Babylonian Talmud, Hagiga 5a
תלמוד בבלי חגיגה ה.
"כי את כל מעשה האלהים יבא במשפט על כל נעלם" (קהלת יב:יד) אמרי דבי רבי ינאי זה הנותן צדקה לעני בפרהסיא כי הא דרבי ינאי חזייה לההוא גברא דקא יהיב זוזא לעני בפרהסיא אמר ליה מוטב דלא יהבת ליה מהשתא דיהבת ליה וכספתיה
"God will call every creature to account for everything unknown" (Kohelet 12:14). Rabbi Yannai said, "This [verse refers to] one who gives tzedakah to a poor person in public." Similarly, once Rabbi Yannai saw a man giving a dinar to a poor man in public. He said to him, "It would have been better had you not given him anything, because your giving shamed him." [translation by Mechon Hadar]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. Why is there such a conflict between privacy and charity? Is this an inherent tension?

2. What do you make of Rabbi Yannai's assertion that it is better not to give than to give in public? Better for whom?

3. More broadly, what does this text say about the trade-off between dignity and wealth?

Time Period: Rabbinic (Maccabees through the Talmud)