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Short single word studies intended to uplift and edify the  believer daily!

Today's Living Word

Pronounced zeh-da-kah; "tzedakah" is the Hebrew word for the acts that we call "charity" in English:  giving aid, assistance, and money to the poor and needy or to other worthy causes.  But the nature of tzedakah is very different from the idea of charity.  The word "charity" suggests benevolence and generosity, a magnanimous act by the wealthy and powerful for the benefit of the poor and needy.  The word "tzedakah" is derived from the Hebrew root Tzade-Dalet-Qof, meaning righteousness, justice, or fairness.  In God's economy, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous, magnanimous act; it is simply an act of justice and righteousness, the performance of a duty, giving the poor their due.

Today'sWord; vesm

Levels of Tzedakah

Certain kinds of tzedakah are considered more meritorious than others.  Maimonides has organized them into a list we find compelling to consider. 


The levels of charity, from the least meritorious to the most meritorious, are:

1. Giving begrudgingly

2. Giving less than you should, but giving it cheerfully.

3. Giving after being asked

4. Giving before being asked

5. Giving when you do not know the recipient's identity, but the recipient knows your identity

6. Giving when you know the recipient's identity, but the recipient does not know your identity

7. Giving when neither party knows the other's identity

8. Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant

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