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The Meaning of the Word “Tzedaka”

Tzedakah—Lesson 1

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The Meaning of the Word "Tzedakah": Tzedakah—Lesson 1

Three Hebrew letters contain an encoded message explaining how tzedakah is really not charity but justice.
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Hey, Daled, Gimmel, Charity

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Tzvi Fastag Brooklyn, NY June 10, 2021

Beautiful Article!
Also don't forget what we say on Rosh Hashanah and yom kippur.
On Rosh Hashanah the decrees are written and on Yom kippur the decrees are sealed.
Everything is decreed who shall live and who shall die. Who will be rich and who will be poor. Who will be honored and who will be disgraced. Who will have happiness and who will have sorrow.
But repentance, prayer and charity can annul all the bad decrees and change them into good decrees. Reply

David August 24, 2016

The disease of poverty Is our economic condition G-d's will? Do we exist at a level so that we can overcome, grow and become stronger. I believe this is the case - that we are where we are in life because G-d wishes us to be there to learn and be tempered. I was very poor for about 15 years and in mid-life. I got there of my own actions, but not of my own misdeeds. I learned to accept help and to accept charity. I learned humility. I learned that my fellow poor were not predominantly drug addicts, alcoholics, criminals or mentally ill. In fact, they were mostly working people who either had no education, no family to guide them as they grew up or had some misfortune. So, I have regained myself and am no longer destitute but the lessons of life, humanity, courage, persistence I still have and I give now. I give to those who gave to me so that those like I was will have the load lightened. Being destitute is like a heavy depression when you are in it, and you see no way out. I had faith. Reply

Peter H DragonasMD Beverly Farms, MA March 11, 2016

Tsedakah. Charity in silent reverence of our blessings is a choice. To give to a non worker is like planting a seed in cement. The soil needs nutrients so the seed or "Mitzvah" takes root, flourishes and enables the strength of the Tsedakah to multiply. Reply

Bill Montreal May 29, 2012

Inequality Beatifully taught and very inspirational! Thank you.
I'd like to offer up an alternative explanation for why the words for "justice" and "charity" are so closely related. The video mentions that charity occurs when someone who worked hard for their money gives it to someone who didn't work for it. I would argue that most of the inequalities in wealth, whether we are looking at a community or on a global level, have very little to do with work ethic. Take a few examples: I am much better off because I was born in a developed country, and I was born to parents who have money and value education. Other people are well off because they inherit money or win the lottery. Another person is well off because someone close to them got them a good job. The reasons behind poverty are just as random, and as diverse. A sports star makes millions, but someone else can work hard their whole life and struggle.
Knowing all this, is charity not an attempt to restore real justice in the world? Reply

Anonymous kansas city, Ks/usa January 2, 2012

great tzedakah video Great words from Ontario-thanks! Reply

chaya December 6, 2011

melbourne very nice. shkoyach. Reply

Elizabeth Morse salina December 3, 2020
in response to chaya:

Yes very insightful. Thank you . Reply

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