Question:

My wife is a makeup artist by profession.

She has been doing a great chesed recently, by providing makeup service free of charge for brides who cannot afford to pay for it. Can she calculate the amount she would charge for the service, and count that as maaser?

Thank you for your time.

Answer:

What a beautiful chesed!

Regarding deducting the charge from maaser, the jobs that she already did, should not be calculated from ma’aser, because she meant them to be for the mitzvah of chesed. Any future jobs that weren’t done yet, can be calculated from ma’aser, but only 90% of the charge. Meaning that if her charge is $100 and she does a free job for a poor bride she may deduct $90 from maser money. The reason is because we consider it as if she now earned $100, of which she would now have to give $10 ma’aser. She is giving $100 to tzedakah, $10 which is the ma’aser of the $100, and $90 towards the ma’aser of her other earning.

May H-shem help that you should always be able to help others.

Sources:

Shut Maharil Diskin 24, Taz Y:D 249-1, Tzedakah U’mishpat 5-11 ftnt. 43, B’orach Tzedakah 11-102, in the name of R’ N. Karelitz shlit”a, also see Teshuva from R’ M. Feinstein zt”l 9, and teshuva from R’ S. Z. Auerbach zt”l 10 in the back of B’orach Tzedakah.

Tags: maaser money

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