Question:

My husband needed to close his business and he has lots of debts that he owes. He’s trying to start up a business in a different industry. I currently work and am helping to ease his financial burden. Am
I allowed to give my set aside massar money to my husband to pay my outstanding bills to my daughter’s high school and my sons Bais medrash?

Answer:

 

Regarding the maser money that you already set aside, it is permitted to for you to use your maser money for your older children.

For the future, (depending if you made a commitment to give maser or not), you may not have to give maser at all. If you didn’t make a neder to give maser then you won’t be obligated, since you don’t have enough for your own needs. Even if your giving maser was done in a way that it is a neder, you can use the money and keep track of how much money you owe to maser, and IY”H when things get easier financially for you, you will pay it back.

Keep strong. IY”H the difficult times will pass, and better times will come and then you’ll have all that you need and more.

Sources:

One may not use maser money to pay for a young boys tuition because it is considered the parents obligation, and it cannot be paid for with maser, (See Ahavas Chesed 2-19(2), Shulchan Aruch Horav Hil. Talmud Torah 1-7, Yaskil Avdi 1-13(3), Igros Moshe Y:D 2- 113,). For a young girl it is controversial, (Igros Moshe says we can‘t, however R’ Eliyashiv brought in Borech Tzedakah 11 ftnt. 71 is lenient, also see Teshuvos Vhanhagos1-560, that is someone is having financial difficulties he may be lenient).

Your question is however for older children. For High school girls there are different opinions about this (see B’orach tzedakah 11-46, Emes L’yackov Y:D ftnt. 134). Therefore in your case which is a sha’as hadchak you may surely be lenient. Regarding your high school boys – see Orchos Rabeinu1- pg298, Pri Yitzchok 2-27.

Tags: tuition Tzedaka

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