Question:

I was always very careful never to borrow money from anyone ever and only spending whatever I could afford, and gave up on a lot of things I felt were necessities in order not to have to ever borrow money, and I even managed to save up a little money.
Now i have an autistic child with other medical conditions, that requires expensive therapy, insurance and other expensive treatments. Some people who know about my expenses offered me tzedakah money (I would never borrow, because I know to many people that borrow and are just busy their entire life borrowing to pay back the previous person they borrowed from)
My question is if I’m allowed to take tzedakah money to help my child grow and make progress and become healthier. How poor do I need to be to take tzedakah for this cause? I do have some savings that I worked very hard to save up. Am I required to use up every last penny that I have before I take from others? There is a mishna that if a poor person refrains from taking tzedakah he will eventually be able to support others. Does this mishna apply in this case, to help a special needs child? It’s not like I’m taking the money for my daily living expenses.
Thanks

Answer:

You may take the money, especially if not taking the tzedakah will hurt your child’s therapy. A person that has saving of less than what is needed to live for a year, may take tzedakah if it is needed. This is especially true when one has unusual expenses, as in your case.

It is commendable not to take tzedakah, however I don’t think you have the right to deny you child his needs. You are essentially taking the tzedakah for him.

Hashem should help you, that you should have all your parnoso needs and everything else that you need.

Sources:

Y:D 263-2, Tzedkah Umishpat 2-3&5.

Tags: Tzedaka

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