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From Maimonides, Mishnah Torah, Laws of Gifts to the Poor, chapter 7:1, 3.

מצות עשה ליתן צדקה לעניי ישראל כפי מה שראוי לעני… לפי מה שחסר העני, אתה מצווה ליתן לו—אם אין לו כסות, מכסין אותו; אין לו כלי בית, קונין לו כלי בית; אין לו אישה, משיאין לו אישה; ואם הייתה אישה, משיאין אותה לאיש:  אפילו היה דרכו של זה העני לרכוב על הסוס ועבד רץ לפניו, והעני וירד מנכסיו--קונין לו סוס לרכוב עליו ועבד לרוץ לפניו, שנאמר "די מחסורו, אשר יחסר לו" (דברים טו,ח).
 

It is a positive commandment to give tzedakah (charity) to the poor according to what is fitting for that poor person…

According to what that person is lacking, you are commanded to give to him: If he has no clothing, you clothe him. If he has no utensils, you purchase them for him. If he has no wife, you find him a wife. If it is a woman, you find her a husband. Even if it was the way of this poor person to ride on a horse while a servant runs before him. If he has lost money (and become poor), one buys him a horse and servant to attend to him. As it is written: “But you shall open your hand wide to him, and shall surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he lacks.” (Deuteronomy 15:8).

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Description

Maimonides describes the importance of giving people what they specifically need.

Publisher
Jewish Women's Archive

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Jewish Women's Archive. "From Maimonides, Mishnah Torah, Laws of Gifts to the Poor, chapter 7:1, 3.." (Viewed on November 25, 2014) <http://jwa.org/media/from-maimonides-mishneh-torah-laws-of-gifts-to-poor-chapter-71-3>.

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