Sneaking in Tzedaka through loan payments




I have a family member that lent me money a while back and is currently in need of tzedaka.

While I don’t have extra money beyond our current payment plan to send him (I send him a specific amount every month) he doesn’t keep cheshbon on what I owe him so I can easily sneak in extra payments using ma’aser money (that I don’t deduct from my cheshbon of what I owe) that will help him without him realizing. I’ve done this a few times over the past few weeks and started to wonder if there’s a Ribbis issue here.

And if there’s an issue, any idea on steps to take that will make it a non ribbis issue and anything i may need to do about past payments.

Thank you.



This is indeed a problem of Ribbis.

The solution is to calculate the “extra” that you gave him as part of repaying the debt. For example if you borrowed $100 and returned $20 plus $5 for Tzedaka, you calculate that you returned $25 for the loan. After the debt is completely paid up (and as you wrote – he won’t know that it was paid up), you can wait a while and then give him more Tzedaka as if you are still returning the debt.



ריבית – הלכות ריבית לאדה”ז סעיף יד.

והתקנה היא עפ”י מש”כ שם סעיף ז לדעה שניה. ואף שכתב להחמיר לעצמו, בנדו”ד שיש בזה משום צדקה, אין להחמיר. והרי מותר ללות ברבית דבריהם לצורך מצוה. ויש שהתירו ללוות לכתחילה ע״מ לשלם ברבית לעני כשאין לו צורך בהלואה ונעשה רק לטובת העני. וגם בנדו״ד, שלווה לצורך עצמו, כיון שאינו רבית קצוצה יש להתיר הפרעון באופן הנזכר.