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Showing Questions in 'Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)'

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Question No. 2043
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 8 Apr 2013
The Question Dear Rav Leff, Understood that our primary tzedakah obligations are to Torah causes and our Jewish brethren, is it proper to help out poor gentiles (monetarily / comforting words) which one encounters in the course of one's day? (I am not referring to swindlers or drug addicts). Is this in keeping with the Rambam's ruling in Hil. Melakhim 10:12)where he quotes "Tov Hashem Lakol, verachamav al kol Ma'asav" and "Deracha darkei noam v'chol nesiva seha shalom." based on Gittin 61a? My son's menahel had mentioned that to give is an issur of "lo sechanim" and this was very disturbing/ shocking to me, as I have always believed that we are to help people as emulating the attributes of Hashem - Who sustains all. Can you kindly provide your insight? —Anonymous, Passaic, NJ
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 2024
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 23 Jan 2013
The Question Dear Rabbi Leff Is someone allowed to use his/her own maaser money in order to pay for his/her wedding considering that if he/she does not do that they will have to seek tzdakah to cover for the wedding expenses. Please let me know. Thank you. —Anonymous, London, UK
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1974
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 25 Mar 2012
The Question Kvod haRav: I am starting a business venture to, bezH"ys, help kollel wives make a very good parnsa and be able to perform the work at very flexible times. I am a professional with decades of experience and I want to give each woman I form a company with 50% of the company even though I will be doing the professional work and they will be doing secretarial/clerk work. I want to ask before the company is formed that 10% of the company's profits go to a kollel family where the wife can not work even a flexible parnsa. Is it fair for me to request this condition on my partners? Is there any halachic problem with a company giving tsedaka? Thank you very much. —Anonymous, Lakewood
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1965
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 14 Feb 2012
The Question Do I have to give ma'aser from a scratch-off ticket I won? —Anonymous, Lakewood NJ
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1856
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 9 Mar 2011
The Question K'vod Ha'Rav Leff, Please excuse that I have a few questions :-) 1. As an owner of a business where the profits of the business reflect my takehome income, how do tzedaka and taxes work? What I mean is the following; say the company earns $100 this year. The government takes 50% tax so I am left with $50, of which I give $5 to zedaka, total $45 for me. However, if the company gives $10 to zedaka, we will now only be taxed 50% of $90, so my takehome is $45. The question is, which is the preferred way to give? It seems that when the company gives, I am able to give more. Further, when the company gives, am I required to give myself as well (then the total would be $10+$4.50 = $14.50) or is the $10 enough from the company alone? Giv —Anonymous, Jerusalem
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1831
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 6 Jan 2011
The Question Dear Rabbi Leff, Is a person allowed to pay his shul membership fee from money set aside as "maaser"? Thank you for this terrific resource! —Anonymous, New York
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1712
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 12 Feb 2010
The Question In terms of Hilchos Tzedaka, I was told that if there is a person/community in a state of crisis, the usual hierarchy of giving Tzedaka is suspended, e.g. because of the crisis facing Haiti, we would give that community priority in terms of tzedaka over, say, a community charity, despite the fact that their population is not Jewish. Is this correct? Also, if I am a full time student and am currently taking out loans for college but have generated some income, I am still obligated to give 10% on that income, right? I once heard a Rav state that a full time student with debts doesn't have to give tzedaka on any money that she makes. Thank you very much for taking the time to answer these questions. Your guidance is much appreciated. —chana, NYC
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1709
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 11 Feb 2010
The Question Thank you for this Q&A forum. I would like to know if someone forgot if they gave Maaser from a certain paycheck and they usually keep a very clear track of what they give and not give, are they obligated to take maaser from that particular money? This does not refer to a large amount of money but all the same it would make a difference. Thank you! —Anonymous, Lakewood
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1572
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 8 Dec 2008
The Question In "Ahavas Chessed" (Vol 2, ch.19), if I understand properly the Chofetz Chayim writes that supporting your older children (that you are not obliged by Halacha to support) counts as maaser and is a perfect way of doing this mitzvah. Can the Rav please clarify what age children the Chofetz Chayim is referring to, and whether this is a good solution to people in financial straits to still fulfil the obligation of maaser? —Shimon Frais, Beit Shemesh
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1515
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 25 Aug 2008
The Question I have been giving tzadakah to a local shul for about a year. I would like to start giving to a different shul instead. Am I chaiv to keep giving to the first shul? Must I notify the first shul before I can stop giving? Or can I simply stop giving to the first and begin giving to the second? —Yehudah Palmer, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1500
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 30 Jun 2008
The Question Is it permitted to use Maaser money for hiring someone to learn with my stepson during the summer? Also could I use maaser to pay for yeshiva tuition since possibly there is no chiyuv of chinuch since it is a stepson? Thank you —Anonymous, Edison, NJ
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1235
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 6 May 2006
The Question I was wondering if the Rav could clarify a question I had based on his answer to question 1197. In the United States there is no obligation to send a child to private school and there seems to be no Torah law that says a child needs to go to a private school either. Since public school is free can I deduct the difference in tution expenses between a public and private school education from maysa kesofim - for the coming year at least which is a new obligation to pay? From question 1197 I am thinking the answer maybe yes but I am not sure. Much thanks and regards. —Anonymous, USA
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1166
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 21 Dec 2005
The Question I have a set of almost new Mikrot Gedolot which were professionally bound and although they are old were barely used. I now prefer to get a different sized set (smaller so I can carry it around and actually use it) but perhaps donate the original to a shul. Can I deduct some amount from what I owe to mayser kesofim for the donation? If so, how do I evaluate the set? Can I include the binding cost – though I don’t recall how much it was at that time, could I use how much it would cost now? This question makes me wonder something else – if I manage to get a bargain on a sefer, can I in turn donate it to a shul that needs it and deduct its real worth in terms of mayser kesofim I owe – i.e. what the shul would have to pay for it, rather than the amount I actually paid? (sounds like it is maybe possible to turn mayser kesofim debt in to a business of buying low and giving high [smile]). Also, what about a sefer given as a gift that is in turn given to a shul and would the situation change if it wasn’t actually given outright but given as a permanent loan? Finally, what kind of seforim count if given in place of mayser kesofim? E.g. I have an english sefer recently bought that after reading I wasn’t impressed with. Can I donate it to a Jewish library and deduct its value from mayser kesofim debt? With thanks. —Anonymous, Untied States
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1139
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 28 Nov 2005
The Question Many thanks for the Shiur on Maaser (Parshas Lech Lechah) I am unclear on the point the Rav made regarding basic expenses that are not counted as money needed to Maaser. The Rav mentioned a refrigerator as something basic which is included in this catagory. What about basic rent - or mortgage, are these basics? How about basic clothing (perhaps just one change of clothing? or perhaps what is customary?) What about if you have a dining room set but the chairs are tearing, would buying a new Dining room set be part of this basic catagory? Thanks —Anonymous, Brooklyn, NY
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1110
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 29 Oct 2005
The Question Dear Rabbi Leff, I have a personal problem that seriously affects my relationships with others, particularly my wife. I have found a certain type of psychotherapy to be helpful, but I cannot afford the regular sessions that would be required to fully benefit from the treatment. May I pay for the cost of the therapy from my maaser allocations? —Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1099
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 22 Oct 2005
The Question I am curious how you calculate maasar. Do you take it out of your gross or net pay (after taxes - not including retirement deductions)? —D. Horesh, Kansas City, KS
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 1058
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 26 Sep 2005
The Question Last Yom Kippur I donated $101.00 to aliya and $36.00 for someone to take to Eretz Israel and donate to the poor and hungry. I have not been able to pay both trumot until now. However, the beit kneset organization (kept by a board of members and no leading rabbi) was dissolved and is no longer in operation. They attempted to join another beit kneset and that resulted in machloket. The original beit kneset is now no longer an organization. Now, in the same location, a rabbi from Eretz Israel decided to open a beit kneset under a different name. Some of the old congragation are now coming to daven with the new rabbi. What should I do with the donation? Toda Raba —Anonymous, California
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 946
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 5 Aug 2005
The Question If one has accumulated many debts and is struggling to make ends meet, does he still have to take maaser from his income or can he use the money to pay off his many debts and get back on his feet? —Anonymous
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 795
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 3 May 2005
The Question Regarding maaser: If I giver maaser from funds from my Corporation, do I have to consider this amount as income first, and then separate maaser? —Raphy, Montreal
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


Question No. 748
Category Tzedaka (Laws of Charity)
Date Posted 4 Apr 2005
The Question Regarding Calculating the correct Maaser to give I get a paycheck with family medical insurance deducted before taxes. Do I consider medical insurance as income and therefore deduct maaser from it or not? —Anonymous, Brooklyn,NY
The Answer Click here to listen to Rabbi Leff's answer.


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