Beit HaOtzar - The optimal way to take terumot and ma’aserot
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Is it true that there is an arrangement where I pay money and terumot and ma’aserot are taken on my behalf?
Absolutely not. It seems you are referring to Beit HaOtzar. I will explain:
Beit HaOtzar helps individuals take terumot and ma’aserot in an easy and mehudar fashion, employing three key innovations:
- The coin
In years 1, 2, 4, and 5 of the shemita cycle, ma’aser sheni is redeemed on a coin worth at least a peruta. This coin is imbued with sanctity and cannot be used. On Pesach of years 4 and 7, this coin is destroyed. The same coin can be used for multiple redemptions as long as it is worth enough perutot to cover each redemption. Neta revay fruit is also redeemed on a coin. Many people are concerned about the halachic issues involved in handling the coin. Beit HaOtzar provides members with a coin located at Torah VeHa’aretz Institute and handled by its rabbis.
- Giving ma’aser rishon
In all years (except shemita), 10% of the produce should be given to a Levite. For someone who wants to pick three oranges from their tree, it’s impractical to give a third of an orange to a Levite. At Beit HaOtzar, we give the value of the fruit to a pedigreed Levite.
- Giving ma’aser ani
In years 3 and 6 of the shemita cycle, 9% of the produce is given to the poor. This, too, is often impractical. At Beit HaOtzar we give the value of the produce to the poor in collaboration with the organization Mekimi. Last ma’aser ani year (5778), Beit HaOtzar members donated more than seven hundred thousand shekels to the poor!
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