Q & A - WITH RABBI RISKIN
My bank account is in overdraft. Am I still
obligated to give "ma'aser kesafim" (10% of my
earnings to charity)?
Unfortunately, most of the citizens of our holy
country live in overdraft. Overdraft has become a
part of life to the extent that it is a fixed item
on the list of weekly expenses, and must be taken
into account when drawing up the monthly budget.
Hence, if - despite the overdraft - there is still
enough money for basic necessities such as food,
rent, bus fare etc. then one is still obligated to
give "ma'aser kesafim". But if one reaches the stage
where he himself requires financial assistance then
he is obviously exempt from the obligation.
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