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Charity to Non-Jew

There is a girl who is approaching Judaism, and asks the following: Can you give from your tzedaka to a Goy who took care of you when you were little, buying food, etc. now that this Goy is old and needy?



It is find to give charity money to a non-Jew, especially under the circumstances (where he took care of you when you were young).

The Gemara and Shulchan Aruch rule that we give charity even to regular non-Jews (and even to idolaters), and according to the Rambam this is a principle of emulating the ways of Hashem. In this case there is also a moral obligation to help out the person in question.

This will not, however, fulfill the custom of maaser (see here).

Best wishes.


See Gittin 61a; Yoreh De’ah 251 (one gives charity to non-Jews and Jews together). For the rationale, see Rashi; according to the Rambam, Laws of Kings, end of Chap. 10, the rationale extends beyond the simple interpretation of ‘darchei shalom’ (ways of peace), and involves emulating the ways of Hashem in being good to all.

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