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The Tabernacle Times
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February 2018 ......................... Shevat - Adar 5778 ......................... Volume 1 Issue 2

Tzedakah

Angela Kunkel
by
Angela Kunkel

 


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  The Bible repeatedly stresses the obligation to aid those in need, however it never designates a term for this requirement. Rabbi’s have adopted the word “tzedakah” to apply to charity, primarily of giving gifts to the poor. In Jewish thought and tradition, material support for those in need is not a matter of “charity”– a term that implies generosity beyond what may be expected – but a requirement. Tzedakah literally means “righteousness” or “justice”. As you can expect, here too, Jewish tradition makes practical demands and specific expectations.

In the book of Deuteronomy, chapter 16, verse 20 we read, “Justice (tzedek), justice (tzedek) you must pursue, so that you may live and possess the land that Adonai your G-d is giving you.” Moses is preparing the Children of Israel to enter into the promised land. He gives clear instruction
  about pursuing righteousness through righteousness. If you follow the “law of firsts” in studying true meaning of words in the scripture, you find “tzedek” or “justice” is first used in Leviticus 19:15 and reads, “You shall do no injustice in judgment. You shall not be partial to the poor, nor honor the person of the mighty. In righteousness you shall judge your neighbor.” Tzedakah is an act of righteousness that comes from our duty to help others in need. It is “just” and “fair”, plainly it is the right thing to do.

Happy Hanukkah                    (Continued on Page 2)

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Tzedakah Torah Overview Tabernacle TV
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• Torah Portions/Studies |
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