Some one told me the Lubavicher Rebbe told non jews to do charity

Are there sources that they have a commandment to do so?
By them doing it it is only them doing a mitzvah they were not commanded to do?

  • 1
    One observation: Daniel gave the same advice to Nebuchadnezzar (4:24). And yet Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi criticizes him for this very thing in Bava Batra 4a (according to one of the answers in the Gemara it seems the problem is that he wasn't obligated in commandments).
    – b a
    Jun 1, 2018 at 13:52
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    @ba "We should not prevent a gentile who desires to perform one of the Torah's mitzvot in order to receive reward from doing so, provided he performs it as required" rambam halacha 10 here chabad.org/1188355 (related)
    – hazoriz
    Jun 1, 2018 at 13:59
  • Possibly related judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/88513 If Jews have an extra-halakhic obligation in this regard, arguably gentiles would too
    – Double AA
    Jun 1, 2018 at 14:26
  • re:preventing a gentile etc., see a rather interesting comment by R. Asher Weiss here (scroll down to section 8) Jun 1, 2018 at 18:30

1 Answer 1


The Ran1 (to Sanhedrin 56b) and Yad Ramah (Sanhedrin 57b) both believe that non-Jews are indeed obligated in the commandment to give charity. Although it is not listed in the "seven commandments" of Sanhedrin 56b, the Gemara clarifies one daf later that the list is only meant to include obligation to not do something, not positive commands. This would explain why the people of Sedom were destroyed on account of not doing charity (see Yechezkel 16:49). This also seems to be the position of Rabbeinu Bachayei (Bereishis 18:20) and perhaps also the Netziv, who wrote in his fascinating approbation to Sefer Ahavas Chesed (written by the Chofetz Chaim) that non-Jews are obligated in doing acts of kindness.

However, it is fairly clear from Rambam (Mishnah Torah 10:10) that he disagrees, as he includes giving charity as something acceptable but not obligatory. This may also be the position of Rashi (and Meriri) based upon his comments to Sanhedrin 56b (s.v. "dinei kenasos") as understood by Maharsha there.

1The commentary known as "Chiddushei ha-Ran" to Sanhedrin is known to either not actually have been authored by Rabbeinu Nissim of Gerona, or at least includes some comments that were added later. See Intro to Chiddushei ha-Ran, Mossad Harav Kook ed., pg 7-8

  • Great answer. Where is the rokeach located?
    – robev
    Jun 1, 2018 at 18:13
  • The footnote to my Ran on Sanhedrin quotes this as Rokeach siman 366, which is indeed where he discusses several principles pertaining to when a bracha is made, but now that I looked at it again I think he's making a different point (and doesn't mention charity in particular) Jun 1, 2018 at 18:28

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