Can a father use maaser money to pay a mohel to give his son a bris milah?

The question is strenghtened since a person is not allowed to charge for performing a mitzvah.

  • Welcome to Mi Yodeya! Can you edit your question to make it less personal? We try to avoid practical halachic questions. You might also want to see "Why is it necessary to ask a rabbi?" for more info. We hope to see you around!
    – Scimonster
    Jul 29, 2016 at 13:55
  • A thingthing which you are commanded(obligated)to do one cannot use maaser for. To use maaser for a hidur in a mitzvah may be fine.
    – sam
    Jul 29, 2016 at 13:56
  • See the YD 249 with the Taz 249:1 ,and Shach 249:3 ,it seems obligotroy mitzvos arent included as being maaser acceptable, but every case ks diffrent and this hsould be asked t a Rov who knowx the situation
    – sam
    Jul 29, 2016 at 14:23
  • 1
    Isn't the mohel doing a service for you? Can you pay your gardener (lehavdil) with maasar money? Or maybe a more relevant example, pay someone to build your sukkah? Interesting point that he can't charge for performing a mitzva. What's the source for that idea?
    – robev
    Aug 25, 2017 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


One can't use maaser money for mitzvos that one is obligated to do, including circumcising your son.

R. Cohen writes:

There is a Machlokes as to what one may use his maaser money for. The Rema (YD 249:1) writes that it may only be used to support the poor and not for any other mitzva, while the Shach (249:1) quotes the Maharam who allows one to use one’s maaser for a mitzva that one would not have otherwise paid for.

The Chasam Sofer (Shut Chasam Sofer YD 231) explains that if one initially intends to use one’s maaser for other charitable causes or mitzva expenditures, then one may do so. This does not apply to Mitzvos that one is obligated to do, such as buying a Lulav and Esrog. Thus, one may not use one’s maaser for Machatzis Hashekel or Matanos Laevyonim. The Magen Avraham (OC 694:1) and Mishna Berura (694:3) write that once one has fulfilled the basic mitzva (by giving 2 coins to 2 people, Mishna Berura 694:2) one may continue distributing money from one’s maaser.

  • But in this case you might not be paying for the mitzva because he can't charge for that.
    – Double AA
    Oct 21, 2016 at 13:18

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .