Tithes for the Poor

"At the end of three years, you shall bring forth all the tithes of your produce"—Deuteronomy 14:28.

We are commanded to separate a tenth of our harvest [in addition to the First Tithe given to the Levites] on the third and sixth year of the seven-year Shemitah cycle, and give it to the poor.

[During these two years, this tithe substitutes the Second Tithe.]

This biblical precept only applies in the Land of Israel.


"You shall surely open your hand "Deuteronomy 15:8.

We are commanded to give charity to the indigent, to relieve them of their distress. We are commanded to feed the needy and provide them with whatever they lack.

Even a pauper who is sustained by charity is obligated to fulfill this mitzvah—by giving charity (even if only a pittance) to someone needier than himself, or someone in a similar predicament.

Ignoring a Needy Person

"Do not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your destitute brother"Deuteronomy 15:7.

It is forbidden to be stingy and withhold charity and relief from our needy brethren—if we are aware of their desperate situation and have the means to assist them.