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Calculating maaser - what counts?

 
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amother




OP


Post  Thu, May 23 2019, 6:20 am
Yes I agree we should ask a rav.

But if you already did ask... What counts in calculating 10% of what number
/

Examples

1. Tuition breaks (where you never see the money)
2. Birthday presents - money?
3. Birthday presents - gifts?
4. Tzeddaka received from a Tzeddaka organization to help pay for kids or adult therapies
5. Income tax rebates
6. money your parents give you to help w tuition or whatever because you are not managing on your own?

Appreciate your replies.
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amother




Pink


Post  Thu, May 23 2019, 6:49 am
Every Rav will tell you something else. Ask. It's not black and white halacha.
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amother




Turquoise


Post  Thu, May 23 2019, 7:41 am
amother [ OP ] wrote:
But if you already did ask... What counts in calculating 10% of what number
/

Examples

1. Tuition breaks (where you never see the money)
2. Birthday presents - money?
3. Birthday presents - gifts?
4. Tzeddaka received from a Tzeddaka organization to help pay for kids or adult therapies
5. Income tax rebates
6. money your parents give you to help w tuition or whatever because you are not managing on your own?


I'm not a Rav and don't know where/how DH came up with this, but as I understand it, we do include birthday presents and income tax refunds in calculating what we give 10% of, but not anything given to us earmarked for a specific purpose, such as 4 and 6. I also don't think you give on tuition breaks or non-cash presents received, but please do not rely on this for any halacha l'maaseh and ask your own LOR.
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yerushamama




 
 
 


Post  Thu, May 23 2019, 10:02 am
At one point I saw a sefer ( sorry, I don't remember the name of it) which spoke of the halachos involved in maaser. One thing that I found VERY surprising was the idea that not all INCOME is counted - one first deducts (very) basic expenses. Most people, even if aware of this, don't calculate this way, but monetary gifts earmarked for a specific purpose are generally exempt.

At one point, my husband spoke to a few friends about a family we know that was deeply in debt (father was in debtor's prison - yes, it still exists in some parts of the world), and their first child had just gotten engaged. The next day, one of them knocked on our door with a thick envelope of cash. They had been saving for a down payment on an apartment, and then his MIL bought them an apartment. When he asked about maaser, he was told to give maaser on the value of the apt, up to a certain percent of what they had saved.
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ora_43




 
 
 


Post  Thu, May 23 2019, 10:27 am
From what I learned, #2 and #5 do count, the rest don't.

This is based on Rabbi Eliezer Melamed's book (Pninei Halacha). He writes there that while some shitot do say that maaser should be given on the money value of non-money gifts, the widespread custom is to give maaser only on money. Also, gifts of money given with a specific purchase in mind (eg a mother giving her daughter money to buy a wedding dress) are considered the thing being purchased, rather than the money (IOW it's as if the mother bought her daughter a dress, and the daughter doesn't need to give maaser).
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