The author argues that while there is a biblical mandate to give charity, there is some disagreement over basic halakhic issues. He discusses fundamental questions over who may receive charity, how much money each person must give as charity, and other essential questions about the nature of tzedakah. He concludes that the very parameters of giving charity have changed during the last century in America since the government of the United States provides for the basic social welfare of its citizens. The tension between the ideal of charity, which is to give as much as one can to as many in need, with the reality of life, which is that money is quite limited in supply and none of us really has enough of it, is a central theme of Jewish lawâ??s approach to charity. The author scrutinizes this balance in light of the social, economic, political, and religious reality of modern American Orthodox life.