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Consolation for the Poor

Rabbi Elchanan Lewis11 Cheshvan 5767
395
Question
Does Torah, Talmud, Tanach, or any writings or tales about such persons as the Baal Shem Tov teach us what consolations we may offer to the poor and what may be our attitudes to the poor, in addition to of course giving Tzedakah to help those in need?
Answer
Maimonidies (laws of Tzedakah 10: 4-5; based on the Talmud Bava-Batra 9b) states that even if one donates a thousand gold coins to the poor but in a bad, resentful unpleasant manner, he may lose his merit of this mitzvah, rather you should show favor, compassion and empathy to him. Even if you have nothing to give the poor you must appease him and share his sorrow to ease the pain.
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