For more information on maaser, including a detailed description of this calculation, see my article on Maaser Computation.
Confidentiality note: all the computations are done on your computer. No information whatsoever is uploaded to our servers, stored anywhere, or shared in any way. This means that the information you enter is kept as private and confidential as the computer you are using.
1. Compute your maaser income.
Note: Forms and line numbers are based on 2004 and 2005 tax returns.
2. Compute your maaser deductions.
3. Compute your maaser obligation.
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This page is written based on the piskei halacha of Rav Moshe Feinstein ZTz"L, Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ZTz"L, the Chofetz Chaim, and others, as brought in sefer Maaser Kesafim, edited by Cyril Domb, published by Feldheim Publishers. Please consult with your rabbi before acting on this information.
For more information on maaser, including a detailed description of this calculation, see my article on Maaser Computation.
After developing this calculator, I was privileged to locate a copy of the excellent Guide to The Maaser Form by Rabbi Yechezkel Feldberger in conjunction with Nachum Blumenfrucht, CPA. The Maaser Form is available from the Chicago Community Kollel and generally agrees with the piskei halacha brought herein.
See also Ma'aseir Kesofim by Rav Yosef Fleischman.
- Aino ben yomo — A meat (dairy) pot that has not been used to cook meat (dairy) in the last 24 hours is an aino ben yomo pot. Any absorbed tastes are lifgam.
- B'dieved — a posteriori. Refers to an acceptable halachic position but one that is short of ideal. B'dieved pareve food that was prepared in a meat pot that was mixed with dairy may be eaten.
- Ben yomo — A meat (dairy) pot that has been used to cook meat (dairy) in the last 24 hours is a ben yomo pot. Any absorbed tastes are lishvach.
- Irui — pouring. Usually used in conjunction with the kind of kli from which the pouring occurs. For example, irui kli rishon refers to pouring from a kli rishon into a kli sheini.
- Kli — A utensil. This could be a pot, fork, tray, tongs, bowl, cup, saucer... any utensil, dish, or cooking item in the kitchen.
- Kli Rishon — A cooking pot heated on the stove. Literally "a primary vessel." For example, a soup pot.
- Kli Sheini — A vessel into which food is poured from a kli rishon. Literally "a secondary vessel". For example, a large serving bowl into which soup is poured and then carried to the table.
- Kli Shlishi — A vessel into which food is poured from a kli sheini. Literally "a tertiary vessel". For example, a soup bowl in which soup is eaten after being served from a serving bowl.
- L'chatchila — a priori. Refers to the ideal halachic condition. L'chatchila we don't prepare pareve food in a meat pot if we intend to eat the food with milk.
- Lifgam — spoiled. A lifgam food gives a spoiled taste.
- Lishvach — the opposite of lifgam.
- Yad soledet bo — hot. Literally, hot enough that if you touch it your reflex is to pull your hand away. This is the minimal temperature at which cooking occurs for kashrut purposes and is generally accepted as about 43oC or 110oF.
Can you cite the rule and its practical application concerning re-heating foods (specifically meats with gravy, sauce) on Shabbat? I've eaten at the homes of observant people who certainly did not serve dry meat. What types of gravy/juices, sauce, if any, is permissible, and what is/are proper methods of reheating? I am having people over this Shabbat and I want to make sure I won't offend anyone with my turkey breast and brisket. Frankly, I never really thought about this issue if I even knew about it, until a friend mentioned that she wouldn't serve meatballs on Shabbat because some of her guests would have an issue. She explained that its only OK to serve meat in its own juice. But that would mean that if you sauté onions and make gravy for a roast, that you can't re-heat it, of if you cook a tangy sauce for a turkey, you can't re-heat it in the sauce... I at least want to be aware of the rule.
The truth is that the intricacies of warming food comprise one of the most difficult and complex aspects of Shabbos observance, so it is no surprise that more than a few people are confused. Below is a brief and hopefully simple outline of the rules and their applications. Sources are not cited here; for a full discusion of all the issues, please see the Shabbos Kitchen class.
Here are the basic rules:
- It is generally forbidden to reheat any liquid on shabbos.
- "Reheat" is defined as raising the temperature of a liquid above 110 degrees (F) or 43 degrees (C), as this is considered to be cooking the liquid.
- One cannot warm a liquid to a temperature below this temperature lest one come to warm above this temperature.
- On top of a pot of food (or water) that is on top of a blech, if in this location where it is impossible for the liquid to reach the above temperature, it is permissible to reheat a liquid. In other words, you can place a pot of liquid on top of a pot of food on theblech provided that the liquid cannot possibly reach 110 degrees in this location.
- Liquids can be returned to a blech provided that one follows all the rules of chazara (which perhaps I'll write up at a later time).
- Solids can be reheated on top of another food that is on the flame. For example, you can warm your challah on top of your cholent pot. However, you cannot completely enclose the solid in an insulating covering while doing so. So you can wrap your challah in foil, but leave the end out. (This is sufficient for Ashkenazic Jews; Sephardim are stricter about not covering the challah.)
- Whether or not you can reheat solids on a hotplate is the subject of much debate. Consult with your rabbi.
- It is permissible to reheat a solid in spite of the fact that it contains some liquid which will come out when heated. For instance, meat that has absorbed some gravy and has some congealed gravy and fat on it is considered a "solid" for reheating purposes, provided that it is very much meat with just a little congealed gravy clinging to it. Similarly, an apple pie could be warmed although some of the filling will ooze a bit. This is the basic rule for most Ashkenazim; however, some Ashkenazim are strict and require the food to be completely dry, so check with your rabbi to be sure. Sephardim have some additional leniencies that may allow the food to merely be mostly solid; Sephardim should consult with a rabbi to determine the appropriate halacha.
So how can you serve meat with warm gravy for Shabbos lunch? You've got a few options:
- Make lots of gravy and just leave it on a blech with a very low heat from Friday night until Shabbos lunch. I suggest adding extra water beforeShabbos so that it doesn't dry out. You cannot add water on Shabbos, even if the water you are adding is hot. (Note that there are some potential leniencies in this regard; consult with your rabbi.)
- Do the same thing, but put the meat in there too. This is like a cholent. Like a cholent, you can't mix it, take the lid on and off, add water, etc. onShabbos, so make sure that it has enough water before Shabbos that it won't dry out.
- Note that you can reheat the meat separately on Shabbos. If you kept the gravy warm from before Shabbos then take the gravy off the flame and transfer it to another pot or serving tray. Add in the separately heated meat and serve it just like you normally would. You cannot return the uneaten meat and gravy to the blech.
My wife and I have served delicious turkey like this. Before Shabbos, I cut up the turkey into eighths or so, debone the pieces, and put them all into a large pot. Then I pour all the gravy and drippings from the roasting pan on top. We leave that in the oven on a low temperature. For Shabbos lunch, we take it out, carve it up, and serve turkey with hot gravy. Delicious!
Please take heed... the rules of cooking and warming are among the most complicated laws of Shabbos, and this brief summary is much more like an introduction to the preface than an overview. (To give an idea of the complexity, my rabbinical studies included the equivalent of an entire semester dedicated just to these rules.) So ask your rabbi to clarify for you!
Whether or not child support payments are subject to maaser depends on how we view such payments.
The expenses incurred in raising a child are not deductible from maaser income as they are considered a part of normal living expenses.
If child support payments are income based, and if the receiving parent is free to use them as s/he sees fit — paying for the home, food, clothing, etc. for children as needed — then they are getting mixed with "normal household expenses" and are no different from alimony or any other income to the receiving parent.
Similarly, if the child support payments are lumped in with alimony, the fact that the court calls one part "alimony" and the other "child support" is irrelevant; the money is all income to the recipient.
But what if child support payments go directly to the children and are not the property of the receiving spouse? In other words, they are used directly to pay for child-rearing expenses — which may include the same food, home, clothing, etc. as above — but these funds are not commingled with normal household expenses. In this case, the parent paying the child support is simply paying for the care and support of the children. This is an expense that is not deductible if my children live at home and I hire a nanny; it is not deductible if my children live outside the home in a dormitory or some such; in this case, it is similarly not deductible. The fact that the children live with the other parent and not in a school dorm doesn't change the situation. The parent who receives these payments is not receiving income but rather acting as a trustee for the children in spending this money in their interest. As for the children, they are receiving clothes, housing, etc., none of which are considered income in this situation any more than they are income at home. Thus the payer pays maaser on the income and then uses it to support his/her children; the money paid is not maaser income for anyone else.
Finally, an older child may be supported by one or both parents. In this case, the child's "income" comes from the support of the parents, and such income is subject to maaser no different from any other income. It is analogous to a gift from tzedakah on which one must pay maaser.
Libun is the process of making something kosher by heating it to a high temperature. "Libun" means whitening and refers to heating metal until it glows white, that being a sign that it has reached a high enough temperature. Libun kashers by burning out any tastes that have been absorbed into the utensil undergoing libun.
Libun can be accomplished in several ways. One possibility is to heat the object directly with a flame such as a blowtorch. Given a large blow torch and an object that will withstand such heat, this is typically the fastest way to kasher anything. If the object will not sustain such high temperatures, libun can be accomplished at a lower temperature per the chart below. The item in question should be heated to the given temperature and then maintained at that temperature for the given time frame. Note that thermastat settings on an oven are not exact, so the oven should be set to a temperature higher than the indicated temperature. (I highly recommend reading through the referenced source document from the OU.)
Finally, there are two types of libun: libun kal and libun gamur. Libun gamur is "complete libun" and can be used to kasher any material from any condition, whether from treif to kosher, chometz to Pesach, etc. One need not wait 24 hours before performing libun gamur.
Libun kal ("light libun") is essentially an alternative way of doing hagala. It is useful for situations when hagala is impractical or impossible — such as for kashering an oven from dairy use to meat use or vice versa.
|Temperature ||Time ||Libun Type
||A Few Seconds
Questions to ponder:
- When do I use libun kal and when do I use libun gamur?