רבי יהודה החסיד, ספר חסידים
A rich man used to donate money to the community’s tzedakah fund and ask the administrator to distribute it to the poor. Now this rich man had an impoverished brother; in fact, all of his relatives were destitute. The rabbi told the rich man, “The money you dole out to the poor through the tzedakah fund is not tzedakah. Rather, it causes tze’akah, sobbing by your relatives. It is far better that you give these funds to your needy brother and penniless relatives.” [Avraham Finkel]
Suggested Discussion Questions:
1. How should we prioritize our giving?
2. If we only took care of our relatives, those without relatives would have no help. How do we balance these factors?
Time Period: Medieval (Geonim through the 16th Century)