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20 votes
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Why don't we say a blessing before giving charity?

Great question. A writer from the Houston Community Kollel has surveyed historical answers to this famous question (here) (1) The great medieval commentator Rashba (1235-1310) in his Responsa (1:...
mbloch's user avatar
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13 votes
Accepted

Is donating blood a mitzvah?

HaRav Eliezer Waldenberg zt"l has a famous piece in his Tzitz Eliezer (vol 16, siman 23). He notes that it is definitely a mitzvah but one is not obligated (and would in fact be forbidden, if it ...
Dov's user avatar
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11 votes

Is donating blood a mitzvah?

R Abraham S. Abraham, the author of the Nishmat Avraham compendium of medical halacha, writes (vol 2, p. 346) Rav [Shlomo Zalman] Auerbach wrote to me that he also permits donating blood to the blood ...
mbloch's user avatar
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9 votes

Do non-Jews have the mitzvah of tzedoko?

The Ran1 (to Sanhedrin 56b) and Yad Ramah (Sanhedrin 57b) both believe that non-Jews are indeed obligated in the commandment to give charity. Although it is not listed in the "seven commandments" of ...
הנער הזה's user avatar
8 votes

Is giving money to relatives considered a tzedakah?

If your parents are in need then give them because Tzedaka is a Mitzva to everyone, but even if they dont need so much helping them is still a mitzva see Isiah 58,7: הֲלוֹא פָרֹס לָרָעֵב לַחְמֶךָ, ...
yosefkorn's user avatar
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7 votes

Reliable Tzedakah Websites

Here's a list of Jewish organizations I donate online to with some regularity. I spend about 10 minutes checking out each one for reliability and quality and usefulness of work before giving a ...
SAH's user avatar
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7 votes
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Why is Chametz burned instead of being donated to charity on Passover?

To summarize the comments (as well as my personal experience): It is required to burn (or otherwise destroy) a small amount of Chametz (see here for some technical stuff). Chametz that is typically ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
7 votes

Do gentiles have the obligation of giving charity to help the needy?

As neglecting charity contributed to Sodom's destruction (per Yechezkel 16:49), they are apparently not only obligated but even held to task for it. הִנֵּה זֶה הָיָה עֲוֺן סְדֹם אֲחוֹתֵךְ גָּאוֹן ...
Nahum's user avatar
  • 2,471
6 votes

How can tzedakah to the needy of Israel be justified?

This is not so simple. In a nutshell your family and the local poor take precedence for at least a significant part of your tzedaka budget. Only part (for quantification see below) of your tzedaka ...
mbloch's user avatar
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6 votes

Tzedaka in the Wilderness

On "Shrub is burning in Kotzk" (סנה בוער בקוצק), The Kotzker also gives the answer to his still-shocked teacher: "The Israelites did tzadaka (charity) with Da'at (knowledge)"
Alaychem goes to Codidact's user avatar
5 votes
Accepted

Can one give maaser before getting paid?

Yes you can donate money now and deduct it from future ma'aser "obligations". I found it clearly adresed by dinonline The Noda Beyehuda [volume 1 siman 73] rules that one may give preemptive ...
mbloch's user avatar
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5 votes

Origin of the word “pushka”

From Yiddish Word of the Week here: Etymology: There seems to be a dispute about etymology here. Leo Rosten, in his Joys of Yiddish (p. 296; unfortunately not available online), argues that it ...
רבות מחשבות's user avatar
5 votes

Can Mishloach Manot count as Matanot Laevyonim and vice versa?

The Biur Halacha 695:4 brings this question and quotes Rabbi Akiva Eiger. Rabbi Akiva Eiger qoutes the Turei Even on Megillah 7b which addresses this exact question. It seems like it can go both ways, ...
sam's user avatar
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5 votes

Tzedaka in the Wilderness

I can think of two ways that one could have fulfilled the mitzvah of tzedaka back then. If one knew someone who needed to travel away from where klal yisroel was encamped and since the manna would ...
Geltman's user avatar
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5 votes

Is donating blood a mitzvah?

See Rav Shmuel Halevi Wosner(Vozner) in his Shevet Halevi who says definitively that it is a mitzvah. See as well Rav Avraham Abraham in his Nishmas Avraham(Vol. 3(Even Haezer), Siman 80, Os 1) who ...
MosheMoskowitz's user avatar
5 votes

May ma'aser funds be used for kimcha d'pischa?

Although the Mishnas Yaavetz (simian 7) explains that the chiyuv of kimcha dpischa is more than just tzedaka, making it an obligation even if one has to borrow money to give it, RSZ says that nowadays ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
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5 votes
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Do poor converts get priority in tzedakah/maaser

The SA in YD 251:9 states clearly that a convert comes after a Jew, provided that they are both at the same level of Torah: היו לפניו עניים הרבה ואין בכיס לפרנס או לכסות או לפדות את כולם מקדים הכהן ...
Chatzkel's user avatar
  • 13k
4 votes
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Donating to the poor ON Purim

Given that this involves Jews, the correct answer is that it is a machlokes. There are those who say that it can be done as long as it is sent to arrive on Purim. , and there are those who say that it ...
sabbahillel's user avatar
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4 votes
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Social Action/Responsibility in Judaism towards gentiles

The Rambam writes (Hilkhos Melachim 10:12): אַפִלּוּ הַגּוֹיִים צִוּוּ חֲכָמִים לְבַקַּר חוֹלֵיהֶם, וְלִקְבֹּר מֵתֵיהֶם עִם מֵתֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּלְפַרְנַס עֲנִיֵּיהֶם בִּכְלַל עֲנִיֵּי יִשְׂרָאֵל, ...
Micha Berger's user avatar
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4 votes

How can tzedakah to the needy of Israel be justified?

There is a machlokes, (argument) among the poskim whether the poor of Eretz Yisrael take precedence even over the poor of your own city, or only over the poor of another city. The Bach & Shach, (...
RibbisRabbiAndMore's user avatar
4 votes

An avrech without a profession but if he would work, he would earn enough money, is he called an oni regarding tzedaka?

This question (like many in Halacha) is complex with many related issues that must be taken into consideration. The short answer: He probably is still considered poor if he has a good head for ...
Benyomin Walters's user avatar
4 votes
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Giving Maaser To a Jewish Beggar Who Comes After Davening

There are a few laws relevant to your question: It is forbidden to turn someone away. Instead, one must give at least something. One should investigate a pauper before giving a substantial gift, but ...
Benyomin Walters's user avatar
4 votes

Are Jews allowed to contribute to the reconstruction of the Paris cathedral?

R. Moshe Feinstein tangentially mentions donating money to building churches in a responsum (Y.D. 1:102) about donating to federations that distribute to Jewish institutions: והנה בפעדעריישאן ...
Alex's user avatar
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4 votes
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How to distribute tzedakah percentage wise?

There are no exact proportions in tzedaka and you can/should follow your heart. But there are certain guidelines indeed. R Hershel Schachter brings the following (from an interview in Jewish Action ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 52.8k
4 votes

Should we accept donations of tainted money?

R Shimon Taub in The laws of tzedakah and maaser addresses your first question If a Jew who deliberately transgresses major mitzvot (e.g., Shabbos) wants to give tzedakah to poor people, one may ...
mbloch's user avatar
  • 52.8k
3 votes
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To whom is it not a mitzvah to give tzedakah?

Are you maybe remembering the end of Hilkhot Tshuva (10:18) in Rambam’s Mishne Torah where he writes: One should always strain oneself and endure hardship and not come to depend on others rather ...
mbloch's user avatar
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3 votes
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Looking for a statement ascribed to the Chofetz Chaim

This is likely their source (Ahavat Chessed, sec. hatimat ha'sefer): דידוע דחיוב צדקה וחסד תלוי לפי המקבל ולפי הנותן... בימים הראשונים שהאדם היה מצמצם הנהגת מחיתו מאד, ולא היה מוציא שום דבר על איזה ...
Oliver's user avatar
  • 12k
3 votes

Can time spent with others be counted as ma'aser, according to halacha?

Harav Melamed gives this exact answer on the website Yeshiva.org.il: שאלה : האם אפשר במקום לתת מעשר לבצע עבודות חשמל עבור ישיבה שאני מעוניין לתרום לה? וכיצד להחשיב את עלות העבודה שלי, לפי ...
Avi Hirsch's user avatar
3 votes

Does charity received cancel out charity given?

Rambam says in הלכות מתנות עניים פרק ז: ואפילו עני המתפרנס מן הצדקה, חייב ליתן צדקה לאחר. Even a poor person who lives off charity is obligated to give charity to others. (translation mine) It would ...
Scimonster's user avatar
  • 23.2k
3 votes

Things to do on one's Hebrew birthday

The Rebbeim of Chabad emphasized celebrating personal birthdays. A number of recommmendations are outlined in the sefer הוראות הרבי. They are given by the current Lubavitcher Rebbe as directives for ...
SAH's user avatar
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