Maaser refers to a level of attainment that must be achieved during the preparation period prior to entering spirituality. Entering spirituality depends on the development of the desire to attain the qualities of the Creator – the ability to love – to such a degree that it becomes more important than all other desires. How can I reach this level of importance? On my own, it is impossible, but my friends who share this same goal each possess a small amount of this importance as well. The more I connect with those friends so that we each feel the overall importance as our own, the closer I come to the goal. In addition, I need to help discover new friends whose points in the heart are just beginning to light up, because only through our combined level of importance can we reach our spiritual goal.
So where does payment of Maaser (a monthly financial contribution of 10% of income) fit into the picture? Gradually, the importance reaches a level where I am willing to trade whatever I can to obtain the “cure” for this spiritual illness called “egoism.” The cure lies in those points in the heart in the world that are still asleep. Our mutual effort to develop those points through passive means is called “dissemination.” I support this effort in two ways: with my time and with my contribution of what is given to me by the Creator (my financial contribution – Maaser).