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22
votes
1answer
194 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 ...
13
votes
5answers
156 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
3answers
157 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, ...
12
votes
2answers
197 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
210 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
259 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
2answers
310 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 ...
11
votes
2answers
434 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" ...
10
votes
7answers
313 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
138 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
173 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 ...
10
votes
4answers
372 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
100 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
757 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
213 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
2answers
92 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 ...
9
votes
1answer
162 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' ...
8
votes
2answers
136 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
216 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
160 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
874 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
302 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 ...
7
votes
1answer
202 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
1answer
106 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 ...
6
votes
3answers
351 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?
6
votes
1answer
80 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
97 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
2answers
91 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 ...
6
votes
2answers
110 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)?
6
votes
1answer
102 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
103 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
115 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
72 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
40 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
77 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
1answer
99 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
314 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 ...
5
votes
1answer
79 views

Maasar that was set aside, and then stolen

If a person sets aside his Maasar in a seperate account, which was then stolen, or the bank folded and now it is worthless, does he have an obligation to replenish this account, or once set aside he ...
5
votes
0answers
52 views

Can a synagogue appropriate the contents of charity boxes not removed before a specified time?

There are lots of charity boxes from different organisations put out on a table in the foyer of our synagogue on Purim. The wardens have attached a note that says that boxes not taken away by the end ...
4
votes
6answers
157 views

Tzedakah Websites

If one is looking to give tzedakah without leaving her chair, which reliable Jewish organizations accept donations on their websites?
4
votes
2answers
133 views

Can donating to a Gemach be ribbis?

Suppose that Reuven is strapped for cash. He goes to the local Gemach and gets a hefty $10,000 dollar loan for his daughter's wedding. 3 months later, Reuven manages to acquire the money and repays ...
4
votes
2answers
69 views

Mattanos Levyonim via Jerusalem organazations

Am I yotzeh if I (a non-Jerusalemite) give it to an organization in Jerusalem who gives it out on their Purim since a mitzvas Hayom on my purim?
4
votes
1answer
93 views

What conditions must be met in order for voluntarily forgone income to count as tzedakah?

Suppose one has done work of some value for a charitable organization in exchange for money. This organization would normally qualify as a destination for tzedakah, and perhaps you have also given ...
4
votes
1answer
100 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
74 views

Should ones name be put on a mitsva?

If someone does a mitsva like writing a sefer or providing a building for Jewish activities like a shul or school. Should he put his name on it and have it called after him? I am not referring to ...
4
votes
1answer
181 views

How does the lost item-charity to Rebbi Meir Baal Hanes work?

I was told that if a person lost something they should turn a cup (or pot?) upside down say a tefillah and give tzedaka to rebbi meir baal hanes. what is the source for this? is it halachically ...
4
votes
0answers
35 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 ...
4
votes
0answers
66 views

Problem of Ribis in giving loan in order to give Tzedeka

(In order to understand the dinim of Ribis and if this particular case would be problematic I will give a localized example. However please don't close the question or say it's too "local" because the ...
4
votes
1answer
89 views

What appropriate amount of tzedakah for mi sheberech?

What is considered to be appropriate amount to give for mi shebereh asking for a blessing for an individual ill person?
3
votes
2answers
79 views

Masser for Machtzis Hashekel

Can you use Masser for Machtzis Hashekel?