Question
Shalom aleichem Rabbi Lauffer. From Mishnah Berurah 656:8, it is clear that the same procedure used for ma'aser kesafim is used for spending money on mitzvos in general. Quoting the MB there: "See the Magen Avraham and Elyah Rabbah that just like for the purpose of charity the tithe is taken from the principal in the first year, when it has been earned, and from then on from the profit which derives from it, this is also so with respect to what is discussed here." Given that the same rule of a 20% limit applies to both ma’aser kesafim and mitzvah expenses in general, if a person does the mitzvah of ma’aser kesafim min hamuvchar, which is 20%, would he be exempt from expending money to do any other mitzvah? Or when they say that one doesn’t have to spend more than 20% of his income on mitzvos, is it only talking about the income that remains after giving 20% for ma’aser kesafim? Thanks a lot.

Question
Dear Rabbi! First, I want to send you all best wishes for the New 5780. year! In past Holy days I realized that after 7 years of learning how to be a Jew, building my life on 613 commandments and Jewish laws, I have to make it official. Just to let you know, I am circumcised and I chose my Hebrew name. But, I can't practice Jewish traditions because, no one, except my family, sees me as a Jew. I need to know: What to do now? There is no Rabbi near me. All I know, I know by reading so many books about Jewish life and Jewish traditions. I want to serve Him as best as I can, so I need help. Thank you! With all due respect, (Name withheld by AsktheRabbi.org for privacy)

Question
Shalom aleichem Rabbi Lauffer. Thank you for answering my last question. The Shmiras Shabbos k’Hilchaso writes that if someone planted a seed on Shabbos, even b’shogeig, he is forever prohibited from benefiting from it. This is because penalizing him by benefiting from it just on that Shabbos would accomplish nothing, as in any event the seed would take weeks or months to grow. Would this rule apply only to something like planting a seed, which takes a long time and has no chance of being benefited from on that day, or does it even apply to something like cooking food, if the person starts cooking the food very close to the end of Shabbos, so that the food is not cooked until after Shabbos is over, even though the food could have been cooked on Shabbos if he had started cooking it earlier on Shabbos? Thanks a lot.