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Tzedek and Charity
The word tzedakah is usually translated as "charity," but its Hebrew root is "tzedek" - justice.
Many of the biblical commandments that are about reaching out to and helping people who are experiencing poverty or illness, homelessness or who are in a new place are collected under that umbrella. Things like leaving harvest gleanings and the edges of the fields for people who are hungry (Leviticus 19:9-10, 23:22), providing interest-free loans (Exodus 22:24), forgiving loans and tithing (Deuteronomy 15:1-11 and Deuteronomy 26:12-13) give guidance in what it means to work toward justice through giving tzedakah.
So what does it mean to do justice Jewishly?
What does it mean to give charity in Jewish ways?
What could it mean to seek a better world informed by Jewish tradition and experience?
Hachnasat orchim - Welcoming
How can we welcome refugees and other immigrants?
Bikur Holim - Visitng people experiencing illness
How can we reach out to people who are experiencing illness informed by Jewish values?
Uvcharta - make a choice: vote
How can we understand our civic responsibilities in Jewish ways?