Answer: Paying Maaser does not apply to groups.
If there is a solo student who is learning together with us, let’s say in Chukotka or Hawaii, it doesn’t matter where, we try to create an atmosphere for him in which he can develop like an embryo in his mother’s uterus. We try to create an incubator for him with all the technical methods, with all of our possible ways and means.
If he wants to come closer to us, he must consider us as his group. We organize a focus group for him, supply the broadcast of lessons and workshops, and translate them into all languages. At the time of a regular lesson, 50 people work with us for the sake of those who are scattered all over the world, including you.
If a person wants to advance, he must share in the life of the whole world group, support its existence, and help it. Paying Maaser goes to upkeep all aspects of the building, which costs a lot of money, and to provide a minimum salary to those who work full-time in dissemination (our salaries are much less than the average salary in the country).
Therefore everyone must invest their part in this work. We consider a person to be a friend of the group if a person participates seriously. This is someone who is present for the lessons, pays Maaser, and engages in dissemination; it makes no difference if this is a single person, a small group, or a large one.
Maaser is something very important, and this idea is not just financial. In the Torah it is written very simply: pay 10% because you cannot correct this part. The Upper Light will correct all the rest. And if you don’t give this 10% because it is very difficult to tear it from yourself, then you’ll waste it on all kinds of nonsense, which you are attracted to by your ego. This is referring to spiritual correction; that is why it is so difficult for us to pay Maaser.