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Buying Seats for Yamim Noraim

Question:

Can one use maaser money to buy seats at shul for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur?

Answer:

Being that the money is going to a shul, which is certainly a valid recipient of maaser and tzedaka, buying a seat for Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur would also be permitted. The Taz [Y:D 249] permits using maaser money for a wide range of mitzvos, but here where the money is going to a shul, this would certainly qualify for maaser. The only issue would be that maaser can’t be spent on something one has to spend money for anyway, which would be paying one’s debt with maser, in a sense. However here, since strictly speaking one is not required to purchase a seat in the shul, as he could daven somewhere else or in the shul and stand for davening. Hence, purchasing a seat is not comparable to paying one’s debt and may be done with maaser ksafim.

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