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Dear Rabbi Simon,
I have a couple of ma’aser [charity tithe] questions if you don’t mind helping me with, please.
My brother gave me £100 as a birthday present recently. Do I need to deduct ma’aser from this?
Also, is one able to give a donation from a salary that one has not been paid yet? As in, may I give a donation and have in mind that I will deduct that from a salary that I am due to be paid? Or one must have the money in one’s possession first?
Many thanks in advance.
Chodesh tov.

Dear Sandra,
Thank you for your questions.
Happy birthday, and yes, it is proper/recommended to deduct ma’aser from your birthday gift.
In answer to your second question, yes, you may give ma’aser based on a payment (salary) you anticipate receiving.
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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