Giving Maaser money to relatives

Giving Maaser money to relatives?[1]

Tzedaka money and Maaser funds, is not only permitted to be distributed to poor relatives, but one is even required to precede a relative in need over other paupers. This includes one’s parents, one’s older[2] children, one’s brothers, and any other relative. Nevertheless, one who has enough money to support his parents without needing to use his charity money, is not to use charity money to support them. One who nevertheless does so, a curse will befall his household.[3] [Some Poskim[4] suggest that it is proper for one not to distribute all of his Maaser money to his relatives, and is rather to give 50% to other paupers. If however one’s relative is in a very dire state of need, one may distribute to him all of one’s money.[5]]


[1] Michaber 251/3

[2] See Shach 251/4 that this refers to children above six years old

[3] Rama 240/5; Shach 251/5; Hagahos Mordechai Bava Basra

[4] Chasam Sofer 231; Pischeiy Teshuvah 249/2; Chochmas Adam 145/5; Maharsham 249 in name of Kneses Hagedola; Igros Moshe Y.D. 1/144 that may give majority to relative, but should give some to other causes; Or Zarua 1/22 rules that if one separated the Maaser with intent to distribute it to paupers, he may only give up to half to his relative, while if he separated it Stam, he may give the entire amount to his relative.

[5] Derech Emuna Matanos Aniyim 7/247

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