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Elul 5763 – How Can I Count The Ways? Hilchos Maaser

1 Elul, 5763

How Can I Count the Ways. . . ? (aka, Halachos Pertaining to Maaser)

One may use maaser money for any of the following donations:
* Poor individuals or a “community tzedakah fund” or your shul tzedaka fund
* hachnosos kallah (to assist a young couple in setting up a home for
marriage)
* pidyon shvuyim (freeing a captive)
* bikur cholim
* hachonsos orchim
* local Eruv and Bais Din
* chevra kadisha
* mikvah
* maos chitim (Pesach)
* shul building
* seforim for public use
* ads placed in a journal for a school, shul, or chesed organization

The following may be taken from maaser if the noted conditions are met:
* Banquet tickets–One may use maaser money for the cost of the ticket minus the value of the meal to you. For example, if a ticket is $125.00, and the meal is worth $20.00 to the individual (even if the caterer charges more), one may use $105.00 from one’s maaser fund.
* Raffle tickets–If an unlimited number of tickets are sold, one may use money from maaser for the entire ticket, as the value of each ticket is negligible. If there is a limited amount of tickets being sold one must subtract the value of the ticket from the donation and use that amount for the maaser figure. For example, if 1000 tickets are sold for $100.00 apiece for a grand prize of $15,000, the ticket value is $15,000 divided by 1000 tickets or $15.00. The $15.00 is subtracted from the $100.00 donation, and thus $85.00 of the original $100 is maaser money.

One may not use money of maaser for the following:
* Items for a specific mitzvah (e.g. shofar or lulav) or for shadchanus
* If one rents needed items from a Jewish organization, for example, one rents flowers from a tzedaka organization

To be continued b’ez’H next month. . .