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Paying Ambulance Bill from Maaser

We are starting to take maaser. It wasn’t working out before because we were always in the red because our expenses exceeded our income. B”H, that has changed. I wanted to start by paying She’arim back, but I was wondering if we could use it for something else. A while back I had a life-threatening situation and a nurse called an ambulance for me. We still owe the bill for it. It’s been about 2 years. Is that something we could pay with our maaser? It goes to Magen David.

Please let me know.

Thanks.

Answer:

In principle, an ambulance bill is a financial obligation that you have to pay, so that you won’t be able to use ma’aser money to pay it with.

You are quite right that if you don’t have the means, there is no obligation to pay ma’aser. However, if you do have the means, then ma’aser has to be paid for charity matters that are not financial obligations.

See also here and sources pointed to.

Best wishes.

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