[Avodah] Halachic basis for child support

Micha Berger micha at aishdas.org
Sun Jan 6 19:11:41 PST 2013

On Mon, Dec 31, 2012 at 12:41:14PM -0000, Chana Luntz wrote:
:> Why would this necessarily follow?  What is the halachic basis for
:> obligating a father to support his children?

This is something I know little about, so I had some questions.
: There is disagreement amongst the rishonim whether the obligation to support
: children is from the Torah up until the age of six, and then rabbinic froms
: six until they are no longer katanim (shte sieros) - the latter enactment
: being that of the takana of Usha (as set out in Kesubos 49b), or whether it
: is all rabbinic...

Either way, the end date of adult-hood would be derabbanan.

So I was wondering about shetei sa'aros. Isn't that only for deOraisos,
and miderabbanan we rely on age? Why wouldn't the taqanah made in Usha
"kesheheim qetanim" run until 12/13 years?

: The modern rabbanut, by takana, extended this obligation to support to ages
: fifteen or sixteen, but it is only an extension of something that already
: existed up until 12 or 13.

If one is separately obligated to support minor children, I presume
that couldn't come out of ma'aser kesafim. (To whatever extent maaser
kesafim is obligatory -- it's the only case I know there opinions range
from deOraisa to minhag chassidus and every possibility in between.)

What about one's older dependent child? And if that can come out of
tzedaqah money, could a modern rabbinic "taqanah" be sufficient to render
this a debt that can no longer come from maaser?

Tir'u baTov!

Micha Berger             Spirituality is like a bird: if you tighten
micha at aishdas.org        your grip on it, it chokes; slacken your grip,
http://www.aishdas.org   and it flies away.
Fax: (270) 514-1507                            - Rav Yisrael Salanter

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