Sacred Giving (Tzedakah) (Private-Religious)
Why are Jews expected to perform the mitzvah of tzedakah? How is the practice to be done? How can I do it?
This unit contains primary source materials that are basic to the Jewish practice of tzedakah. The sources are proscriptive and descriptive as well as responsive to essential questions.
Learners will develop an understanding of the differences between the secular concepts of charity and philanthropy and the Jewish concept of tzedakah.
This lesson provides learners with a deeper understanding of the concept of giving tzedakah utilizing primary source materials to identify the manner in which the commandment is to be performed. Learners are then asked to identify behavioral guidelines from the values expressed in the texts. An optional component asks learners to plan and perform a tzedakah project in keeping with the values studied.
Performance of the mitzvah of tzedakah is, ideally, a holistic part of life, not an activity to be performed when all others have been completed! This lesson offers a classic model of how that ideal was realized by one of our Sages, Rabbi Tanchum, and how our families might adapt the model to their own lives.