web analytics
May 4, 2015 / 15 Iyar, 5775
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post


Mixed Tzedakah

Business-Halacha-logo

Mr. Sender was the gabbai of Congregation Tiferes Yisrael. He was in change of aliyahs, would organize the siddurim after davening, and make the announcements. His special joy, though, was walking around the shul on weekdays with the pushka (tzedakah box). “Tzedakah tatzil mimavess,” he would quietly declare. “Charity saves from death.”

Each year, on Erev Yom Kippur, the bimah was covered with pushkas and plates for kapparos on behalf of various institutions. “Please try to collect your pushka before Yom Kippur,” Mr. Sender would instruct the people who left the boxes there. “Afterward, the money is liable to get lost.”

There were always some organizations, though, that would not come to collect the money until after Yom Kippur. Mr. Sender was careful to place each tzedakah plate neatly under the bimah.

This year, when Mr. Sender came to prepare the shul for Sukkos, he saw that someone had dumped all the remaining money from the plates into a single box. There was about $150 from four plates. “What do I do now?” he thought. “How much should I give to each institution?”

Mr. Sender asked the president if he knew who had mixed the boxes together. “No, I don’t,” replied the president. “Just divide it evenly between the organizations. That’s the simplest thing to do when in doubt.”

“I recall, though, that two of the organizations had more than the others,” said Mr. Sender. “I don’t know how much though.”

“I don’t really think it makes a difference,” said the president. “It’s all tzedakah and the respective institutions haven’t acquired the money yet. So it’s not a problem even if you switch from one plate to another.”

“I’m not convinced,” replied Mr. Sender. “If people put money in a certain pushka, it should go there”

“Perhaps the shul’s responsible for not protecting the plates?” chimed in someone else. “You should give the maximum amount, let’s say $100, to each organization and fill in from the general tzedakah fund.”

“That seems excessive to me,” said Mr. Sender. “I did put away the plates properly. I’ll ask Rabbi Dayan.”

Mr. Sender called Rabbi Dayan and asked: “If plates of kapparos tzedakah got mixed up, what do I do with the money? Can I give it to whichever institution I want?”

“Once money was placed in a tzedakah box, it should be given to that institution and cannot be given freely to another tzedakah,” said Rabbi Dayan. “If the boxes got mixed and you cannot ascertain how much money was in each box, you should divide the money according to your estimation. You are not required to add of your own if you were not negligent.” (Tzedakah U’mishpat 8:9[25]; Pischei Teshuvah Y.D. 259:13)

“Could you please explain?” asked Mr. Sender.

“A person’s courtyard [chatzer] acquires for him, even without his knowledge,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Similarly, a person’s container can acquire for him money placed in it, provided that the person has permission to place the container there. Thus, according to many authorities, a tzedakah box acquires the money placed inside of it on behalf of the institution, even though they do not know that money was placed in their box. It is considered as if the money was already given to their representative.” (See C.M. 200:3; Shach 200:7)

“Then how do we deal with our case?” asked Mr. Sender. “Maybe we’re not giving the money properly to each institution?”

“When the boxes got mixed up, you should do according to your estimation, because all the money is in doubt,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “No organization is muchzak (in possession). If there is no reason to assume one plate had more than the other, you would usually divide evenly.” (See C.M. 164:3; Nesivos 164:7)

“What if all the money was dumped into one of the tzedakah boxes?” asked Mr. Sender. “Would it now all go to that institution?”

“No, since you know that some of that money was already acquired by the other institutions,” replied Rabbi Dayan. “However, that institution would have the upper hand, since it’s now muchzak. It would be entitled to the uppermost amount reasonable for that box. Beyond that, the remaining amount should be divided as the gabbai estimates.” (See C.M. 90:9-10)

“Thank you,” said Mr. Sender. “I’ll do my best!”

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Mixed Tzedakah

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Hundreds of Israeli-Ethiopians clash with police in a protest in Jerusalem against  police brutality and alleged racism.
Hundreds of Israeli Ethiopians Protest in Tel Aviv, Block Ayalon Highway
Latest Judaism Stories
Torat-Hakehillah-logo-NEW

It’s an interesting idea, that love is illustrated by understanding another’s needs.

Niehaus-050115

“Keeping” Shabbos means to guard it and make sure to keep every aspect and detail of it.

Winiarz-Shaya-logo

Pesach is a time when we can grow in this perspective. But merely spending a week working on something will not leave any lasting impression on us.

Business-Halacha-NEW

“There is a diamond necklace that I wear on special occasions,” Mrs. Miller told her husband. “It was recently appraised at $6,000. If need be, we can give that as collateral.”

Morah for a parent is connected to shemiras Shabbos because the Shechina shines on, and through, the Sabbath.

“You shall not hate your brother in your heart; you shall reprove your fellow and do not bear a sin because of him.” – Vayikra 19:17   When the Torah mentions the obligation to rebuke a fellow Jew, it ends with the words “and do not carry a sin because of him.” The Targum translates […]

The Bais Halevi answers that we must properly define what is considered to be “in the middle of a mitzvah.”

They had realized they would be far from civilization and kosher food and had packed plenty of fresh and canned food as well as making sure there was a microwave in their room which they knew how to kasher.

He was deeply saddened by the thought of her going to her final resting place alone and that it appeared as if she knew no one and had no family who cared about her.

Question: If Abraham was commanded to circumcise his descendants on the eighth day, why do Arabs – who claim to descend from Abraham through Yishmael – wait until their children are 13 to circumcise them? I am aware that this is a matter of little consequence to our people. Nevertheless, this inconsistency is one that piques my curiosity.

M. Goldman
(Via E-mail)

The Debt Lives On
‘The Orphans’ Mitzvah To Repay Their Father’s Debts’
(Ketubot 91b)

Rabbi Fohrman asks what’s the connection between animal sacrifices and leaving crops for the poor?

Putting parents before oneself is a step toward putting the more abstract concept of God before self

In her diary, Anne Frank wrote words that provided hope for a humanity faced with suffering.

The Arizal taught this same approach, making the point that the Torah would never mention wicked people and their sins if there was not great depth involved from which we are to learn from.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-NEW

“There is a diamond necklace that I wear on special occasions,” Mrs. Miller told her husband. “It was recently appraised at $6,000. If need be, we can give that as collateral.”

Business-Halacha-logo

“I accept the ruling,” said Mr. Broyer, “but would like to understand the reasoning.”

“The problem is that the sum total is listed is $17,000. However, when you add the sums mentioned, it is clear that the total of $17,000 is an error. Thus, Mr. Broyer owes me $18,000, not $17,000.”

“The guiding principle regarding work terms is: hakol keminhag hamidina – everything in accordance with the common practice,” replied Rabbi Dayan.

“No, I can’t take more than $65,” protested Mrs. Fleisher. “You may not owe me more than that.”

“If I notify people, nobody will buy the matzos!” exclaimed Mr. Mandel. “Once the halachic advisory panel ruled leniently, why can’t I sell the matzos regularly?”

“Do we have to donate again?” some people asked. “Is it fair that we should have to pay twice?”

“This sounds like a question for Rabbi Dayan,” said Mr. Cohen. He took out his cell phone and called Rabbi Dayan.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/mixed-tzedakah/2013/09/18/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: