• n. The ten percent of earnings or produce that is to charity.

  • v. ('to take maaser') The practice of giving ten percent of earnings or produce to charity.

Example Sentences

  • "Here's a 'Torah-prescribed investment that no one ever told us about: maaser.'" (source)

  • "Have they taken ma'aser from the grapefruit?" (Glinert)

Languages of Origin

  • Textual Hebrew


  • מעשר me-eser 'out of ten'

    • Who Uses This

      • Religious: Jews who are engaged in religious observance and have some Jewish education


      • North America


      • The Joys of Hebrew, by Lewis Glinert (New York, 1992).

      Alternative Spellings

      ma'aser, mayser


  • "Believe it or not, it is still the practice among the Orthodox to take a tithe from produce grown in Israel. In ancient times, various tithes would have been set aside for priests, Levites, the poor, and others. Nowadays, just the smallest of tithes—technically called teruma—is actually taken from produce and disposed of. (Some of it ends up in Israeli zoos.) The Israeli Rabbinate sends teams all over the country to ensure that the population won't be eating teruma in its cornflakes or salad bowls." (Glinert)

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