Rambam, Mishneh Torah, Laws of Gifts to the Poor 9:12
2 ב
מי שישב במדינה שלשים יום כופין אותו ליתן צדקה לקופה עם בני המדינה, ישב שם שלשה חדשים כופין אותו ליתן התמחוי, ישב שם ששה חדשים כופין אותו ליתן צדקה בכסות שמכסים בה עניי העיר, ישב שם תשעה חדשים כופין אותו ליתן צדקה לקבורה שקוברין בה את העניים ועושין להם כל צרכי קבורה.
A person who dwells in a city for thirty days is forced to give tzedakah to the Kupah (community fund that feeds the resident poor with a weekly food allocation) with the rest of the residents of the city. If one dwelt there three months they force that person to give to the Tamhui (public soup kitchen for any hungry person). If one dwelt there six months they force that person to give tzedakah for clothing to clothe the poor. If one dwelt there nine months they force that person to give tzedakah for the burial fund which provides all the burial requirements for the poor. [Translation by Hillel. Edited for gender neutrality]
3 ג

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. This text presents a different way to view our responsibilities to others. What is the organizing principle here?

2. What is this source adding to our understanding of who we should help and how to help?

3. What do you think about the idea of forcing someone to give? Why do you think Maimonides emphasizes this aspect?

4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of forcing someone to give? What would happen if there was a requirement for every student at your college to participate in a trip like this, or to do volunteer service in your campus community?

4 ד
Time Period: Medieval (Geonim through the 16th Century)