Sunday, October 16, 2005

Maimonides on charity

From Bismark:

The American Institute of Philanthropy makes reference to "the ladder of giving" devised by the 12th century Jewish philosopher Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon, better known as Maimonides. Each of the rungs of the ladder past the first indicates a higher degree of virtue:
  • The lowest: Giving begrudgingly and making the recipient feel disgraced or embarrassed.
  • Giving cheerfully but giving too little.
  • Giving cheerfully and adequately but only after being asked.3
  • Giving before being asked.
  • Giving when you do not know who is the individual benefiting, but the recipient knows your identity.
  • Giving when you know the individual benefiting, but the recipient does not know your identity.
  • Giving when neither the donor nor the recipient is aware of the other's identity.
  • And the highest: Giving money, a loan, your time or whatever else it takes to enable an individual to be self-reliant.
posted by Yeshiva Orthodoxy
at 12:28 PM

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