Helping In Kosovo
Damien Urban wrote:
I am very interested in the following topic and was hoping you could help me understand and direct me to sources. It has basically been a thought I have had since the Kosovo crisis. The question is, how much tzedaka (charity) or help should we as Jews give to this crisis? Should Israel as a country send help? Thank you very much.
Dear Damien Urban,
Jews are obligated to help others in need, even if they are not Jews, and even if they are pagans. As Maimonides writes "Our Sages commanded us, even regarding the pagans, to visit their sick, to bury their dead as we bury the Jewish dead, and to sustain their poor amongst the Jewish poor."
Additionally, we are obligated to sanctify G-ds name in the world. So, we clearly have an obligation to help. Its hard to measure exactly how much is enough.
The State of Israel has indeed offered refuge to hundreds of Kosovans, most of them Moslems, who live on kibbutzim and are extremely well treated. The Israeli army sent over mobile hospitals, physicians and combat medics to care for refugees.
- Maimonides, Hilchot Melachim 10:12
- Maimonides, Sefer Hamitzvot 9