28 August 2010
The name "Tzedakah" comes from Hebrew and means exactly; "social justice with charity". This word tzedakah has a wider significance, because charity is not only give when you have. Tzedakah assumes that what you have, in left is missing to someone.
The concept of "Tikkun Olam" - "Repair the World" has to be part of our principles. If we can not end poverty, at least try to help our neighbors out of it, if you donate one jacket, for example, you practicing a mitzvah (commandment, precept).
The Hebrew word "tzedakah" is commonly translated as "charity" or "tithe" and is partly wrong. The "charity" implies that your heart motivates you to go beyond the simple function. Tzedakah, literally means "righteousness", ie, do the right thing with responsibly.
A "tzaddik" also is a person of integrity, someone who fulfills all its obligations.
The verse says: Tzedek, tzedek you should follow - Justice, justice you should follow, that thou mayest live and inherit the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. (Deut. 16:20)
There is a basic human responsibility to be fair to the next. Nobody needs to be rich to do justice. Give with joy, you can donate money, time, clothes, foods, kindness or something. Doing this is a statement that "I do what I can to help."
This is the Jewish concept of "Tikkun Olam" - "Repair the World".