Question:

Could mandatory payments to Bituah Leumi qualify as maaser money?
The cause assists other Jews, one would need to qualify stringent criteria to (indirectly?) benefit from these payments; in many respects the obligatory money months in advance – and some refunded (or not) months later.

Answer:

The mandatory Bituach Leumi payments can not be used from one’s maaser money. The monthly payments that most people pay is actually for their own health insurance and not to support poor people. Even money that is taken from a person’s wages can not be considered tzedakah, because it is a tax and an obligation that the person has, and we can not use maaser money to pay for things that we are obligated to pay. Additionally many Betuach Leumi payments are not based on the persons financial need, such as kitzvat laida, kitvat yiladim, nechut. One may however deduct the Bituach Leumi payments from the amount of money that he has earned, and count it as a business expense.

 

Sources:

B’orach Tzedakah 12-16.

Tags: maaser money

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