Section: Revach   Category: Lists
Not All Tzedoka Is Created Equal - Rambam's 8 Levels Of Tzedoka

The Rambam writes (Matanos Aniyim 10:1) that we are obligated to be careful regarding the mitzva of tzedoka more than all the Mitzvos Aseh because giving tzedoka is a sign that you are from the righteous children of Avrohom Avinu.  Among other things he also adds that Bnei Yisroel will not be redeemed only in the zechus of tzedoka.

To put you at ease when doing the difficult task of parting with your precious money he says that a person never became poor from giving tzedoka and was never harmed by it in any way.  Furthermore if you have Rachamanus on the need Hashem will have mercy on you.  We all know going through our often times difficult lives, how much we can all use this mercy.

The Rambam says that not all tzedoka is created equal.  There is a hierarchy of 8 clearly defined levels of tzedoka.  The underlying principle of this hierarchy is to save the person who sadly needs to rely on handouts from feeling shame.  The less shame he feels, the greater your reward. 

So there is giving tzedoka and giving tzedoka.  Since the hardest part is parting with our money, once we have already decided to do that, we may as well get, literally speaking, the most "bang for our buck".

Click here to view Revach Lists  8 levels of tzedoka.