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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 . . .
What Should I Do With My Newfound Money?
The greatest form of charity
I recently completed a major business deal and made a profit of several hundred-thousand-dollars. I live a rather simple lifestyle and was wondering if you could offer some advice on what I should do with the money.
Protection Money
We give charity, and pray for health, wealth and a good year. Are we "bribing" G-d?
How Can Someone Be so Stingy?
Right now, he acts stingily. Somewhere, deep inside, hides his inner philanthropist.
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.
Does Inflation Affect How Maaser Is Calculated?
Here is what you need to know about how the cost of living can be calculated against certain gains, lowering your rate of maaser.
Take the Tzedakah Quiz
Quiz yourself on this important and special mitzvah!
What (and Who) Is Rabbi Meir Baal Haness?
And why do we give charity in his name?
In a time of need, some have the custom to give charity for Israel (called tzedakah of Rabbi Meir Baal Haness) and pray, “G‑d of Rabbi Meir, answer me!”
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!
Can I Bribe G-d with Charity?
I often give tzedakah, charity, in memory of loved ones and people who have inspired me, but lately my motivations have changed. I've been donating to worthy causes in the hope of achieving something I yearn for and dream about - I want my daughter to get married. Is this still charity, or am I bribing G‑d?
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?
What Is a
All humor aside, Jewish communities have historically done the honorable work of accommodating and supporting schnorrers with dignity.
How Did Brisket Become a Rosh Hashanah Tradition?
From Ezra to the present: On eating meat on Rosh Hashanah
Where does this tradition come from, and does it have any true significance?
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?
Why Give in Multiples of 18 (Chai)?
Discover the ancient roots and mystical interpretations of the number 18 - a symbol of life, blessing, and mercy.
Why Do We Say Yizkor When We Do?
Yizkor is recited four times a year: on the last day of Passover, on the second day of Shavuot, on Shemini Atzeret and Yom Kippur.
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?
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?
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?
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...
Am I Giving Too Much?
I feel taken for granted, unappreciated and exhausted!
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