This question assumes there's some form of a mitzvah to give 10% of one's income to tzedakah (as the answers to this question suggest, this may stem from a neder to give "maaser ksafim").

Is there a required frequency? In other words, should I make sure to give enough tzedakah by the end of the year? by the end of the month? or perhaps ever?


2 Answers 2


R Daniel Mann (here) brings sources suggesting a yearly accounting period.

Poskim discuss making maaser ksafim calculations at given intervals, which is important according to our ruling that expenses and losses are deducted from profits (Chavot Yair 224). So one needs a cutoff point to know which losses can be deducted from which profits (ibid.). The Noda B’yehuda (II, YD 198) demonstrates that the relevant pasuk and the halacha we cited from the Shulchan Aruch (YD 249:1) hint at a year as a likely maaser ksafim calculation period, and the Chavot Yair (ibid.) posits that erev Rosh Hashana is a logical time to do so.


Regarding tzedakah, whatever total amount you are obligated for as an individual, the general rule is that greater frequency of distribution is preferable, meaning every day or before each prayer when it is permitted. Even more frequently than that is preferable.

Regarding the practice of Ma’aser Kesafim (Donating a tenth, an average share, or a fifth, a generous share, of ones income to charity regardless of where one resides, which is similar to the halachic obligation of the Mitzvah of Ma'aser on produce and livestock grown in the land of Israel.), you should follow your Minhag.

This will indicate whether you should follow the minhag of Ma'aser Kesafim at all or not.

Beyond that, if you have determined your income which is subject to the practice and calculated what your weekly or monthly or annual obligation will be precisely, meaning a tenth or a fifth, then the general principle of greater frequency of distribution is applicable, just like with tzedakah mentioned above.

There are numerous examples from our Sages distributing their tzedakah as frequently as possible, for example Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, z"l, who had a personal practice of giving a single dollar in each envelope that he would receive via mail each week.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .