Questions pertaining to money, including both physical currency and finances, in general.

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9
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3answers
2k views

Cash value of 'perutah'

How much is a 'perutah' worth in modern currency?
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Is maaser calculated pre-tax or after-tax?

I have heard different opinions concerning whether taxes can be deducted before calculating maaser. It is logical to me that if you cannot deduct your expense to live in your house, you shouldn't be ...
23
votes
1answer
271 views

What do you do if you made a Tzedaka pledge and now the organization folded?

Recently a friend of mine asked me the following question. He pledged $500- to a Yeshiva, yet before he paid the pledge the Yeshiva closed. Does he still have to pay his pledge to another Tzedaka or ...
11
votes
2answers
241 views

ribis and foreign currency conversion

I am afraid that I have only recently started to study this kind of thing and I completely unlearned compared to most of the contributors here, so I apologize if my question is somewhat ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

How much is 2 Zuz worth in current USD?

As mentioned in the Passover Hagaddah, how much is "2 Zuz" worth in March 2013 US Dollars? Please note there may be different types of Zuz: "זוזי פשיטי" and "זוזי ממש" (Gemara Ketuvot 67a). This may ...
7
votes
1answer
201 views

Why is Shmita only Rabbinic nowadays?

I was reading up on Heter Iska and it said that Shmita and Shmitat Kesafim are only Rabbinic today. Why do the Biblical laws no longer apply?
5
votes
3answers
223 views

Is there any issue except for Dina Dmalchusa in counterfeiting money?

If someone were to find a way to make exact forgery of currency (in such a way that it would be impossible for anyone to find that it's counterfeit), would there be any prohibition to do so (except ...
14
votes
3answers
246 views

Do our sources address “strategic loan defaults”?

In the most recent episode of NPR's Planet Money Podcast, they interviewed a real estate lawyer in Arizona who talked about the large numbers of her clients who have been asking for advice about doing ...
8
votes
2answers
400 views

Chad Gadya: The price of a kid goat

Was the fair market value of a kid goat really two zuzim? This piyyut is of course allegorical, but, if the value given is highly inaccurate, is the discrepancy in value symbolic beyond the symbolism ...
6
votes
2answers
441 views

Is it permitted to learn in kollel without earning a living?

Based on this post which states in part: Ramoh in Yoreh Deah, 246:21 “A person should hire himself out for alien work rather than requiring assistance from others”; “The man who is ...
6
votes
2answers
284 views

At what cost must one perform a mitzvah?

To what lengths must one go to fulfill a positive commandment, or avoid transgressing a negative one? Obviously, with few exceptions, one must not go so far as to die in order to fulfill a ...
3
votes
0answers
57 views

Are there any responsa that encourage or require maintaining health insurance?

Are there any responsa in the literature that either encourage or require people to maintain health insurance, perhaps as a fulfillment of the obligation to guard one's health, or in line with any ...
3
votes
2answers
201 views

Machatziz hashekel

How much money is a Machatziz hashekel.
13
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3answers
674 views

Bitcoin and Halakha

What are the halakhot that apply to bitcoin? Is it halakhickly money? What even is the halakhic definition of money? Can bitcoin transactions be made over shabbat? That sort of thing.
9
votes
2answers
395 views

Shliach Mitzva money

Many people give their friends money to give to Tzedakah when they are traveling. The reason they do this is that it says "Shluchei Mitzva Ainom Nizakim". If someone is travelling to Eretz Yisroel ...
11
votes
3answers
322 views

Receiving Too Much Change

Do I have an obligation to give back extra change I receive? Would it matter if the store owner or person giving it to me was a Jew?
8
votes
2answers
288 views

Purchasing from a Jew

רמבם, הלכות מתנות עניים י:ז שמנה מעלות יש בצדקה זו למעלה מזו, מעלה גדולה שאין למעלה ממנה זה המחזיק ביד ישראל שמך ונותן לו מתנה או הלואה או עושה עמו שותפות או ממציא לו מלאכה כדי לחזק את ידו עד שלא ...
7
votes
2answers
140 views

Does the existence of insurance affect end-of-life Halacha?

Consider the following case: A baby is born with severe congenital defects. The doctors say that if nothing is done to address them, the baby will die within days. They also say that there's a series ...
5
votes
3answers
190 views

When does the obligation of Maaser money begin?

There is a tradition of Maaser Kesafim, to give 1/10th of ones salary to charity. Is there a particular set time when the obligation to set aside this money for charity begins? For instance, is one ...
8
votes
1answer
184 views

Why is it ok to pay the kids for the afikoman?

Most Pesach sedarim feature the afikoman hide-and-seek game; either the children steal it and ransom it back or the parents hide it and (in my experience) pay a prize to the child who finds it. At ...
8
votes
1answer
625 views

What is the value of a (Kesuba) marriage contract?

In a regular Kesuba we give total 200 Zekukim Kesef. What is the value of that currently in US dollars? Also do you pay the value when you got married or the value at either death/divorce?
8
votes
1answer
316 views

If you use money for kaparos pre-yom kipur, is it fungible or must those bills go directly to tzedaka?

When we do Kaparos, we say "this money shall go to charity" -- so I put that dollar bill in the tzedaka box; is it okay if a few days from now I count what's in my tzedaka box, write a check for the ...
6
votes
9answers
747 views

What is the problem with dogs?

Deuteronomy 23:19: לֹא תָבִיא אֶתְנַן זוֹנָה וּמְחִיר כֶּלֶב בֵּית יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ לְכָל נֶדֶר כִּי תוֹעֲבַת יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ גַּם שְׁנֵיהֶם Why does the Torah have a problem with using the ...
6
votes
1answer
179 views

Owning stock in companies that operate on shabbat

It is my understanding that one may only have ownership in a business that operates on shabbat if you co-own with a gentile and have an explicit arrangement that all profits derived on shabbat belong ...
4
votes
1answer
100 views

Mah inyan Shmita eitzel the price of tea in China?

I saw some red peppers in an American grocery store labelled "Product of Israel". I have never seen that before, and my guess is that since it's a shmitta year, there is less of an Israeli domestic ...
4
votes
2answers
118 views

Can you redeem ma'aser sheni using a $5 bill — even though burning it will enrich your countrymen?

It's not so easy to mint coins. Canadian law says: If you want to destroy money, then burn banknotes. Don't destroy metal coins. In fact, in Canada, it is legal to burn banknotes. (Note: In the U.S., ...
16
votes
3answers
733 views

Why must prophets be wealthy?

I was studying in Sefer Ha-Aggadah with a chevruta this morning and we came across a passage about prophets having to have certain qualities, including wealth. I followed the reference to Nedarim ...
10
votes
2answers
152 views

Why redeem hekdesh?

Kind of related to What is my relationship to an object once I have pledged it as hekdesh? Why would somebody pledge something to hekdesh and then redeem it when he could just donate money directly? ...
10
votes
1answer
138 views

Can one take any money offered to him?

Is a tzedaka allowed to take money from people who earn their money in inappropriate way (say, the person worked on Shabbos, stole, cheated, etc.) If not, is this a chumra or a halacha? Please ...
9
votes
1answer
93 views

How do you pay a debt (not a loan) in a different currency?

Shimon, in Eretz Yisrael, makes a purchase on behalf of Reuven, in the diaspora. For Reuven the cost of paying in shekels would be quite high, but Shimon can receive the payment in another currency ...
9
votes
2answers
627 views

Why did the Lubavitcher Rebbe give out dollars?

Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, the late Rebbe of Lubavitch used to give out dollars to people who came to meet him. Why did he do this?
8
votes
1answer
158 views

What's the halacha with regards to Maaser for a Baal Teshuvah?

Say a person never gave charity, due to ignorance or whatever other reason. He has now become a Baal Teshuvah and started observing the Torah. What is the halacha with charity? Does he have to give ...
5
votes
1answer
65 views

Tzedakah and Maaser - one obligation or two?

I understand that the obligation to give Maaser from our income is a sub-category of the overall commandment to give Tzedakah but consider the following question: If I made a promise (Neder) to give ...
4
votes
1answer
290 views

Can tax ever be considered maaser?

Related to this question. Can tax itself (particularly in the land of Israel) ever be considered maaser? If your tax money is going towards nationally funded projects, building infrastructure, ...
4
votes
2answers
233 views

Is a person obligated to purchase life insurance?

I have, unfortunately, heard about quite a few stories of fathers/husbands who were in kolel full time and then suddenly passed away leaving the family at best with very little savings and at worst ...
13
votes
1answer
525 views

Is flipping a coin following an omen?

If a person is deciding whether to do something and says "I'll flip a coin, heads I do it, tails I don't" does that fall under the prohibition of "don't divine with signs" in Vayikra 19?
12
votes
4answers
235 views

Ma'aser kesafim on capital appreciation

If you own property (e.g. stocks or real estate) that increase in value over the course of the year, are you require to donate 10% of the increase to tzedaka, if you are merely holding on to the ...
11
votes
1answer
459 views

Kapparos on money - How much?

If one does the Minhag of Kapparos on money, how much money should be used for each person? (Sources.)
8
votes
1answer
162 views

What happens if you borrowed money and the currency became worthless?

In Israel in the late 70s early 80s the currency (Lira) became worthless. Suppose one day the American dollar would become worthless, and one owes another $1,000,000- would the borrower just pay back ...
8
votes
1answer
193 views

Processing an online payment - which will be processed on Shabbos

With my bank, when you process, online, a payment, it automatically goes out on the following day. If I authorize it on Friday they will send it on Saturday. I can also request any future date I want. ...
6
votes
2answers
190 views

What's the maximum allowed profit that I can make?

Is there a Halacha on how much profit can a person make on something? For example, assuming that market forces won't lower the price on a product (I'm a natural monopoly), can I have a 1000% markup?
6
votes
1answer
138 views

Lending Money and Inflation

When lending money, Jews are not allowed to charge other Jews interest. However, due to inflation, the value of money decreases with time, such that the money that is repaid is worth less than that ...
6
votes
1answer
118 views

Redeeming maaser sheini on paper money

I know that the mishna says that maaser sheini* can only be redeemed on coins and not something else. (See this answer.) However, this was written around 2000 years ago, and the way money works has ...
6
votes
1answer
131 views

Is an ancient prutah muksah?

Are ancient prutahs (collectable) muksah? I would love to show them to my Shabbat guests. They are around 2000 years old. Are they legal tender?
6
votes
2answers
131 views

Check that did not clear

If I give a check in payment of an obligation or purchase and the check never cleared. The recipient never called me to say he lost it or misplaced it. Do I have to call the recipient and give him ...
5
votes
2answers
178 views

Must one give maaser from virtual money?

If a person achieves a gain or a payment of a currency that that is purely virtual and does not have any physical counterpart (ie it is not associated with a financial institution) must one give ...
5
votes
2answers
478 views

How is a heter iska made to work with a non-business loan?

I understand that a heter iska is basically a method of restructuring a loan as an investment, done in such a way that the lender/investor is more-or-less guaranteed to get his capital back, plus a ...
4
votes
2answers
249 views

Borrowing vs renting money

Is it wrong to "rent" a Jewish person some money? Since he needs to use it, and once he is done using it he will pay you back.
4
votes
1answer
176 views

Is a speeding driver who causes damage exempt from paying due to his status as a Roidef?

On this forum they ask a very interesting question. What happens when a person who is driving a car is speeding, at a pace where a fatal accident could easily occur. He then crashes into another ...
3
votes
2answers
454 views

Kashrut with very costy salt?

Currently the cost of the salt (for human consumption) is practically negligible, mostly around $1/kg. But it wasn't always so. There were centuries as salt mining and selling was a governmental ...