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Lending from Maaser

Question:

Hi,

I’ve been asked by a friend who’s struggling for a loan, which they’ll pay back in installments each month (interest free of course).

Am I allowed to lend them the money from my Maaser account which I’ve accumulated over time, and as their monthly repayments come in I’ll transfer the funds into the Maaser account right away.

Is this allowed and acceptable?

Thank you in advance.

 

Answer:

Hello,

You should give your friend the loan, in a responsible manner, that will ensure that he will indeed pay the loan back.

One of the 613 mitzvos (see Shemos 22-24) is to lend people money when they need it, and you definitely can use maaser money for it. In fact, the Chofetz Chaim, (Ahavas chesed 2 Chapter 18-1) writes that a person should actually split their maaser money. one third to open a gemach, to lend people money for free, and two thirds of it for tzedakah. He writes that it should be split this way because each type has certain advantages and disadvantages. One one hand when a person lends a needy person money, it isn’t a full chesed, since the person has to pay it back, however when giving tzedakah it is a full chesed. On the other hand, the maaser money that was allocated to lend to needy people, can be reused, and the person will get multiple mitzvos and zechusim out of it.

Therefore by all means, lend your friend the money, and have in mind that you are doing a mitzva when you do so.

Best wishes

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