Feb 1, 2017

Interesting Psak: don't save for kids weddings

Behadrei is reporting about an avreich who went to Rav Chaim Kanievsky to ask if he should put away savings for his kids future weddings.

The basis for the question was the new savings plan for children started by the government of Israel. As part of the monthly distribution of money for each child, the government is also now putting 50nis per child per month into a savings plan (some of the details of which the parents can choose from some options). They offer the parents to also put an additional, up to, 50nis per child into the same savings plan at the same rates of interest. This would/could (depending on performance and length of the plan, etc) give a child a decent amount of money when it comes to term (at age 18 or 21) and be there for when the child gets married or goes to university or for travel or whatnot.

The above avreich's question was regarding this investment/savings plan - should he add an additional 50nis per kid to the savings plan, in order to save up for the kids wedding. Alternatively, to forgo the additional savings since they don't really have enough money to "finish the month" and live in the black right now anyway. If they don't put away the money now, they'll just have to figure it out later how to get the money, when it is time to cross that bridge.

Reportedly, Rav Chaim Kanievsky responded with a psak saying that they should not add to the savings plan and should not bother putting away money for the children's weddings. Cross that bridge when you get to it. deal with today's problems today, and tomorrow's problems tomorrow. Rav Kanievsky noted that whenever it came time for him to marry off a child, he somehow merited, each time, to receive money that was sent to him from heaven to marry off the child.

Without arguing on Rav Kanievsky, as I am an ignoramus when it comes to financial matters and emuna/bitachon matters, I would just note that not everybody is a great rav with a tremendous following of people and organizations who would be overjoyed to chip in and help make a wedding for us.. if he does not have enough money to save a little bit each month, maybe he should not, but he also should not expect or look forward to be able to pay for his weddings with Heaven-sent monies.









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7 comments:

  1. It's OK. If he doesn't have money when it's time to pay for a wedding, the Gadol-of-the-day will just blame it on a lack of Bitachon. Or claim his child looked at an iPhone, and therefor lost the merit for Heavenly assistance.

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  2. It is known that when Rav Elyashiv was asked about R' Chaim, he said that he is "kulo Torah," and added that this characteristic goes in two ways. I would sooner seek guidance on practical matters such as this from a random person in the phone book than from him. But he is great if you need the source for an obscure midrash.

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  3. Alternatively, to forgo the additional savings since they don't really have enough money to "finish the month" and live in the black right now anyway.

    I think you mean, "live in the red right now anyway."

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    Replies
    1. I actually meant it the way I wrote it, but now that you mention it I think I might have said it wrong. I meant dont have enough money to finish the month and live in the black - meaning they are in the red and cant finish in the black. It works either way, but I say where it was unclear

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    2. Well, whatver you meant, the point, as I understand it, is that this person does not have money to make ends meet each month, and wants to know if he should put some away and then he will be even more in debt.

      Seems to me that R. Chaim is correct, for a different reason. You have an issue of loveh rasha v'lo yeshalem. If he is borrowing money today to live on today, he should pay back his creditors today. His chasunah years from now he will deal with then.

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  4. Seriously, though, how does anyone afford to marry off their kids when people are barely making it through each month? Even with the savings, it doesn't' come close to the general demands of the chareidi world

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  5. Remember that in that world, "pay for a wedding" means "buy an apartment." A wedding in Israel doesn't need to cost more than the 500 shekels or so the Rabbinate charges for a license. Get a bottle of wine, a glass to break, and of course a ring, and you're all set.

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