18

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 (1:18) offers the following rule: Any mitzvah which is not entirely in the hands of the one performing it, as it requires the participation of another person ...


14

Its a gemara in Kesuvos 68a its a statement of Rav Elazar : דאמר רבי אלעזר בואו ונחזיק טובה לרמאין שאלמלא הן היינו חוטאין [- שאנו מעלימין עין מן העניים אבל עכשיו הרמאים גורמים לנו - רש"י] בכל יום שנאמר (דברים טו, ט) וקרא עליך אל ה' והיה בך חטא Rabbi Elazar says let's go and thank the cheaters - without them we would sin [because we hide our eyes from ...


11

I have a guess with no source (yet): The "own town" rule is a mechanism for making sure that no one falls through the cracks. If people donated based on some other criterion, let's say urgency of need, then, in the extreme, all donations in the world would go to the same starving town somewhere, and then would turn to the town that just got hit by a ...


9

Aruch HaShulchan 694:2 says that it is clear to him that it does not have to be given directly to the poor man, and can be given through a messenger (Shaliach) on Purim day. Nitei Gavriel Purim 68:6 mentions in the name of the Yad Aharon 694, Chug Eretz 15, and others that if money is given to a messenger (Shaliach) before Purim to give to the poor man on ...


9

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 Sanhedrin 56b, the Gemara clarifies one daf later that the list is only meant to include obligation to not do something, not positive commands. This would ...


8

Rambam is explicit and passionate on this topic (Hilchot Talmud Torah 3:10) . . . NO!!!!: "Anyone who decides to be engaged in Torah [study] and not to work, and will be supported by Tzedaqa - this person desecrates God's name (Chillel et Hashem), degrades the Torah, extinguishes the light of our faith, brings evil upon himself and forfeits life in Olam ...


8

Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowitz discussed this in a tzedaka lecture; it's considered giving to charity, but at 90% the rate. If my legal work goes for $100/hr, and I did an extra hour of work, I'd make $100 of which I'd keep $90 and give $10 to tzedaka. So if instead I donate an hour of my legal work to charity, it's only $90 I'd be seeing in my wallet, hence if ...


8

There are plenty of references. I will bring but a few: In the Gemara (Yerushalmi, 3, 8) we find that this day has special power. There Rabi Yehoshua ben Levi says Amalek would practice sourcery ... not easily would someone fall on his birthday ... what did Moses do? he suffled the fortunes... (and many Mefarshim provide insight on that Gemara, amongst ...


7

Let's assume the people eating it are all non-Jews. At that point the only problems (that I can think of) are: cooking meat and milk together, and benefiting from meat-and-milk-cooked-together. If you're just doing the dessert, cleanup, or setup, I can't see that as tangible benefit from the main course. (Feeding it to your dog when you would otherwise ...


7

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 ...


7

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 donation; feel free to do more. With some exceptions, this list focuses on donations to the Jewish poor and needy rather than cultural institutions, mainstream ...


7

According to R' Herschel Schachter, the designation of "your city" for this purpose is based on association, rather than geography. In an interview on the topic with Jewish Action magazine, he said: However, aniyei ircha does not refer to the poor people of your city literally. I live in Manhattan. Are all the poor people in New York considered my aniyei ...


7

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 burned is a small, token amount of opened food. For many (if not most) people that I see, it is ten small croûtons or bread pieces that are customarily ...


7

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, וַעֲנִיִּים מְרוּדִים תָּבִיא בָיִת, כִּי תִרְאֶה עָרֹם וְכִסִּיתוֹ* *וּמִבְּשָׂרְךָ לֹא תִתְעַלָּם Give to the hungry your bread, bring the poor to your ...


6

This is a very interesting and difficult question not addressed directly by any of the many sources I consulted. So here are a few relevant sources I collected on the topic. It emerges that you do not have an obligation to research the credentials of a random collector, neither are you obligated to give him much. At the same time you cannot turn him away ...


6

HaRav Yosef Hayim of Baghdad writes in his Ben Ish Ha'i (Parashat Re'eh, Note 17): יש נוהגין לעשות בכל שנה את יום הלידה ליו"ט וסימן יפה הוא וכן נוהגים בביתנו There are those who have the custom to make their day of birth into a "Yom Tov", and it is a good sign, and such is the custom in our home Note 17 continues with the nusahh he would say ...


6

We see in the Gemara (Kesuvos 68a): היינו דאמר רבי אלעזר בואו ונחזיק טובה לרמאין שאלמלא הן היינו חוטאין בכל יום שנאמר {דברים טו-ט} וקרא עליך אל ה' והיה בך חטא Rabbi Eliezer says "let us find some good attribute of liars for if it were not for them we would be sinning every day". Rashi explains Rabbi Eliezer's statement: היינו חוטאים: שאנו ...


6

There are Orthodox Rabbis in London who wear poppies and go along to Remembrance Ceremonies and even recite prayers in them. The poppy is not a form of idolatry but is instead a symbol of "respect" to the soldiers who gave up their lives to protect us. In the United Kingdom, this is particularly relevant, as we are remembering soldiers who fought in World ...


6

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)"


5

There is no maaser on non-monetary gifts according to R Tzvi Spitz, R Moshe Feinstein, R Moshe Heinemann, Chazon Ish (all four cited by R Avrohom Chaim Feuer in The tzedakah treasury pp. 136-7). Some disagree, e.g., Rabbeinu Yonah, R Shlomon Zalman Auerbach both cited by R Shimon Taub in The laws of tzedakah and maaser Others hold that only if one would ...


5

Rashi to Devorim 24 (19) about the forgotten sheaf says SO THAT [THE LORD, YOUR GOD,] WILL BLESS YOU: Although [the forgotten sheaf came into his hand without intention [of the owner]. How how much more so [will one be blessed] if he did it deliberately! Hence, you must say that if someone dropped a sela, and a poor man found it and was ...


5

I think the prohibitions on cooking or deriving benefit would not apply at all when either the meat or the milk comes from a non kosher species of animal (e.g. if the meat was pork), which might be the case here. See Milk and Meat of Non-Kosher Animal Species .


5

Rabbi David Feinstein rules that Maaser ksafim only comes into play after one pays all of his living expenses, including food rent tuition clothing etc. Whatever money is put away as extra is subject to the minhag we call Maaser Ksafim. Reb Elyashev has gone on record to say that paying for children's weddings is part of one's cost of living so all money put ...


5

Number 1 ( Agree to the parents' request and don't give ma'aser ). That's what Rabbi Dovid Feinstein told me. The reason he gave for this was that it is a present with a stipulation. He also said that if the gift is large, there is an assumed stipulation and one need not give. His mashal (example) was a car. I asked what's the smallest large amount one can ...


5

The rabbinate is actually doing its best to not impose at all. There are many tithes separated from produce in Israel and the rabbinate, in certifying that given produce is kosher (if requested to do so by the grower), only removes those tithes which cannot be eaten nowadays, namely, Terumah Gedolah and Terumat Maaser (totaling about 1% of the crop), plus in ...


5

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 budget can go to the needy of Israel if there are many local needy to support. The justification to support the needy of Israel when not living there comes from ...


5

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 maaser on money he has not yet earned and deduct it from later earnings. This is quoted in Pischei Tshuva [Y:D 249]. This is also the opinion of the Chasam ...


5

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 derives from the Polish word for can, “puszka.” Thus, a pushke is simply “a little can or container kept in the home, often in the kitchen, in which money to be ...


5

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, but no definitive ruling is given. With regards to chavilos chavilos the Rivevos Ephraim 2:193 explains how there is no issue with chavilos chavilos by ...


5

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 have spoiled the next day (and they wouldn't get manna where one was travelling on the way) so giving them some money would be considered tzedaka see shulchan ...


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