Home
Log in / Sign Up
    Private Messages   Advanced Search   Rules   New User Guide   FAQ   Advertise   Contact Us  
Forum -> Household Management -> Finances
Giving tzedaka - standard of living



Post new topic   Reply to topic View latest: 24h 48h 72h

amother
OP


 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 9:07 am
I’m having a really hard time not feeling resentful.

My husband’s brother has had many ups and downs financially, as have my husband and I. My BIL helped us when we were down years ago, and I’m so appreciative.

Now, he lives in a mansion with a very high standard of living (lots of pressure, lives in that type of community). He lost his income and we’ve been helping out - of course. Baruch Hashem we have everything we need but not much left for extras (extracurriculars for kids, no money for cleaning help, jewelry for yom tov, manis, etc), and I’m so grateful for that!

But… his kids are still in extracurriculars. They’re still living a high end lifestyle and can afford much more than we can, even though they’re technically broke.

His wife is the type that she’s very high maintenance and she probably doesn’t know their financial situation, which is likely part of the problem

Idk what I’m trying to say here. I know you’re supposed to give tzedaka at the level the persons lifestyle is, but I have a hard time with seeing that they can still afford more than us even though we’re giving them our Maaser money

Would love some chizzuk!
Back to top

amother
Glitter


 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 9:13 am
People who live on a high standard yet feel comfortable taking from others are not healthy
Back to top

amother
Mustard


 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 9:39 am
Similar situation here. I have lots of resentment. I can’t look at my sil but she has no problem with me (she doesn’t know everything) In our case they were never wealthy they just never wanted to struggle (or work) I also think we enabled them. At a certain point we stopped giving them all our maser money because it was too painful and other people in the community are stepping up.
Back to top

amother
OP


 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:04 am
amother Mustard wrote:
Similar situation here. I have lots of resentment. I can’t look at my sil but she has no problem with me (she doesn’t know everything) In our case they were never wealthy they just never wanted to struggle (or work) I also think we enabled them. At a certain point we stopped giving them all our maser money because it was too painful and other people in the community are stepping up.


I totally hear you. I actually have a lot of compassion for them, it must be tough to live with so much pressure. I didn’t grow up in town, so I really don’t understand the mentality, but I try to come from a place of empathy instead of judgment. His BIL is a hard worker and businessman he just has a (long) lull in business… and his wife doesn’t want to work (different story haha)

I also know that halachically you’re supposed to give to family first so I’m really trying to work through these feelings. They legitimately need money for groceries, so I really just don’t understand how they’re still living their lifestyle
Back to top

lamplighter




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:05 am
Is it possible the wife does not know that they lost their money?
This is common.
Back to top

amother
DarkViolet


 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:08 am
I would have a lot of issues if their children were getting advantages I couldn’t afford for my children.

But overall I want my money spent on people who need it for needs. I realize there are some gray areas of needs but there are too many heart wrenching stories just on imamother of people who have diffic affording basic food, clothing and medical care.
Back to top

amother
Marigold


 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:14 am
I would try to reframe. The money you are giving is maaser, it’s not yours anyways and would be going to someone else regardless. Tzedaka starts at home and giving to family is a top priority if they need it.

I actually have a lot of experience with this, we have been giving our maaser to a family member for years now, and they live very differently than us. Doesn’t work, travels constantly to places I can never afford to visit, shops all the time, etc. But I know the situation is complicated and they really can’t afford anything especially basics. I was told it’s not my place to think about what they spend on or if they put themselves in debt or whatever, if they need the money then they need it. So I learned it’s not my business and I hope that the maaser goes towards basics and if everything else is debt in order to pay for it it’s not my life and I don’t dwell on it.

I will say separately that losing an income with a certain lifestyle is EXTREMELY hard. It’s easy to judge until you’ve been in those shoes. It’s really really difficult. Think of it as doing a MASSIVE mitzvah and helping your BIL through a very tough time when most others probably wouldn’t help. Try to withhold judgement, you are doing a beautiful thing and just focus on that
Back to top

amother
OP


 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:16 am
amother Marigold wrote:
I would try to reframe. The money you are giving is maaser, it’s not yours anyways and would be going to someone else regardless. Tzedaka starts at home and giving to family is a top priority if they need it.

I actually have a lot of experience with this, we have been giving our maaser to a family member for years now, and they live very differently than us. Doesn’t work, travels constantly to places I can never afford to visit, shops all the time, etc. But I know the situation is complicated and they really can’t afford anything especially basics. I was told it’s not my place to think about what they spend on or if they put themselves in debt or whatever, if they need the money then they need it. So I learned it’s not my business and I hope that the maaser goes towards basics and if everything else is debt in order to pay for it it’s not my life and I don’t dwell on it.

I will say separately that losing an income with a certain lifestyle is EXTREMELY hard. It’s easy to judge until you’ve been in those shoes. It’s really really difficult. Think of it as doing a MASSIVE mitzvah and helping your BIL through a very tough time when most others probably wouldn’t help. Try to withhold judgement, you are doing a beautiful thing and just focus on that


This is SO helpful thank you!! I know it’s the right thing, and really appreciate the chizuk
Back to top

amother
OP


 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:17 am
lamplighter wrote:
Is it possible the wife does not know that they lost their money?
This is common.


Yes, it’s very very likely. She might know a bit but I’m certain she doesn’t know the extent
Back to top

mha3484




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:17 am
I mostly agree with you but to be dlkz, I don't have a lot of money, but for some of my kids, the extra curriculars I budget for serve a real need for them because they struggle in certain areas in life. If I had family that wanted to pay for this for me it would be a chesed for my children not me. Maybe that will help you reframe a little. This is a chesed you can do for their kids even if you think the adults are being stupid.

There is no jewelery or cleaning help here but my very reserved 9 year old whose younger brother socially upstages him and his older brother academically, being in a choir or doing after school sports has been extremely positive for him.
Back to top

justforfun87




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:19 am
You are a better person than me. I would struggle to accept that we have to keep their ridiculous standards up like this. I can't accept that this is what Gd wants from us. It has to be a distorted understanding of the halacha because it makes no sense. Keep up with vacations? I think that is extremely taking advantage and justifying it with 'halacha".
Back to top

Cheiny




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:26 am
amother OP wrote:

I know you’re supposed to give tzedaka at the level the persons lifestyle is, but I have a hard time with seeing that they can still afford more than us even though we’re giving them our Maaser money

!


If you do believe in the concept that a person who’s hurting financially is supposed to be supported according to the level they were accustomed to, then your sentence has to stop before the word “but.” This is a really hard concept to understand and accept… I can relate, I have a close friend like this, who was super wealthy and then lost most of their money, and we have been contributing to helping them. I asked a Rov about this concept because I was pretty taken aback when they borrowed money in order to go to a hotel for Pesach. The Rov said absolutely to keep helping them and he explained this issue in depth.

It’s obviously your choice whether to give them your maaser money or not, but of course since you have to give maaser anyway, the right thing is certainly to give to your family before strangers. Just don’t watch how they choose to spend and have in mind that you’re doing your part as far as how to donate your maaser.
Back to top

Cheiny




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:31 am
amother OP wrote:
I totally hear you. I actually have a lot of compassion for them, it must be tough to live with so much pressure. I didn’t grow up in town, so I really don’t understand the mentality, but I try to come from a place of empathy instead of judgment. His BIL is a hard worker and businessman he just has a (long) lull in business… and his wife doesn’t want to work (different story haha)

I also know that halachically you’re supposed to give to family first so I’m really trying to work through these feelings. They legitimately need money for groceries, so I really just don’t understand how they’re still living their lifestyle


I’d say you probably aren’t privy to all the details, and all the considerations and pressures that go into their decision making as to how to spend their money. Just to give you some perspective, I know of a family living in a very wealthy neighborhood, they lost a whole lot of money, and the husband ended up then getting arrested for money laundering because he felt so much pressure to not let anyone in the neighborhood know they’d lost everything… unfortunately the pressure to keep up with the joneses is a big nisayon for certain people, and can’t be minimized.

As I said, just have in mind that despite how hard it is for you to watch, you're doing a huge Mitzvah exactly as it’s intended to be done, and overcoming your discomfort in seeing what you’re seeing will surely earn you extra s’char.
Back to top

Cheiny




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:33 am
amother OP wrote:
This is SO helpful thank you!! I know it’s the right thing, and really appreciate the chizuk


Might it be doable for you to arrange to pay for their groceries directly, say, instead of handing them money? That would probably help you feel better about how the money you’re donating is being spent…
Back to top

Cheiny




 
 
    
 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:37 am
justforfun87 wrote:
You are a better person than me. I would struggle to accept that we have to keep their ridiculous standards up like this. I can't accept that this is what Gd wants from us. It has to be a distorted understanding of the halacha because it makes no sense. Keep up with vacations? I think that is extremely taking advantage and justifying it with 'halacha".


This is offensive. Yes, it is a halacha, and given that there are many, many halachos we don’t understand and don’t seem to make sense to us, yet we keep them based on emunah and acceptance that our human minds are limited and not able to understand Hashem’s cheshbonos, this one is no different just because it’s difficult to understand.

You can choose not to accept this is what G-d wants, but it actually is. Ask your rabbi if you need more clarity.
Back to top

amother
Mustard


 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 10:38 am
amother DarkViolet wrote:
I would have a lot of issues if their children were getting advantages I couldn’t afford for my children.

But overall I want my money spent on people who need it for needs. I realize there are some gray areas of needs but there are too many heart wrenching stories just on imamother of people who have diffic affording basic food, clothing and medical care.


That was my problem. I don’t like waste. I couldn't stomach that the people I gave to didn’t bother shopping in a cheaper grocery or checking if the expensive shoes/clothes from last year fit. While others would be thrilled with a few dollars and make it go a long way.
Back to top

amother
Hibiscus


 

Post Fri, Apr 19 2024, 1:53 pm
If this happened to me and my bil I’d need a session with a Rav to hash it out

I know it says that tzedakah should be on the level that a person is accustomed to but not sure how that translates to practical application.

And it would bother me tremendously.
Back to top
Page 1 of 1 Recent Topics




Post new topic   Reply to topic    Forum -> Household Management -> Finances

Related Topics Replies Last Post
[ Poll ] S/O "Tzedaka is Finite"
by amother
36 Yesterday at 7:12 am View last post
I'm so touched by the letter I got from tzedaka organization
by amother
1 Thu, May 23 2024, 4:43 am View last post
Help me decorate my living room
by amother
3 Mon, May 20 2024, 6:35 pm View last post
Cost of living - how to knwo what is needed
by amother
5 Mon, May 06 2024, 12:49 am View last post
[ Poll ] Living in Israel, do you keep1 or 2 days Yom Tov
by amother
71 Sun, May 05 2024, 11:21 pm View last post
by a2z