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HALACHA-----maaser kesafim and tzedaka

rachel2001 Posted - 06 December 2000 16:22

Is it still a mitzvah to give money to a non-Jew? how about maaser money?

MODERATOR Posted - 06 December 2000 16:27

We do give money to poor non-Jews because of Darchei Shalom (to live in peace with them). But unless a specific situation comes to you such that by saying no you will create ill-will between you and a non-Jew, you should save your money for Torah causes. And even then, just give the minimum necessary to maintain good will.

Do not give your maaser money to non-Jewish poor.

Frum613 Posted - 16 May 2001 22:34

Should we calculate our maaser money off of gross wages or net (i.e. after taxes)?

MODERATOR Posted - 16 May 2001 22:35


e Posted - 20 May 2001 15:36

What is the difference between maaser and tzedaka?

MODERATOR Posted - 20 May 2001 18:28


Tzedakah is a Mitzvah D"Oraysah which says you have to give money to poor people when they ask, with a minimum even if they don't.

Maaser is a different obligation, which may be D’oraisa but according to most it is D'Rabbonon, or even just a Minhag. It says you have to give 10% of your money to good causes, not just poor people. There are all sorts of complicated laws of Maaser. Most of it should be given to poor people - preferably Talmidei Chachamim - or life-saving operations. But other good causes, such as building Yeshivos, seforim funds, and the like, can come from Maaser.

EEE Posted - 21 May 2001 9:02

If there is a goy in need, and a Jew helps him, isn't that a Mitzvah?

Hashem created the non-Jews also. It's not their fault that they're not Jewish. Don't they deserve our rachmanus?

I understand that Tzedakah starts with your family, and therefore a Jew should help his Jewish brothers before others.

But what about Goyim who are in worse situations than any Jew?

An example is the people in third world countries. I am considering sponsoring a child in a third-world country. Is that wrong?

MODERATOR Posted - 21 May 2001 9:49

Yes. You should give your money to where Hashem said it is a Mitzvah to give. Here's how this works:

Hashem created these situations where people need money - the third world countries, and, let's say, Yeshiva Beth Medrash Govoha of Lakewood and its Kollel of a few thousand people.

He also established ways for each of those causes to receive whatever money they were supposed to receive.

Hashem gave you some money, and left you with instructions where to give it.

Hashem said it is a mitzvah to give your money to BMG, and it is not a Mitzvah to give your money to third world countries.

This means that Hashem relied on you for the source of funds to Lakewood Yeshiva, and that Hashem has already allocated funds from other sources for the third world countries.

So if you do give to the third world countries, the money that Lakewood should have had, they will never have, since you gave it to someone else, and the third world countries will NOT BENEFIT ANYWAY since Hashem already decided to give them X amount of money from other places, and so if you give them money, Hashem will just have to prevent them from getting the funding from the other sources, since he wanted them to get only a certain amount of money and not more.

In other words, Hashem did not recruit you to take care of Bangladesh. He does that Himself. Hashem recruited you to take care of the Kollel guys in Lakewood. That’s the job He gave you.

All Hashem wants us to do is follow His instructions. Then things will work out fine, since He knows best. But if we decide that we know better where to give our money than Hashem said we should, we're just messing up the whole Grand Plan.

Note: We do give a minimum amount of money to Akum causes, for the sake of Darchei Sholom - meaning, for the sake of living in peace with the rest of the world, but this means for our sake, not the sake of the Bangladeshis, who Hashem will take care of as He planned.

Frum613 Posted - 07 June 2001 16:56

1. when I give tzedakah, am I supposed to have in mind specifically what’s maaser & what’s not? like when I write a check out, I usually just keep in mind that it’s all maaser, even if it’s above the 10%. is it 2 separate mitzvos (although I understand that maaser might be derabonon) that I should set money aside separately for each mitzvah?

2. Chinese auctions & raffles:

a. can maaser money be used?

b. I heard that if you win, then you have to give maaser off the value of the prize?

thank you in advance

MODERATOR Posted - 11 June 2001 17:56

1. You don’t have to have it in mind. As long as you give 10% to Tzedakah it’s OK.

2. Only if you lose.

3. True.

ptgard2281 Posted - 18 June 2001 18:39

Do you have to give ma'aser off the suggested manufacturer's price or what the item is really worth? You know how it goes when prices are set -- things are worth way less than they are sold for.

MODERATOR Posted - 26 June 2001 22:48

You take Maaser off the value the item has to you. Meaning, how much you would pay for it.

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