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Tzedakah Questions & Answers

What Is the Jewish Take on Charity?
Banking has always been a Jewish profession, and in truth, every Jew is a banker. I may have money in my pocket, but it was merely deposited with me . . .
Why (and When to) Give Charity Before Prayer?
Says the Talmud, Rabbi Eleazar used to give a coin to a poor man and immediately begin to pray.
What If a Charity Turns Out to Be Fake?
Does it still count as charity? How can one ever be sure that the money goes to the right cause?
Why is Charity the Greatest Mitzvah?
When a person gives charity, he is not sanctifying merely his food, or some other possession, or his mental capabilities; he is giving up something in which he invested his whole self...
Isn't it More Important to Feed the Hungry?
We spend so much money, time and energy on synagogues, Jewish schools religious institutions. Wouldn't it be better if we applied all those resources to alleviating all the suffering in our world?
People Knocking on my Door
The mezuzah on our front door seems to act as a beacon that draws charity-seeking individuals to our door at all hours of the evening and night. Frankly, we are considering removing it!
I have a menorah, it is gold-plated, it cost about $50. To buy anything better, anything more expensive, would have seemed self-indulgent; who would benefit but my own family and the shopkeeper?
Protection Money
We give charity, and pray for health, wealth and a good year. Are we "bribing" G-d?
Can't Say No
I've always had a hard time saying "no" to people. So everyone assumes that I'm always available. And when I need something, no one even offers...
I know we are meant to give a tenth of our income (after tax) to charity. What if I volunteer my time for a charity? Can I deduct that from the required ten percent?
How Can Someone Be so Stingy?
Right now, he acts stingily. Somewhere, deep inside, hides his inner philanthropist.
Why Does G-d Not Feed the Poor?
G‑d is surely not a hypocrite. If He tells us to do something, He should do it Himself as well. So shouldn't G‑d be obligated to feed the poor? Why doesn't He help His own children rather than commanding us to do it for Him?
Wht Does
All humor aside, Jewish communities have historically done the honorable work of accommodating and supporting schnorrers with dignity.
Am I Giving Too Much?
I feel taken for granted, unappreciated and exhausted!
Atonement in the Absence of Sacrifices?
If the foundation for G‑d’s forgiveness and atonement was initially the sacrifice on the altar, how does one now find forgiveness and atonement, since the Temple and physical sacrifices no longer exist?
Jews and Taxes
Taxes have always been a very divisive issue. In fact, taxes are what split Israel into two kingdoms during biblical times.
Why Say
I have a friend who, whenever he says that he will or will not do something, always adds the disclaimer bli neder (lit. “without an oath”). What’s up with that?
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