Kesubos - Daf 67

  • Providing tzedakah to orphans

It was taught in a Baraisa: יתום ויתומה שבאו להתפרנס – If an orphan boy and orphan girl come before the gabbai tzedakah to be supported, we first provide for the orphan girl, מפני שהאיש דרכו לחזור על הפתחים – because it is the way for a man to go around begging from door to door, but not the way for a woman. יתום ויתומה שבאו לינשא – If an orphan boy and orphan girl come individually for tzedakah to get married, we first marry off the girl,  מפני שבושתה של אשה מרובה משל איש – for the shame of a woman is greater than the shame of a man. It was taught in another Baraisa: When an orphan boy comes for tzedakah in order to get married, we rent a house for him, and give him a bed with the furnishings he needs, and afterwards we marry off a wife to him, for it says in the passuk regarding helping the poor: Open your hands and provide for the poor "די מחסרו אשר יחסר לו" – the extent of his needs, whatever is lacking for him. “The extent of his needs,” refers to a house. “Whatever is lacking,” refers to a bed and a table. "לו" זו אשה – for him, refers to a wife, for it says in the passuk, "אעשה לו עזר כנגדו" – I will make for him a helpmate opposite him.   

  •  Providing a pauper with a horse to ride on and an eved to run before him

It was taught in a Baraisa: The passuk states regarding helping the poor, "די מחסרו" – the extent of his needs. אתה מצווה עליו לפרנסו ואי אתה מצווה עליו לעשרו – This teaches that you are commanded to support him with his basic needs, but you are not commanded to make him rich. "אשר יחסר לו" – Whatever is lacking to him, אפילו סוס לרכוב עליו ועבד לרוץ לפניו – even if he is lacking a horse to ride upon and an eved to run before him, you must provide for him. They said about Hillel HaZakein, that he once provided for a pauper from a wealthy family, a horse to ride upon and an eved to run before him. One time, Hillel could not find an eved to run before him, so Hillel himself ran before him for three milin.

  •  נוח לו לאדם שימסור עצמו לתוך כבשן האש ואל ילבין פני חברו ברבים

The Gemara relates that Mar Ukva secretly supported a pauper in his neighborhood by putting four zuzim in the lower socket of his door when the pauper was not there. One day, the pauper decided he wanted to find out who was providing for him, and on that same day, Mar Ukva went with his wife to deposit the money. As they were placing the money, the pauper opened the door, and they ran away to conceal their identities. They ended up jumping into a hot oven whose coals had been removed. Mar Ukva’s feet were getting burned. When his wife told him to place his feet on hers, which were not being affected, he became dejected. To put his mind at ease, she said to him that the zechus of her tzedakah protected her more than his, because she is generally home when they come knocking, and that the benefit of her tzedakah is immediate, in that she provides them with prepared food, instead of money which requires them to first go and buy something. When the Gemara asks why Mar Zutra and his wife went to such extreme measures, Mar Zutra bar Toviyah said in the name of Rav, and some say it was others, נוח לו לאדם שימסור עצמו לתוך כבשן האש ואל ילבין פני חברו ברבים – It is better that a person should give himself over to a fiery furnace than to embarrass someone in public. This is learned from Tamar, who was willing to be executed instead of embarrassing Yehudah by revealing he made her pregnant.