it is preferable not to take charity from non-Jews (maybe only if it is not in private)

Source Yore daiya 254

In a case of need (someone needs money for housing and/or food),
which is more preferable:
1. To take/collect tsedoko from Jews
2. To get subsidies from the non-Jewish government (e.g. Section 8 or food stamps) not a private non-Jew, but probably considered in public, maybe also Jewish since Jews pay taxes

Sources on subject would be greatly appreciated.

EDIT To fulfill the request of the Honorable @IsaacMoses bellow (sorry for being so slow)


אָסוּר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לִטֹּל צְדָקָה מִן הָעוֹבְדֵי כּוֹכָבִים בְּפַרְהֶסְיָא. וְאִם אֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִחְיוֹת בַּצְּדָקָה שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאֵינוֹ יָכוֹל לִטְּלָהּ מֵהָעוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים בְּצִנְעָא, הֲרֵי זֶה מֻתָּר. It is forbidden to take tsedoko publicly from a non Jew, unless you can't other ways, from a Jew or privately.

So it would seem it is preferable to collect tzedoka from Jews (option one)

מֶלֶךְ אוֹ שַׂר עוֹבֵד כּוֹכָבִים שֶׁשָּׁלַח מָמוֹן לְיִשְׂרָאֵל לִצְדָקָה, אֵין מַחֲזִירִין אוֹתוֹ מִשּׁוּם שְׁלוֹם מַלְכוּת, אֶלָא נוֹטְלִין מִמֶּנּוּ וְיִנָּתֵן לַעֲנִיֵי נָכְרִים בַּסֶתֶר, כְּדֵי שֶׁלֹּא יִשְׁמַע הַמֶּלֶךְ. הַגָּה: וְיֵשׁ אוֹמְרִים דְּיַעֲשֶׂה בָּהֶן מַה שֶּׁצִּוָּה לוֹ הַמּוֹשֵׁל...
If the king sends money for Jews for tzedoko we should not return it for peace with the government but we should give is secretly to poor non-Jews, so that the kind will not hear about it haga there are those that say that you should do with them (the money) as the king says (give it to poor Jews)

It still seems to me that option one is preferred since the government is not sending the money but offering you to request it (by filling out a form)

But I am asking this question because I know of Orthodox Jews that do it and do not collect tzedoka from Jews at all, so maybe there is something I am not understanding correctly

  • Any reason to assume that the Shulhan Arukh refers to non-Jews in general? The cited source only speaks of idolaters.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 4:26
  • @mevaqesh yes it is known that the word idolator was used instead of non-jew becouse of the cencers, any reason to believe not?
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 9:09
  • @hazoriz Oftentimes there are halakic differences between non-Jews and idolaters. Sometimes the former is swapped for the latter due to censorship. Sometimes it is used deliberately. Therefore, quoting the former and assuming the latter intent, without demonstrating this based on the original sources, makes for a very poor question.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Jul 8, 2016 at 13:43

1 Answer 1


In a video by min 8:30 https://vimeo.com/142972789
Rabbi Moshe Heinamann sais it is permitted since the government do it for themselves, or since the money that is given is given by force (taxes) and not tzedoko

I have a question on the first reason this since in the end of the first perek in tanya it sais that all the kindness they do for themselves anyway, if so then what is the law about

  • "since the government do it for themselves" what does that mean?
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 2:40
  • 1
    Maybe Rabbi Heinemann does not agree with the Tanya.
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 2:40
  • @mevaqesh so that the people without income should not steel (this same money) this is how I understood it
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 2:43
  • Did he actually give that explanation about stealing?
    – mevaqesh
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 2:44
  • @mevaqesh that is how I understand on minute 8:44
    – hazoriz
    Commented Jan 10, 2016 at 2:46

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .