Ma’aser Question

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Dear Rabbi Simon
I have a ma’aser question if you don’t mind please. If one makes a donation to a charity on the occasion of a simcha or birthday and to mark this the charity sends out a certificate to the person in whose honour the donation has been made, can this donation still be counted towards ma’aser money, even though there is a benefit as a result?
Many thanks in advance.

Hi Nadav
TY for your question. The certificate or acknowledgement which the charity sends is part of their overhead and even marketing strategy, as the recipient/honouree may become a donor of theirs in the future as well. So although, yes, you do benefit from the notice which is sent to your friend or family member, you do not need to exclude the (intangible) value of this from your ma’aser deduction.
In the merit of your careful attention to the mitzvah of tzedakah, may you enjoy the fulfilment of your fondest aspirations.
Best wishes
Rabbi Rashi Simon

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Ask the Rabbi: Quinoa on Pesach
Dear Rabbi Simon,
Where do you stand on quinoa (and the kitniyot ban) for Pesach?
Many thanks,
Dear Tzippy,
In line with other American authorities, I am in favour of quinoa. Although I reject completely the voices (mostly from Israel) seeking to abolish the ban on kitniyot entirely, IMO we do not need to include in the prohibition pseudo-grains that were unknown in the Old World until modern times. Best to buy with a Pesach hechsher though, to be free of any possible wheat contamination.
Rabbi Rashi Simon
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