Question:

What are my obligations for maaser?

I am a student and am being supported by my parents. I do have some money left over at the end of the month but giving 10% of the original amount given to me would leave me with a small amount of money. I would like to save up money as well. Am I obligated to give 10% in this situation?

Answer:

My apologies that it took so long to get back to you.

The halacha with yeshiva bochurim and seminary girls that are given money by their parents is as follows. The money that was given to them in order to use for their needs and expenses, this money was given to them for a specific purpose, and they don’t have to take off maaser from it. However whatever extra money they were given above what their basic needs are, from that maaser should be taken. Therefore each person should make his own calculation as to what his “basic needs” are, deduct that amount from what his parent gave him, and then give maaser from the rest of that amount. For example, if a bochur is given $300 a month from his parents, and he sees that for this month the expenses for this month for what he would consider his basic needs comes to $250, then he has to take maaser from the remaining $50. Which would be $5 to maaser.

Sources:

B’orach Tzedakah 3-9 and 9-36, and conversation with the author.

Tags: Maaser studying

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2 Responses to “Maaser for students supported by thier parents”

  1. presumably the money is given with a stipulation that it not be used for charity in which case it would be forbidden to give maaser

    • I don’t think that parents are stipulating that the child can do whatever he wants with the money except mitzvos! If the parent doesn’t mind that his son buy seforim or a lulav with the money, why should I think that they stipulate against giving tzedakah?

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