Can giving money towards a Kallahs gifts before her wedding (bridal shower), be taken from Tzedaka money (Maasar)?
Asking regarding friends, as well as acquaintances that I wouldn’t necessarily buy a gift for, but want to help towards their marriage.
One may use maaser to buy a gift for a chosson/kallah, provided that the following conditions are in place:
- The chosson/kallah are considered poor and eligible to receive maaser.
- It’s not an expected norm that people give gifts to chosson/kallah.
- You have not already resolved to give a gift, prior to your thought of using maaser money.
1. What makes someone “poor”? Many people do not have enough money to pull off wedding expenses…
2. While it can be the norm to give gifts, one doesn’t MUST give a gift, so a gift might be given with only the intention of helping the kallah who needs it. (Or to make her happy). Does that count?
3. On another note, does maasar need to be given from the monthly interest earned from the bank?
1. Each case can be different. The general rule is if someone’s salary doesn’t cover their expenses for that year they may take tzedakah. For example if he makes $1,500 a month and it cost him $2,000 a month to live he will be able to collect the $500 from tzedakah.
צדקה ומשפט פרק ב’ הע’ י.
While it is true many people do not have enough money to pull off wedding expenses and they would be halachicly permitted to take from tzedakah, some choose instead to take a loan and when things are easier and there are less expenses they pay back that loan at a slower pace rather than take tzedakah. Obviously the latter is the preferred option if possible. But if it’s not possible as mentioned above they would be permitted to take money from tzedakah for the wedding.
2. A simple test to determine this would be: ask yourself whether you would give the gift if you wouldn’t be able to use maaser funds for it. If the answer is yes then you wouldn’t be able to use maaser funds for the gift, if not you would be able to use maaser funds. If you would have bought a cheaper gift then the difference would be able to come from maaser.
עיין צדקה ומשפט פרק ו ס”ק כא.