# Accepting Tzedaka – How Poor?

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• #603101
mermaid
Member

How poor must one be to be allowed to accept or collect tzedaka? And if he accepts tzedaka when above the halachic definition of poor, is it geneiva? And does it matter where the source of the tzedaka is coming from?

#870705
commonsense
Participant

I’m surprised no one else picked up on this topic. I have many the same questions and no answers.

#870706
🍫Syag Lchochma
Participant

Im pretty sure accepting maaser is different than non-maaser tzedaka.

#870707
Bowwow
Participant

I think each individual must ask their LOR.

#870708
derszoger
Member

There’s a set amount based upon how many meals the poor man has in his possession, that determines his eligibility for tzedakah.

#870709
Sam2
Participant

For some Tzedaka Inyanim, not having a set income qualifies you to accept. These are Mishnayos at the end of Pe’ah. A person can take Leket, Shich’chah, and Pe’ah (and maybe Ma’aser Ani also, I don’t remember) if they have less than 200 Zuz-which is the amount of money a person needs to eat for a year.

#870710
mermaid
Member

So figure that, nowadays, a meal probably cost \$5 a person. Multiply that by the amount of family members multiplied by 365 x 3. (3 meals a day, right?) Maybe add an extra allowance for Shabbosim and Yomim Tovim, and you should have your figure to determine if you’re eligible to collect tzedaka.

#870711
mermaid
Member

Actually, 354 not 365. But, presumably, 384 on leap years.

#870712
mermaid
Member

Using that formula, a family of 7 (5 children) that doesn’t have at least over \$37,000 on hand (that’s without even offering a greater allowance than \$5/meal for Shabbosim and Yomim Tovim – 7x5x3x354=37170) can collect tzedaka.

Presumably they must take into account all their liquid savings (including retirement accounts, if any). I would assume if they own the home they live in that would not be taken into account for this purpose.

#870713
mermaid
Member

The \$37,000 isn’t income. Income can be greater, as long as cash-on-hand (and cash-like/liquid assets that he can turn into immediate cash) are less than \$37K, he could collect tzedaka.

#870714
yungerman1
Participant

mermaid- I would assume that if there is a steady income of more than 37K after mortgage, taxes, tuition etc.. then they wouldnt be allowed to take tzedaka, even without having 37K liquid.

#870715
🍫Syag Lchochma
Participant

37000 on hand? Count me in.

#870716
Sam2
Participant

Mermaid: Don’t make assumptions. These are Mishnayos (and the Yerushalmi there) in Pe’ah as well as Halachos in the Shulchan Aruch. And \$5 a meal is exorbitant. How much does bread and peanut butter cost? And I don’t know if your assumption that the person needs 200 Zuz per family member is correct.

#870717
mermaid
Member

Yungerman – Annual income isn’t relevant. It is money/assets he currently owns that count.

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