21 September 2016

Why Is it That What Should Be Self-Evident Rarely Is?

18 Elul 5776

The Rambam in Hilchot Melachim u'Milchamoteihem (The Laws of Kings and Their Wars), Chapter 10, Halachah 10:

"...if an idolater gives chaity, we should accept it from him and give it to the gentile poor."

Commentary: Two reasons are given as to why charity should not be accepted from gentiles:
  • The merit of their generosity will prolong their rule over the Jews (Bava Batra 10b).
  • The fact that Jews feel it necesary to receive charity from gentiles causes chillul HaShem, the desecration of God's name, (Rashi, Sanhedrin 26b).