In Parashat Lech Lecha we learn that after returning the spoils of the war, Abraham gave Maaser to Malkitzedek. Commentators deduct that this was Maaser Ksafim (monetary tithes).

In Parshiyot Lech Lecha and Vayera we see two occasions on which Abraham was given generous gifts, one after visiting Pharaoh and one after visiting Abimelech. However, the Torah does not mention that Abraham continued the Minhag of giving the Maaser to Cohen.

Did Abraham give Maaser after earning from Pharaoh and Abimelech?

2 Answers 2


Gur Aryeh (Bereishis 14:20) understands Rashi's phrasing there (ויתן אברהם מעשר מכל אשר לו, Avraham gave maaser from everything he had) to mean just that: Avraham gave Malkitzedek a tenth (not of the spoils of Sodom, since in fact he didn't take them, but) of all of his possessions. Which would include what he got from Pharaoh.

So it may just be that the Torah mentions it here simply because Avraham took the opportunity, having met Malkitzedek, to pay off his outstanding maaser obligations, similar to the way a farmer can hold on to his terumah and maaser of his crops until the time of biur maasros.


The gemara kedushin says that Avraham kept the "whole Torah". Maaser falls under the umbrella of the "whole Torah". In case you want to suggest that it's only a minhag and that wasn't his minhag, then no, he didn't give maaser.

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    While there are those that say it's a mitzvah doraisa (Taz Yoreh Deah 331:32), the vast majority of authorities say it's just a minhag (see for example Bach Yoreh De’ah § 345 s.v. ומ”ש ואין נותנים, Sheilas Yaavetz I § 6, Chavos Yair § 224, Shevus Yaakov II § 85). So who says he kept this minhag?
    – robev
    Nov 11, 2020 at 12:38
  • Thank you, IIRC, "It is safe to say" is not a valid answer on this site, albeit a very logical conclusion. Readers usually expect reliable sources.
    – Al Berko
    Nov 11, 2020 at 14:36

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