuteronomy 15:7:

If there be among you a needy man, one of thy brethren, within any of thy gates, in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thy heart, nor shut thy hand from thy needy brother;

From the above, we can infer that there is no sin in asking for help if you need it.

However, the key part to this is that you must need it. In other words, if you haven't made even a small effort to support yourself and have no intention of doing so, that is problematic. That doesn't mean that you can't and shouldn't ask while you have no job or means to support yourself. But, the idea is that you cannot remain a continuous burden on society expecting others to continuously support you while you sit idly and take advantage of this.

The importance of work is mentioned in Pirkei Avot 2:2:

Rabban Gamliel the son of Rabbi Yehudah HaNasi said: Excellent is the study of the Torah together with a worldly occupation, For the exertion [expended] in both of them causes sin to be forgotten. And all [study of the] Torah in the absence of a worldly occupation comes to nothing in the end and leads to sin.

Rabbi Yonah explains that if one does not work, he becomes completely dependent on the donations of the community, and may even become so desparate that he begins to steal in order to supply even his basic needs.

In summary, try to support yourself as best as possible, but if you are in dire need, ask for help as well. Most of all, if needed, ask for help for work, if you need that.

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