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13

Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz gave a lecture on charity a few years ago, and someone asked him this. He said the key was "providing for those who otherwise wouldn't have." An orphanage or library certainly does that. (He mentioned Catholic charities that have helped Jewish parents adopt a baby, too.) As for arts organizations, he asked if they provided ...


9

Hefker (ownerless produce) is exempt from the obligation to have Terumah and Maaser taken from it (Rambam, Hil. Terumos 2:11). So if they drop sheaves on purpose and declare them hefker, then no, there wouldn't be a problem.


8

A farmer living in Israel in Temple times would have given as follows: Approximately 2% of his crops to the Kohen (priest); known as teruma. 10% of his remaining crops to the Levite; ma'aser which means "tithing." (The Levite would then tithe that -- i.e. ~1% of the original crop -- and give it to the Kohen.) 10% of what's still remaining; depending on the ...


7

According to the Chofetz Chaim (Ahavas Chessed 18:2), this is subject to a dispute among the poskim. In order to avoid this problem, the Chofetz Chaim recommends that when one starts to distribute maaser, he should explicitly say that he is accepting this practice on the condition that he can distribute tzedakah before earning the money. The Tzedakah ...


6

Machtzis HaShekel may not be given from Ma'aser money. (Shaalos U'teshuvos Bais Dino Shel Shlomo Yoreh Deah Siman 1. See also Sefer Tzedaka U'Mishpat Perek 6 footnote 37. See also Mogen Avraham Siman 694:1 in the name of the Shela HaKadosh)


6

I can but quote the Mishna B'rura (694:3); CYLOR for a practical ruling: והנה השתי מתנות צריך ליתן משלו ולא משל מעשר וההוספה שמוסיף יוכל ליתן משל מעשר i.e. (my own translation, which you shouldn't rely on): and, lo, he must give the two gifts [to paupers] from his own and not from maaser's, and the addend that he adds he'll be allowed to give from ...


6

Aaron, your guess is correct: the produce remains kosher whether it was shared with the poor or not. The only portions of the produce that have restrictions on its edibility are: terumah, which must be eaten by a Kohen while ritually pure terumat maaser, which is the terumah given by the Levi. Ma'aser sheni, should be kept ritually pure (tahor) and eaten ...


6

R' Zevin writes in "A Treasury of Chassidic Tales" page 291: R' Yehuda Tzvi of Rozla was once visited by a Chassid who gave him a kvittel (prayer request) with the accompanying traditional pidyon (money given to a Tzaddik). The Rebbe asked him (rhetorically) how he, the Rebbe, was allowed to receive a pidyon; after all, the money is only given on ...


6

First of all, the Biblical mitzvah of maaser has to do with produce; the contemporary version of the mitzvah, maaser kesafim, where one gives 10% of his income, is a minhag or at least of Rabbinic origin, according to most poskim. The Gemara, at Kesubos 50a, states that one cannot give double-maaser (20% of one's income) if it would cause him to be ...


5

There is the Biblical commandment on tithing produce grown in the land of Israel (irrespective of the Temple's standing). Israeli farmers still tithe today; however, as the tithed produce has no special religious properties, a farmer can say "I won't give this to a Levi until/unless he proves that he's truly a Levi", and as that doesn't happen today, the ...


5

I like Shalom's answer, I did want to clarify something: while certain contributions to a Synagogue would count as tzedaka, regular Synagogue membership dues do not. This post gives also gives a very detailed explanation: http://www.pidyon.com/latest-writings/halacha/10-maaser/48-computing-maaser-how-much-tzedakah-charity-do-i-owe.html


5

Terumah Gedolah should not be measured with precision but should be given באומד by estimation. One should not even use a vessel of known measurement to remove the Terumah Gedolah, unless one doesn't fill the vessel to a known line. (Terumot 1:7, Rambam Terumot 3:4) Maaserot (Rishon, Sheni, Ani, and Min HaMaaser) should be given with high precision. The ...


5

This is the subject of a dispute between R' Akiva and R' Elazar ben Azaryah in Yevamos 86a-b: R' Akiva says that it must be given to a Levi, R' Elazar says it can be given to a Kohen as well. (The Levi'im failed to come with Ezra to Eretz Yisrael, as described in Ezra 8:15, and the Gemara says that he penalized them for this; the underlying argument is ...


5

When one picks fruits owned by a Jew in Israel, he is allowed to snack on them (אכילת עראי) until they become designated for maaser (נקבע למעשר), or, if he is planning on selling them, until he finishes his work on the harvest (גמר מלאכה). After that, he cannot eat from them at all until properly tithing them. The most common ways of designating for maaser ...


5

Welcome to J.SE, good questions. Suppose I start with 100 lbs. of flour. First I give a small amount, known as Terumah, to the Kohen. That leaves 98 lbs. of flour. I tithe the remaining flour (9.8 lbs); that's called Maaser Rishon, and it's given to the Levites. (Rambam laws of Maaser 1:1). The Levite then tithes what he gets, i.e. 0.98 lbs of flour, and ...


4

I'd think it might be analogous to "performing kiddushin with a loan [that has already been given]" - i.e., where Reuven, who has previously lent money to Rochel, tells her that he'd like to use that money for kiddushin. The halachah is that this is not effective, because he hasn't given her anything now; the money is already considered to belong to her from ...


4

Rabbi Breitowitz gave a lecture a few years ago on Ma'aser (I don't believe the audio is posted anywhere). He said it includes gifts, but only if cash, which you can use for anything. Not non-monetary gifts, and not gift certificates. (Note that many couples do a bridal registry someplace where they can return their gifts for cash; if you cashed it in, ...


4

According to Rabbi Eli Teitelbaum ZATZAL the answer is that the Mitzva is not fulfilled. http://www.campsci.com/articles/iv_been_scammed_out_of_a_mitzva.htm


4

No written source, alas, but I have heard the following, if I remember it correctly, from Rabbi Yisrael Reisman (of Torah Vodaas and Agudath Israel of Madison, both in Brooklyn). Debts cannot be paid from funds of maaser. If one pledges to pay an amount to tz'daka, it's a debt, and he may not pay it from maaser. However, if one pledges to pay an amount to ...


4

There are many. Pretty much every Jewish organization out there has a site with a donate button. Here are just 3 quick examples of famous ones: Masbia Chai Lifeline Misaskim Basically, if you can think of a Jewish organization, pop their name into Google (or the like) and make sure the site you're on is actually legit [not such an easy task, but common ...


4

Dayan Raskin says that the following are deductibles: Any overheads that one must pay to earn one's money. For example, if one earned $100,000 but must pay rent, workers, wholesaler, insurance, etc., he doesn't really earn the full $100,000. Therefore, he can pay less Maaser. Taxes. If one earned $100,000 dollars, but pays $10,000 in taxes, he doesn't ...


4

I can't find any indication of how long you have to separate the money (and it seems to me that there is no time limit). However once you do separate the money, if you didn't make a t'nai (condition) at the time of separation that you retain the right to give it at some point in the future as you please, then you are obligated to give the money to poor ...


4

I asked Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz, and he said according to the prevalent practice to give maaser on receiving gifts of cash (or checks, whatever, something that can be spent anywhere) but not goods, a gift of a gift card would not need maaser. If you're paid by your job in gift cards? Same as if you were paid in potato chips, I guess. Not sure how we'd ...


3

Colel Chabad is one. From their website: Colel Chabad is the oldest continuously operating Tzedakah organization in Israel. It was established in 1788 by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi, founder of the Chabad Lubavitch movement. Colel Chabad is a 501(c)3 tax exempt organization. Colel Chabad's sole purpose has always been to help the most destitute ...


3

I think you're confusing a few things. The process is that the non-priest picks an animal for sacrifice, and brings it to the priests for them to process it. In 1:6, G-d says: ... where is My honor? To you priests who degrade My name; you ask how? [1:7] they [not you] bring for My altar rejected food; you ask, how did we reject You? By saying the ...


3

The Nitei Gavriel (Purim 26:8) says that men are not allowed to give Machatzit HaShekel from Ma'asar money, but women and children are allowed to (since they do not have an obligation to give the Machatzit Hashekel). See also footnote 17, where the Nitei Gavriel says that according to the Magen Avraham one may bring the Machatzit Hashekel from Maaser (since ...


3

Though lacking in sources, Rabbi Aryeh Levine and Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi both felt so. They used to work out with the shop owners of the Mahane Yehuda Shuk, to give discounts to poor people in the community so that they could buy their groceries in dignity. They used to call the shop keepers "their partners in tzedaka". I know stories of this are in ...


3

If I recall correctly from Rabbi Breitowitz's tzedaka lecture, you'd only count 90%. I think he gave the example of providing gratis, for a charity, some service that would otherwise cost $100/hr. You would only have pocketed $90 from providing that service for non-charity, so you only write off $90 to Tzedaka. I think that was his case; if I'm correct, ...


3

I'm going to the Dead Sea tomorrow. Redeem your coin onto my coin (by adding your name to the comments of my blog http://rabbisedley.blogspot.com/2012/04/biur-maaser.html) and I'll be your shaliach for destroying maaser sheni.


3

About 10 Years ago, I asked a similar question to a posek by the name of Rabbi Yonasan Wiener in Jerusalem and he replied "if you can't make ends meet, you're not obligated in maaser." However, I read in a book on Rabbi Pinchas Sheinberg that a couple with a very difficult financial situation went to ask him whether they were obligated to take maaser. He ...



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