If you give a Bar Mitzvah boy whose family struggles financially money as his gift, is that considered like you gave Maaser?

Considering that most boys save up their Bar Mitzvah money for when they are older, at which point their financial situation could be completely different, I’m inclined to say it wouldn’t be considered like you gave Maaser. Is that right?


1 Answer 1


R Yisroel Bronstein, writing in Halachos of Ma'aser Kesafim, answers your question (p. 123)

It is permitted to use maaser to buy a gift for a poor chasan, for a bar mitzvah boy whose father is poor, or for a needy family in honor of their son's bris. If one would anyway give such a gift from non-maaser monies, then the use of maaser is forbidden.

He quotes a story of the Steipler Gaon who once bought a sefer from a poor author with maaser money and gave it as a gift to a bar mitzvah boy saying the boy was for sure poor since he didn't have any possession. R Bronstein explicitly mentions this is a unique story and ruling.

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