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23
votes
1answer
272 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
285 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, ...
13
votes
5answers
182 views

Giving over 20%

I know you are supposed to give between 10 and 20% of your income to צדקה. Does this mean that you are not allowed to give over 20% if you have enough money to do so? If so, why not? (this is more of ...
13
votes
2answers
308 views

Why did Moshe Rabbeinu object to the mirrors, but not the kumaz?

Why did Moshe Rabbeinu balk when the women wanted to donate their mirrors to the construction of the Mishkan (Rashi, Shemot 38:8), but not when the women donated their kumaz (Shemot 35:22), which were ...
12
votes
3answers
407 views

Giving Tzedakah with a Credit Card

If one gives a donation to a charity by using a credit card, the charity will only end up getting a percentage of the actual funds (e.g. 98%). In such a case, does the person giving get "credit" for ...
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
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 ...
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 ...
11
votes
3answers
995 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
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 ...
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" ...
11
votes
1answer
243 views

Supporting new charities

There are myriad charities out there. If a community has multiple Shuls, schools, Mikvaoth, food pantries, and גמ"חs, and new entities open up fulfilling the same role(s), and the new entities' ...
10
votes
2answers
197 views

Allowed to help prepare / serve “milk and meat” meal in homeless shelter?

Imagine a case in which one is invited to volunteer with a group that is preparing and serving a meal at a homeless shelter. The group has decided on a menu that includes milk and meat together in ...
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 ...
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 ...
10
votes
1answer
102 views

Giving money to a poor tinok she-nishba

Bob is an observant Jew. Jim is completely secular Jew, who has never been observant. Jim is poor, and has trouble making ends meet most of the time. Is Bob allowed to give Jim tzedakah, knowing ...
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)?
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
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 ...
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 ...
9
votes
2answers
164 views

Tzadakkah questions (flyers in mail)

What is one's halachic obligation based on Rambam Hilchos Matanos Anayim 10:3, "do not turn away…", when one receives tzedakkah flyers in the mail for many different types of causes? In ...
9
votes
2answers
104 views

Is it still tzedakah if it is returned?

If a poor person asks for charity and I give some money to that person, but he then returns it to me, (because he doesn't feel it is enough, or any other reason) have I accomplished the mitzvah of ...
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 ...
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 ...
8
votes
2answers
195 views

Obligation of community to support those who study Torah?

Is the community obligated to support financially those who study Torah all day long? Is one allowed to request such support from the community based on his choice to study full-day and not make a ...
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
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
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 ...
7
votes
3answers
829 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
112 views

Does a discount to a poor person count as tzedakah?

If someone performs a service for a poor person and gives a discount in order to help him out, does the difference count as tzedakah? If so, can the full amount be counted towards maaser, or do we say ...
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 ...
7
votes
1answer
291 views

Mikveh fees as Ma'aser

I have recently started a Ma'aser account - a separate bank account that I transfer 10% of any income into and is readily available for giving to Tzedaka and I now use to give instead of coming direct ...
7
votes
0answers
99 views

Collecting Tzedakah from someone who may (or may not) be mentally incompetent

I just witnessed something I thought I'd never see. Someone soliciting signatures on the street for whoknowswhat gently turned someone away. The reason? "It's for fundraising." Now I'm sure, like I ...
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 ...
6
votes
2answers
143 views

Give ma'aser on money that you didn't make yet?

Can I give ma'aser on money that I didn't earn yet but I know I will be earning in the future?
6
votes
1answer
234 views

Parents who don't want children to take ma'aser from gift

Suppose a non-observant parent gives a (monetary) gift to his/her adult child, but asks that the child not remove 10% to give for tzedaka ("Your mother and I saved this money for you, not for other ...
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 ...
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 ...
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
2answers
60 views

Can one accomplish Tzedaka through a will?

If one gives Tzedaka through a will -- so it is meant to be given after death -- does that person get the Mitzvah of Tzedaka? The reason I would think "no" is because it is difficult to understand ...
6
votes
1answer
150 views

Modern Maaser and Terumah

Why is it that in modern times, we tithe maaser on non-agricultural income, but not terumah? Does it have anything to do with living outside of the Land of Israel?
6
votes
1answer
141 views

Software for organizing a “thing” gemach

I'd like to organize a baby clothes gemach in my area and I was wondering if there was any software that people have used to do this, or if this was a piece of software I'd have to write on my own. ...
6
votes
0answers
51 views

Company matched charitable giving and ma'aser

If my company matches a certain level of charitable giving, can this be included in any way in ma'aser calculations? Does it make a difference if the company matches the donations by giving directly ...
6
votes
0answers
42 views

Halachically, are tzedaka collectors allowed to interrupt davening to collect tzedaka? [duplicate]

Our shul sporadically gets people who come into the shul in the middle of the Shacharit minyan to ask for tzedaka. I think this is improper as it disrupts people's kavanah when they individually ...
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 ...
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 ...
5
votes
1answer
152 views

Maaser on gift cards?

There is a tradition of giving 10% of one's income to charity. Suppose someone receives a gift card as compensation for his work. Should that person separate 10% of the value of the gift card to ...
5
votes
3answers
193 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 ...
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
334 views

If someone requests charity during the blessings of Shema, may I give it?

Many times, people collect money during davening, including during the blessings of the Shema, and the custom is to give during that time. Is it permissible to give during this time? The ...