January 23, 2013
In this article, originally posted on ReformJudaism.org, author Valerie Toizer Bloom describes ways families can add tzedakah and giving into their family traditions, both at Jewish holidays and throughout the year. Included are links and resources for finding organizations to donate to. She is the author of Celebrating the Jewish Holidays: Life-Affirming Secular and Spiritual Observances.
“I’m putting in 83 cents!” “I’m giving 17 cents!” “Here’s $1.44!” The loose change sounds like a brief waterfall as it is poured into the tzedakah box. According to Jewish tradition, tzedakah, or charitable giving (often translated as “righteousness”), is part of our obligation to help repair the world. By making financial or material donations to appropriate agencies, we can assist the hungry, the homeless, the oppressed, and others who are struggling. It is our responsibility to make such donations, and it is our honor to do so. Even the poor are compelled to contribute toward the greater good.