Is it possible to make a Tenai [condition] that any money I think to donate to Tzedakah is an invalid donation until I actually give it? I would want to do this because a Meshulach [collector] may come over to me, and I may decide to give him a dollar or something, and then he may turn around and leave. I know that the obligation to give Tzedakah can be established by thought and doesn't need a physically donation to come into effect, so I am worried that I'd have to chase him to give it to him.

My questions:

  • Does my concern even require resolution?
  • Would the Tenai outlined above actually help?
  • If it wouldn't, what else can one do?
  • 2
    – Seth J
    Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 15:26
  • 1
    @SethJ, sounds like an answer. yehuda, note that this site makes no guarantee of validity, and does not offer professional (particularly rabbinic) advice. Treat information from this site like it came from a crowd of your friends.
    – msh210
    Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 21:57
  • 1
    @msh210 cheers, mind you some of my friends are very professional :-)
    – Yehuda
    Commented Aug 16, 2012 at 22:03
  • @msh210 it already is an answer.
    – Seth J
    Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 12:22
  • @SethJ, yes, I meant, an answer here.
    – msh210
    Commented Aug 17, 2012 at 20:17

1 Answer 1



A: The Chazon Ish ruled that one who made up his mind to give Tzedaka to a certain poor person who was collecting, and then the poor person disappeared (similar to your case of the organization closing down) you can give the money to a different poor person (or in your case a similar institution) The best thing to do always when pledging Tzedaka is to say it's "Bli Neder", thus if you run into issues you will not have a promise to deal with. (Psak of Rav Shlomo Zalmen Auerbach Zatzal)

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