Question: We learn from tosfos on daf 9 that maaser kesafim is learned out from maaser behema. Does that mean maaser kesafim is also a torah commandment.Not just tzedaka but maaser kesafim
Do we currently regard rain as a bracha or not?do we also make the same kinds of distinction as the gemara does i.e.how much rain what kind of rain etc .
Thanks very much
(a) Your question is the subject of much discuss among the authorities. There are three viewpoints:
1. Ma'aser Kesafim is indeed a Torah obligation. This is the simple understanding of the words of Tosfos which you quote.
2. Ma'aser Kesafim is a Rabbinical obligation. This is the opinion of most authorities. According to this view, the Derashah which Tosfos quotes is only an "Asmachta."
3. Ma'aser Kesafim is not an obligation at all, but only a Hanhagah Tovah (a good practice, falling into the category of Tzedakah, as you mentioned). This is the view of the BACH (Yoreh Deah 331), which most authorities do not agree with.
(b) Yes, we currently regard rain as a blessing, particularly in the land of Israel, where rain is vital to the economy. If you have visited Israel, you will know that it never rains in the summertime, and in the wintertime when it does not rain, all of the synagogues recite the prayer "v'Aneinu" in the Shemoneh Esreh, and when it rains after a drought, as the Gemara describes, we recite a blessing. (In the modern political arena, the issue of water in the Middle East is the most important issue on the agenda of many Middle Eastern countries.) The Gemara itself recognizes that on a practical level, rain sometimes interferes with out daily activities (and that is why there are "good times" for the rain to come, such as at night and on Shabbos, and "bad times" for the rain to come), but we nevertheless acknowledge that it is a blessing.