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Paying Mezonot with Ma’aser Money

Would you say that I can put my maaser money towards the Mezonos that I was maskim with my ex about, meaning to say is there a minimum halachic limit, and I am paying more than that. Is the rest of it maaser applicable?

I’m not trying to get out of paying anything, just trying to see if I can make the situation a little more affordable this way.

Thank you very much.


Many authorities rule that it is permitted to use ma’aser money for sustaining one’s children, and one can certainly rely on this in the case of mezonos payments.


See Kesubos 50a and Rambam (Matnos Aniim 10:16), where we find that providing for one’s children is considered tzedakah — for chidren above the age of six.

This is also ruled by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoreh De’ah 251:3).

The Shach (Yoreh De’ah 249:3) rules, based on Maharam, that one can therefore use ma’aser money for providing for children — again, from the age of six and up. This is also ruled by the Chafetz Chaim (Ahavas Chesed 2:19), and the Chida thus explains that many are not particular to give ma’aser, because they sustain their children.

Although some authorities are stringent concerning using ma’aser for children, including the Taz (see Aruch Ha-Shulchan 249:7, who explains that it is not fully considered charity), and the Iggros Moshe (1:143), the latter’s ruling is based on the fact that children live at home, and therefore the mezonos of children will be included in the obligation towards one’s wife. For a divorced couple, this will not apply, and therefore one can be lenient to use ma’aser money.

Best wishes.

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