Charity

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  1. There’s a positive mitzvah to give Tzedaka (charity) to the poor people of Israel. This great mitzvah brings the ultimate redemption closer. Hashem is merciful with those who are merciful on others and one won’t become poor because one’s charity. One should think about how difficult it is to part with one’s money because really that money isn’t one’s own rather it’s a loan from Hashem in order to do His will. [1]

Who should give?

  1. Even a poor person who has some money of his own that’s not needed for business should give Tzedaka even if it’s only a small amount. [2]

How much to give

  1. The community should supply a poor person who asks in private the amount he is lacking with respect to his previous standard of living. However, to a poor person who is knocking on doors the community only needs to give him money for 2 meals and a place to stay. [3]

Maaser Kesafim

  1. There is a praiseworthy minhag to give a tenth of one’s income in charity every year. Before accepting this minhag one should stipulate that one will be able to use the money set aside for Maaser could be used for מצות. [4]
  2. If one has financial difficulty one should stipulate from the beginning that one will only give Maaser after having subtracted all of one’s expenses from one’s incomes. [5]

References

  1. Rambam Sefer HaMitzvot (Mitzvah Aseh #195), Kitzur S”A 34:1
  2. Kitzur S”A 34:2
  3. Kitzur S”A 34:3
  4. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A YD 247:10)
  5. Yalkut Yosef (Kitzur S”A YD 247:10)