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Section: Questions   Category: Money Matters
  A r c h i v e s
Money Matters - Maaser
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer: With regard to the free gift from a charity organization, it seems to me that one should estimate how much one would have paid for the gift by itself, which one then pays out of one’s own pocket, and then the rest can come from ma’aser money. For example if the organization gives a silver cup to anyone who donates $200, and one would pay for such a cup $20, one should give $20 from one’s own money, and then one may give the other $180 from ma’aser money.


One may purchase a lottery ticket from a tzedakkah organisation with ma’aser money. But one should make the following calculation. How much would I have been willing to pay for the ticket had the proceeds not gone to tzedakkah? That amount should come from his own pocket and the remainder may be paid from ma’aser money. For example, if the ticket cost $10, and had the proceeds not gone to tzedakkah he would have been willing to pay $6 for the ticket, he should pay $6 from his own pocket, and may pay the remaining $4 from ma’aser money.

If one wins a prize, one should preferably return to tzedakkah the value of the ticket purchased. As for the rest of the value of the prize, don’t forget to take ma’aser from that and give it to tzedakkah!

(R’ Moshe Feinstein rules as follows: If there are a fixed number of tickets in the lottery, then there must be a value for each ticket based on the probability of winning, and if the asking price is not much greater than the actual value, such that even one who has no interest in supporting the charity would buy a ticket for that price, one may not purchase the ticket with ma’aser money. If, however, there is no fixed limit to how many tickets will be sold, one cannot fix any value to any single ticket, and thus one may purchase the ticket with ma’aser money.)

If one paid the whole value of the ticket with ma’aser money, and one wins a prize, R’ Chaim Kanievsky (Derech Emunah, Matnas Aniyim 7 paragraph “ve’echad me’asarah…”) is of the opinion that the entire prize belongs to tzedakkah, as is R’ Yisroel Yaakov Fisher (Even Yisrael II 64). However, R’ Yaakov Blau (Tzedakkah Umishpot 1:(84)) permits one to pay for the ticket with ma’aser money if one cannot make the above calculation – if one wins a prize, though, one should return the cost of the ticket to tzedakkah as explained above, and tithe the rest of the prize too.
posted:2009-01-12 00:33:38  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - hike in bus fair
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer: If the arrangement was that you would pay back cash, then one may not pay back more than the original value, nor may one return a bus card with one “punch” left if this is now worth more, as this would amount to paying interest.

However, if the arrangement was that one would pay back with a punch on the card, then it is permissible (even if the price increased in between) as long as the price was fixed at the time of the “loan” and was not due to increase in the immediate future.

If, however, the price increase was expected, one may not lend the punch of the card with intention to return the same thing, since in between it will increase in value and one would be paying interest on the loan.

In such circumstances, one should agree at the outset either to repay the loan of the punch in cash at the value of the punch, or to repay the loan in cash at the value of a single journey (although the lender bought this journey for a cheaper price since he bought a card which offers a reduction if one buys several journeys together, nonetheless he’s entitled to charge others for each punch the price of a single journey).

However, if at the time of the loan of the card the borrower had a similar card in his possession (even if it is not on his person at the time) one may make an arrangement to repay the loan with a card that has a punch available, even if the price is due to increase.
posted:2009-01-11 13:45:27  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Stolen Tzedaka Check
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool

a) If the agent was a representative of the charity organization, it could well be argued that the money is considered to have been given over to them (even though it has not yet left your account - if a borrower repays his debt with a cheque, which subsequently gets stolen from the creditor, we would not expect the borrower to pay the creditor again). A claim against the agent will probably be unsuccessful according to the Halachah. If the thief then withdraws the money, the money lost is lost to ma'aser. If however, you manage to cancel the cheque, it turns out that no money actually left your account, so you would still have to pay the money to tzeddakah. Nonetheless, you can deduct the cost of cancelling the cheque. This is because if you don't cancel it, the organization will not get the money at all, as mentioned above, so it is assumed that the organisation would be willing to compensate you for stopping the cheque, because that way they gain the difference that you will give them afterwards from the sum that never left your account.

If the agent was not a representative of the charity organization but rather your own shaliach to pass the cheques to the organization, then even if the thief managed to cash the cheque you would still owe money to tzedakkah, since the tzedakkah never received anything. However, you need not pay out the full amount of the stolen cheque to tzedakkah. Instead, you may count this theft as a loss of earnings, and deduct that from your account of income, and adjust your ma'aser account accordingly.

b) In general, one makes an account of all one's income, deducts one expenses and pays 10% of the difference to tzedakkah. Expenses includes any expenses that resulted from the pursuit of profit, such as employees' wages, rental of offices, insurance, taxes etc, and any losses such as theft or damage that was not caused by one's own recklessness. Not included in expenses in this regard, are expenses that are not related to the attempt to make money, such as home insurance, food, car used for private use etc.

Since in your case the money lost came from the income/expense account, as pointed out above you can consider this as a loss of earnings, and thus this would offset the subsequent gain of . (It's worth noting, however, that when making a reckoning of expenses and profit for ma'aser purposes, each year must be reckoned differently - one should not include one year's losses to offset the next year's profits.)

posted:2009-01-07 00:19:00  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Chipped Store Item
Submitted by e strauss  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer: I'm afraid so. If you already bought it then it's obviously not their problem. Even if you didn't yet buy it, you are responsible for any damage that you did, even accidentally. The fact that they did not give good service doesn't absolve you of responsibility. Next time, leave it on the counter and insist that they bring the wrapping materials.
One point though. If you haven't yet bought it, you don't actually have to buy it, just to pay for the damage done, i.e. the difference between the price before it was chipped and the price it's worth now. (But with a delicate vase, that may well be practically the full cost!)
posted:2008-12-23 12:13:19  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Getting Even with Egged
Submitted by e strauss  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer: No. Although they are supposed to provide a regular service, you have no personal contract with them, and so technically speaking they don't owe you anything. If they don't show up, they are not Halachically obliged to pay for your taxi. However, try contacting them directly, and request compensation. If they are willing to give, you may certainly accept!
posted:2008-12-23 04:19:00  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Job Interviews
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer: Your boss expects you to interview candidates for the job, that will be best suited to work as part of the team that already exists. If you genuinely feel that any particular candidate would not work well with you, you are obliged to point this out to the boss. This is part of the responsibility that he has charged you with, and it would not be right to withhold this information from him. However, you may not exaggerate or add any uncomplimentary features that are untrue. You should include in your report all her advantages, but nonetheless point out to your boss your assessment that she would not work well with you. Then your boss has the necessary information that he requested, and he can make an informed choice as to what is best for his business.
posted:2008-12-15 10:32:50  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Employer owes money
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer: The correct procedure is to contact a Beis Din and request that they send him a summons to appear at a Din Torah. If he refuses to appear in Beis Din, the Beis Din will usually give permission to pursue the matter in court if the claim appears justified.
posted:2008-12-13 19:57:28  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Wedding Gift
Submitted by Yosef  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer:  If the receiver is a poor person, any declared intent to give him a gift would constitute a neder for tzedakah.
Even if the receiver is not poor, if one informs another that he intends to give him a gift, and the circumstances give him no reason to doubt you (e.g. the gift is not of significant value) one is obliged to keep one's word. One who does not so do is referred to in the Gemora as mechusar amonoh - untrustworthy. (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpot 241:2)
posted:2008-12-10 15:23:54  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Filing Complaint
Submitted by Steve [Shneur] L.  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer:  I don't know if your complaint to the worldwide office would result in any unjustified penalising of the local branch, but the correct procedure would be to address your complaint to the hotel in Israel and give them the opportunity to make amends before approaching the worldwide office.
posted:2008-12-10 08:11:36  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Vending Machine
Submitted by Chaim  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer: You need not find the owner of the machine to return the extra bottle.

However, if you wish to create a Kiddush Hashem by tracking down the owner, and, explaining that you are Jewish, returning to him the extra bottle, you may certainly do so.
posted:2008-12-09 16:23:28  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Can I give this mezuzah to tzedakah?
Submitted by anonymous  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool
Answer: Not only are you allowed to give the first mezuzah to a poor person, your declared intention to so do may well constitute a Neder L'Tzedakah, in which case you would be obliged to give it to a poor person.
posted:2008-12-09 13:15:28  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - forgot pruzbul
Submitted by chaim  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool

There is a minority opinion that the laws of Shmittah nowadays are not absolutely binding but are rather an obligatory custom. See also Terumas Hadeshen (Responsum 304) as to whether the laws of Shemittas Kesafim apply nowadays outside Israel. If one forgot to arrange a Pruzbul before the end of Shmittah and one lives in Chutz La’aretz, one may rely on the ruling of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein zt”l (Iggros Moshe, Choshen Mishpot Vol.2 Chapter 15) that in cases of significant financial loss, one may rely on the opinions that nowadays one who lives in Chutz La’aretz is allowed to claim one’s debts from the lender.

Apart from the above, even where Shemittas Kesafim is mandatory, it is still incumbent upon the borrower to insist on paying the money as a gift, and if, upon the lender informing him that he need not repay the loan, he does indeed insist on paying, the lender is permitted to accept the payment as a gift. See Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpot 67:36, and Iggros Moshe loc cit.

posted:2008-12-08 00:51:10  (0) comments   email to a friend

Money Matters - Medical malpractice
Submitted by MH Samet  Answered by Rav Yehonoson Hool

As with many queries involving Choshen Mishpot, the answer to this particular questions depends on a number of factors. Firstly, we would need to know if the dentist is really responsible for what happened. Then, was it due to negligence or was it unavoidable? Further, is a dentist considered to be in the same class as a doctor, who may be absolved of responsibility under certain circumstances (as far as the Halachah is concerned) if he wasn't negligent? Did the dentist charge more than the normal rate (which might oblige him with extra responsibility)?

With regard to suing in court, in general it is forbidden to sue a Jew in Court. One must sue in Beis Din first. If he refuses to attend, Beis Din may give permission to sue in Court.

However, if one is suing the gentile-owned insurance company rather than the dentist himself, it may be permissible to sue them directly in court.  All in all ,then, in this case one should apply to sue in a Beis Din, and follow their instructions.

posted:2008-12-08 00:48:18  (0) comments   email to a friend

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