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Term Paper
Religion and Theology
Pages 3 (753 words)
The Hebrew word “zedakah” or “tsedakah” has been translated into English meaning either “righteousness” or “charity.” In earlier times it was referred to also as “almsgiving.” It can be defined as “an act of duty incumbent upon men of means to provide for those in want.”…

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The Hebrew word “zedakah” or “tsedakah” has been translated into English meaning either “righteousness” or “charity.” In earlier times it was referred to also as “almsgiving.” It can be defined as “an act of duty incumbent upon men of means to provide for those in want.” (Jacobs et al.: 2011, no page number). One of the main principles of Jewish faith is obedience to God’s laws, and within the Torah there is provision for widows and orphans through a system of giving from the rich. Heilman reports that when he conducted a survey on charity among Orthodox Jews, one man responded “I give tzedakah for lots of reasons but foremost because it is a mitzvah that the Torah commanded me to do and by doing so I am fulfilling my obligation to be a good Jew.” (Heilman: 1991, p. 134). This shows that giving tzedakah is seen as an important way of expressing one’s identity as a Jew, and of showing one’s righteousness before God and before other people. It is not just a voluntary sign of goodwill, but a formal ritual that is a compulsory and fundamental part of being Jewish.
There is a saying “charity begins at home” (Goldman: 2000, p. 250) and this encompasses the duty that parents have towards their children and children have towards their parents. ...
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