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11
votes
3answers
992 views

Maaser Deductibles

Are there any expenses that one is allowed to "deduct" from his income before calculating the amount of Maaser one must give? For example, if one makes a hundred thousand dollars a year, but his ...
11
votes
2answers
401 views

Jewish definition of a charity

I know that Jews are supossed to give 10% of their income to charity, but what constitutes a charity? I know that Shuls, jewish schools and poor people in your community count, but what about secular ...
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 ...
3
votes
2answers
316 views

Must I take maaser from my income nowadays?

I heard that we don't have to give maaser from our income nowadays because we are outside of Israel and without the Beit Hamikdash. Is this true?
1
vote
2answers
274 views

More Maaser and Tax Math

Let's say your income before taxes and contributions was $1,111, and your tax rate is 10%. Ordinarily, you would pay $111.10 in taxes, and have $999.90 left over, which would be eligible for maaser. ...
16
votes
3answers
284 views

Is the Mitzvah of Tzedakah fulfilled in a fraud?

If someone gives Tzedakah to a person or fund, without knowing that that person or fund is deceiving them, is the Mitzvah still fulfilled? And a very practical application: If maaser money was used, ...
11
votes
4answers
214 views

Are there halachos which specify who is qualified for tzedakah?

Following a very interesting and animated discussion at the Shabbos table this past Friday night, I wanted to delve more into the halachos of who is an oni? I understand very clearly from the Neviim ...
7
votes
2answers
128 views

Tzedakah Commission

Is someone who is collecting Tzedakah (charity) allowed to take a commission for his/herself? And if so: Is there a source for the permissibility of such commissions? Is there a maximum percentage ...
3
votes
3answers
244 views

Preferred Method of Giving Tzedakah

If one has $100 to give to charity, is it better to give it all to one person, or distribute $1 to 100 people (so that if one isn't legit, the others will cover)?
8
votes
2answers
198 views

Giving charity to someone about whom the giver knows nothing?

I often pass by a Jewish store where a person is standing outside asking for tzedaka/charity. Call me cynical but I have no way of knowing A)if the person is really poor, B) if the person is Jewish ...
5
votes
3answers
192 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 ...
3
votes
0answers
159 views

When is it permissible to collect charity during prayer?

In my shul someone usually brings around the pushka (charity box) during the chazzan's repetition of shmoneh esrei. I have also heard that it is appropriate to give tzedaka during v'yivarech Dovid. ...
11
votes
8answers
390 views

How do you deal with huge numbers of calls from tzedaka organizations?

We get at least 20 calls per day that show up on the caller ID without a name and with either no phone number or a number with a New York metro area code. We usually don't bother answering such calls ...
9
votes
1answer
294 views

What happened to Rabbi Akiva's money?

The Gemara in Nedarim (50a) lists six sources of wealth from which Rabbi Akiva became exceedingly wealthy, including half of Ben Kalba Savua's money (Kesuvos, 63a). Rashi on Bechoros (58a) maintains ...
8
votes
2answers
88 views

Is there a halachic time limit for sending an organization its charity box money?

Many Jewish organizations distribute tzedaka (charity) boxes. A few that I know tell people, "collect the money and at some point, empty the money and mail us a check." Let's say someone leaves this ...
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
1answer
129 views

Source for # times chai?

I often see donation requests with amounts in multiples of $18. I would like to know the source for giving charity of the numeric value of the Hebrew word chai (18) and its multiples.
6
votes
1answer
137 views

Can Yizkor obligations be paid from Maaser money?

When a person goes to Shul to say Yizkor they obligate themselves to give Tzedaka in memory of the deceased. Can this obligation be paid from Maaser or does it have to be paid from the persons ...
3
votes
1answer
99 views

Does Ma'aser count if you have an ulterior motive?

Leaving aside, for purposes of this question, any issues of monetary benefit associated with giving charity (tax deductions, supporting school fundraisers by purchasing items at a discount, etc.), ...
3
votes
2answers
88 views

Masser for Machtzis Hashekel

Can you use Masser for Machtzis Hashekel?
3
votes
1answer
83 views

Masser for Matanos Levyonim

Can you use Masser for matanos l’evyonim?
2
votes
1answer
195 views

Donating to A Christian Charity

This question discusses both the obligation to give charity and certain requirements of the receiving institution, but the "best answer" does not address one particular type of charity. It mentions ...
10
votes
4answers
470 views

“Is the market-based distribution of income fair or unfair?”

This post, by a leading economist, lists the main differences on economic policy between the right and left-leaning economists. On many economic issues, Judaism does not necessarily take a clear ...
9
votes
1answer
66 views

Scrutinising the legitimacy/cause of a charity collector

In many synagogues that I frequent charity collectors come round collecting money for themselves, families or other causes. They often have a certificate declaring the legitimacy of their cause ...
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
953 views

Source that those without a genuine need soliciting charity is a good thing

Judaism 101 says (and I have heard it many times): Judaism acknowledges that many people who ask for charity have no genuine need. In fact, the Talmud suggests that this is a good thing: if all ...
9
votes
4answers
159 views

Does Ma'aser need to be given on gifts?

If I receive a monetary gift, do I need to give ma'aser on it? What about if I receive a gift that is an object (as opposed to money)?
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
824 views

Does a poor person have to give Maaser?

If someone can't finish the month financially, and has to borrow or take gifts in order to feed his family, does he still have to give Maaser from his salary?
7
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do we give tzedakah money to someone to pass along in Israel?

Reuven is planning a trip to Israel. Shimon, knowing this, gives Reuven money for tzedakah with the expectation that Reuven will distribute it when he gets to Israel. Reuven and Shimon both ...
6
votes
4answers
623 views

Can you buy a beggar non-Kosher food, or chometz on Pesach?

If I am asked for money by a beggar on the street, or see a homeless person with a sign, I try and give them food as it is usually more useful than money (which will probably be used for alcohol or ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
132 views

Receiving financial benefit to give maaser money

Is there any problem with receiving money in exchange for giving maaser or tzedeka to a particular person. For example Reuvan has $1000 maaser and Shimon comes to him and says "give the money to levy ...
4
votes
1answer
488 views

Is a person allowed to prejudge a beggar before giving tzedaka?

The scenario: Last week while waiting for the NYC subway, a well-dressed woman asked me if I had a spare Metrocard swipe (the Metrocard is a prepaid fare card.) As she did not seem like a beggar, I ...
1
vote
0answers
20 views

What are Acceptable Uses of Tzeddakah?

Maimonides opined that there are eight levels of tzedakah: From the lowest level of giving charity unwillingly or begrudgingly to the highest level of offering a loan, partnership or job to help ...
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
2answers
755 views

What is a “Rabbi Meir Bal Hanes” tzedaka?

I have seen several Tzedaka organizations calling themselves something like "Colel Chabad (or Kupas Ha'Ir) Rabbi Meir Baal Haness Charity". What does it mean that it is a "Rabbi Meir Baal Haness" ...
6
votes
0answers
62 views

Giving to a “mission” collection

In some religions, people accept upon themselves some kind of "mission" to do whatever act to help others. In many cases, it involves collections to send to the poor, or to 3rd world countries. The ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

Is indirect matanot l'evyonim ok?

I was under the impression that the Purim mitzvah of matanot l'evyonim, giving gifts to the poor, had to be done directly -- find two or more poor people and give to them. This answer on a related ...
5
votes
1answer
98 views

Government subsidies or tzedoko

it is preferable not to take charity from non-Jews (maybe only if it is not in private) Source Yore daiya 254 In a case of need (someone needs money for housing and/or food), which is more ...
5
votes
1answer
48 views

Can I change my mind after I fill out a tzedaka form?

If I fill out an online submission form for charity, including the amount I wish to contribute, and then before I click submit I decide I don't want to give the money, is that considered reneging on a ...
4
votes
2answers
71 views

Is charity money used for alcohol considered charity?

If you give money to a homeless person on the street, and they use that money to buy alcohol or other intoxicants (drugs), can what you give be considered charity, since it did not help that person in ...
4
votes
1answer
160 views

Giving to the poor of your city first - home or workplace?

The poor of one's household take precedence over the poor of one's city, and the poor of one's city take precedence over the poor of another city, as implied by [Deuteronomy 15:11]: "[Open your hand ...
3
votes
1answer
137 views

Is tzedakah money fungible if someone gives to me to give to another?

The discussion in this question seems to indicate that my own tzedakah money is fungible; I can collect coins in a tzedakah box and exchange them for other currency when it's time to make the ...
3
votes
2answers
219 views

Is maaser required on gambling money?

Do you have to give maaser on money that was won through gambling?
2
votes
2answers
62 views

Source for Maaser Money

Several questions on this site Ask about 'maaser money', giving a tithe of one's income to charity. What is the source for this practice?
2
votes
1answer
99 views

Maaser for money received as a gift from Parents [closed]

As a child I received birthday money every year (I don't remember if I gave maaser at the time), my Parents put it in an interest bearing bond and when I turned 18 it matured and I was given $13,000. ...
2
votes
1answer
104 views

Can I make a condition that any money I think to donate to Tzedakah is an invalid donation until I actually give it?

Is it possible to make a Tenai [condition] that any money I think to donate to Tzedakah is an invalid donation until I actually give it? I would want to do this because a Meshulach [collector] may ...
1
vote
1answer
57 views

Should tax deductions be deducted from total maaser giving?

(1) Let's say your charitable contribution of $100 resulted in a deduction of $1 from your tax bill. Would your maaser contribution from that hundred be counted as $99 total or $100 total? (2) Let's ...
1
vote
1answer
43 views

Check for Mattanos Levyonim

Can you use a check or credit Card for Mattanos Levyonim?