Midrash Leviticus Rabbah 34
ויקרא רבה (מרגליות) פרשת בהר פרשה לד
[יד] כי תראה ערום וכיסיתו (ישעיה נח, ז). ר' אבא בר זבדא רב ור' יוחנן, חד אמ' מדקדקין בכסות ואין מדקדקין בחיי נפש וחרנה אמ' אף בכסות אין מדקדקין מפני בריתו שלאברהם אבינו.
"When you see the naked, clothe them, and do not ignore your own kin." (Isaiah 58:7). R. Adda b. Ahabah, in the name of Rab, and R. Johanan differ on the interpretation of this. One says that careful inquiry should be made in regard to beggars who ask for clothing, but no inquiries should be made in regard to food. The other says that in regard to clothing also no inquiries should be made, on account of the Covenant of Abraham. [Soncino translation]

Suggested Discussion Questions:

1. What is the reasoning for inquiring about clothing but not food? What does this teach us about the difference between those two needs?

2. Why should we not inquire about clothing either? What values does this reflect?

3. Is it ever appropriate to evaluate whether someone asking for assistance should be given assistance?

Time Period: Rabbinic (Maccabees through the Talmud)