Q & A - WITH RABBI RISKIN
The distinction between these two types of giving is quite clear. If a person claims that he needs money in order to survive, then one is not permitted to go into too much detail; he must be given assistance immediately - even if only in the form of a small donation. In the case of an educational institution, everyone is entitled to support the educational ideology in which he or she believes and not to support those which he feels represent a negative influence.
It should be noted that aside from the donation that is or is not given, the attitude is very important. Our Sages teach that every person should be received with a pleasant facial expression - and especially those who are in difficult straits. A kindly word and a cool drink are often no less important than the donation itself. This is especially important for the education of one's children, who should observe and learn how to relate to those who knock on our doors for help.
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