I work as a special ed teacher with Jewish children. I would like to buy some books to use with them related to improving their middos. Can I use my masser money for this? And would it make a difference if this money was toward Chomesh 20% not just masser 10% of my income?
Thank you for your question.
Using maaser money for the book to improve your student’s middos depends on what your obligations are as their teacher. If part of your obligations is to teach them to have good middos, then you should not use maaser money for it. This is because we don’t use maaser money to pay for personal obligations, even for mitzva obligations. However, if yo are not obligated to teach them to have good middos, then you may use maaser money to buy the books. If you do buy the books from maaser money, you have to bear in mind that the books do not belong to you, but to maaser. Therefore when you are finished using the books they should be lent to other people, to a library that will lend it to others, or to a shul where the public can benefit from them.