Question:

Received some money as inheritance from a parent who passed away, must separate maaser? Obligation or just “nice to do”. Same 10% and treated as income?

Thanks,

Answer:

Inheritance that was received is included in income, which is exactly what it is. However you would only have to take maaser from the amount that you are left with after taxes.  Giving maaser is something that should be done, however unlike taxes, we are told that when you give maaser, you are rewarded that the money that you received will be successful and you will see very nice dividends from the money that maaser was separated, and which was given to tzedakah. I once heard a nice story about R’ Eliezer Gordon, who was once at a rihc man’s home, and he was complaining that he didn’t want to give tzedakah. R’ Gordon told him, that it is interesting that we have an obligation to give maaser from our newborn sheep, but the way that it is given is very interesting. The owner gathers  together all of the sheep that were born in the last period, and they all walk thru a fence, and he counts them, 1,2,3,4… 7,8,9… and then the tenth one he marks with a red stick, that this one is for maaser. Why is it ask R’ gordon that we are commanded to give it in this fashion. It would be easier for us to just count the sheep and with a simple calculation we would figure out how many sheep have to be given? He answers that the reason is because H-shem wants us realize something here, he wants us to count like this , 1 is for me, 2 is for me, 3 is for me…. 7 is for me, 8 is for me , 9 is for me, now the tenth one, and only the tenth one is for H-shem. This way we realize that it is not that H-shem is taking away a tenth of the animals from us, but he gave us ten, and He wants us to give just one of them back to Him. Giving maaser is the same thing, H-shem gave you a nice inheritance, and all He wants, is that you give Him 10% back. in addition to this he says that you will not lose at all from giving the Maaser, but it will cause that you should have divine help, and the rest of your finances will IY”H flourish.

Best wishes

Tags: Maaser tzedakah

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