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Family Needs vs. Volunteering outside the home


Rabbi Ari Shvat

Shevat 23, 5783
1-what’s the border line of doing chesed outside the household family & kids if it’s at the expense of shalom bayit & things has to be done in the house for family stuff ? 2-what’s priorities between family needs & outsider needs ? 3-what if it’s becoming shalom bayit issue ? What wins chesed or peace in the house ? Is there any sources in tanach for such a situation please? Thank you Chazak u'Baruch
The 2 sides of every case must be "weighed" subjectively, but generally the family comes first (Shulchan Aruch, Choshen Mishpat 97), unless it's referring to the dire necessities of the outsider, which take precedence over "comfort" needs of one's family (e.g. other's drinking supersedes our laundry, Nedarim 80b). Especially issues of shalom bayit almost always "trump" outside chessed (unless again, the beggar is now on your doorstep and dying of thirst). It's best to sit down with your spouse beforehand, and agree on certain guidelines based on those principles, if need be, with the help of a rabbi, although often shalom bayit isn't rational, and hard for outsiders to understand (e.g. why one's spouse can be obsessed with a certain issue). Other factors come into play, as well, e.g. sometimes a woman must "get out of the house", and the family benefits from this "airing out". It's difficult to learn such things from the Tanach, for those are usually national figures like kings and prophets, where the balance is different, e.g. Moshe separated from his wife (see Rashi on Bamidbar 12, 1), but regular people cannot and should not do so. With Love of Israel, Rav Ari Shvat (Chwat)
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