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I've heard you're not supposed to give tzedokoh at night. What exactly are the rules regarding this?

Does it apply only to physically giving poor man coins or writing checks? what about fulfilling pledges or giving maaser and I don't have other time during the day?

  • If Tzedaka didn't apply at night, wouldn't women be exempt from it? This sounds quite dubious. – Double AA Mar 3 '17 at 19:15
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    Not that it doesn't apply, but that it's best avoided. due to night mazalos? – larry909 Mar 3 '17 at 19:17
  • What does it mean to a Jew to say that it's best to avoid charity?? Even delaying giving charity by seconds can be a biblical prohibition – Double AA Mar 3 '17 at 20:14
  • Or maybe motsei Shabbos? – larry909 Mar 3 '17 at 21:09
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There are some mystical sources from the last few centuries that are concerned with giving charity at night for superstitious reasons based on Shekalim (5:4).

However, R. Yishak Yosef rules that it is permissible to give charity at night:

ילקוט יוסף קצוש"ע יורה דעה סימן רמז, רנט - קצת מהלכות צדקה

ח. מותר ליתן צדקה בלילה, ולדעת האר"י ז"ל אין ליתן צדקה בלילה שהוא זמן דינים בעולם... ומכל מקום מעיקר הדין אין להקפיד בזה, ואם נתן לקופה של צדקה בלילה, ישא ברכה מאת ה.

It is permissible to give charity at night, and according to the opinion of the Arizal one shouldn't give charity at night, which is a time of judgement in the world...Nevertheless, according to the law one should not worry about this, and if one gave to a charitable collection at night, he will receive blessings from God.

Similarly, R. Hayyim Kanievsky references this opinion of the mystics, but nevertheless clarifies that if the opportunity to give charity arises, it is a great mitsvah to do so; even at night. (Derekh Emunah to Hilkhot Matnot Aniym 7:1)

כתבו שיותר טוב ליתן צדקה ביום ולא בלילה מיהו אם נזדמן לו בלילה בודאי יתן והיא מצוה גדולה

[The mystics] wrote that it is better to give charity in the day than at night. However, if the opportunity presents itself at night, one should certainly give, and it is a great mitsvah.

Furthermore, it should be noted that if one encounters a mendicant (at night or any other time) and refrains from giving him charity, one may violate varioous Biblical laws, including 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.

See Rambam's Sefer HaMitsvot (Lo Ta'aseh 232).

  • Got something against charity, commentless downvoter? – mevaqesh Mar 5 '17 at 0:19
  • Rabbi Yosef: "...and if one gave..." sounds like you originally shouldn't give, ( but if you do you shouldn't worry). – larry909 Mar 6 '17 at 4:05
  • He says meikar hadin ein lhakpid bazeh; that means lchatchila. – mevaqesh Mar 6 '17 at 5:26

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