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Old 08-06-2013, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Is giving 10% of your income a requirement when you are in debt and struggling? We have a family with four children and one income. It is always very tight and the basic needs of our family take up the majority of our income. We are in desperate need of a new car. Ours has been in the shop monthly and is eating away at our little bit of savings. It's just getting old. A car payment is a hardship until we get student loans paid off but we had intended to use the extra we have each month to pay down the student loans so the car payment will be more affordable for us. But then I wondered if I should use that as tzedaka since we don't give 10%? I do give a small monthly sum to an orphanage and when I go grocery shopping we always get a few extra things to put in our food box at home. When it's full it goes to the food pantry. Any thoughts?
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:15 PM
 
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This is a question for a qualified Orthodox rabbi, as giving "miser" is a Torah obligation. Not sure anyone's advice here is worth salt.

One suggestion, though, is give the first 10% to Jewish charitys, and then anything you want above that to non Jewish charity.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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What is giving "miser"?
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegotty View Post
What is giving "miser"?
Giving 10% of one's income to tzedaka.
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Old 08-06-2013, 01:50 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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This article seems to suggest differently. The Jewish Ethicist: Borderline Poor
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegotty View Post
This article seems to suggest differently. The Jewish Ethicist: Borderline Poor
That article comes from a very good source, and if you do not have access to a qualified rabbi, it's a good place to start. From your link, I especially like this advice:

Quote:
If you are not poor, but are totally unable to give ten percent to pay for charity expenses which are beyond your household needs, then you should still set aside ten percent of your income for charity. But you may use a portion of that ten percent for special good deeds (mitzvah expenses) that you pay for within your own household. The rationale is that a person should always be in the habit of separating out part of his income to charity to remind himself it is to be used in God's service, even if afterwards he needs to spend it for his own needs.

In any case, it is necessary to give some of the tithe to poor people outside your household, as we learned last week that even a family receiving charity has to itself give at least a token amount to charity.
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:38 PM
 
Location: Eretz Yisrael
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Quote:
According to Jewish law, we are required to give one-tenth of our income to the poor. This is generally interpreted as one-tenth of our net income after payment of taxes.


http://www.jewfaq.org/tzedakah.htm
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:41 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theflipflop View Post
That article comes from a very good source, and if you do not have access to a qualified rabbi, it's a good place to start. From your link, I especially like this advice:
I really like that section you quoted and that was specifically what I was thinking about when I asked the original question. I was wondering if saving for a new car would be considered a necessity enough to count as tzedakah for ourselves. Ultimately we have decided that repairs to our current vehicle would but saving for a new one would not.

And working with a rabbi is not going to happen anytime soon. Remember my husband is not Jewish and any decisions I make are directly impacted by his wishes.
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Old 08-07-2013, 08:42 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pruzhany View Post
Thank you, that was a good article.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:52 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pegotty View Post
I really like that section you quoted and that was specifically what I was thinking about when I asked the original question. I was wondering if saving for a new car would be considered a necessity enough to count as tzedakah for ourselves. Ultimately we have decided that repairs to our current vehicle would but saving for a new one would not.

And working with a rabbi is not going to happen anytime soon. Remember my husband is not Jewish and any decisions I make are directly impacted by his wishes.
I would think buying a new car is pushing the limit of the "heter" (leniency provided by the Rabbis) the link was discussing. I think it meant more to the effect of money used for things like Shabbos candles, Jewish day school education, gas to drive to shul on days other than Shabbos, etc. would qualify as tzedakah.

My Rav often reminds us that Hakadosh Baruch Hu (Hashem) is going to take His 10% whether you give it or not. If you choose not to give it towards tzedakah, it will simply be taken instead as car fixes, a broken roof, medical bills, etc. You might as well give the money to Jewish causes and save yourself the grief of it being taken elsewhere.
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