File
Embed Sheet Icon Embed Sheet
Print Icon Print
Toggle Highlight Mode
Format
Divine Names Icon Divine Names
Number Sources
Box Sources
בס"ד
Sheet Language
Sheet Layout
Side-by-Side Layout
Source Language
Source Layout
Side-by-Side Layout
Reset to Sheet Default
Highlight Tools
Continuous
Filter
Highlight Mode is On
Like this? Login or register to create your own source sheet.
בס"ד
Living Generously - Tzedakah in the Sources: Introduction
Source Sheet by Scott Bolton
Like
  1. (א) חייבין אנו להזהר במצות צדקה יותר מכל מצות עשה שהצדקה סימן לצדיק זרע אברהם אבינו שנאמר כי ידעתיו למען אשר יצוה את בניו לעשות צדקה ואין כסא ישראל מתכונן ודת האמת עומדת אלא בצדקה שנאמר בצדקה תכונני ואין ישראל נגאלין אלא בצדקה שנאמר ציון במשפט תפדה ושביה בצדקה.

    We are obligated to be more scrupulous in fulfilling the commandment of tzedakah than any other positive commandment because tzedakah is the sign of the righteous, the seed of Abraham our father, as it is said, “For I know him that he will command his children to do tzedakah.” The throne of Israel and the religion of truth is upheld only through tzedakah, as it is said, “In tzedakah shall you be established” (Isaiah 54:14). Israel is redeemed only through tzedakah, as it is said, “Zion shall be redeemed with judgment and those that return by tzedakah” (Isaiah 1:27)
  2. Tzedakah: The Untranslatable Virtue - Rabbi Jonathan Sacks

     

    But mishpat alone cannot create a good society. To it must be added tzedakah, distributive justice. One can imagine a society which fastidiously observes the rule of law, and yet contains so much inequality that wealth is concentrated into the hands of the few, and many are left without the most basic requirements of a dignified existence. There may be high unemployment and widespread poverty. Some may live in palaces while others go homeless. That is not the kind of order that the Torah contemplates. There must be justice not only in how the law is applied, but also in how the means of existence – wealth as God’s blessing – are distributed. That is tzedakah.

     

    Tzedakah cannot be translated because it joins together two concepts that in other languages are opposites, namely charity and justice. Suppose, for example, that I give someone $100. Either he is entitled to it, or he is not. If he is, then my act is a form of justice. If he is not, it is an act of charity. In English (as with the Latin terms caritas and iustitia) a gesture of charity cannot be an act of justice, nor can an act of justice be described as charity. Tzedakah is therefore an unusual term, because it means both. It arises from the theology of Judaism, which insists on the difference between possession and ownership. Ultimately, all things are owned by God, creator of the world. What we possess, we do not own – we merely hold it in trust for God. The clearest example is the provision in Leviticus: “The land must not be sold permanently because the land is Mine; you are merely strangers and temporary residents in relation to Me” (Leviticus 25:23).

  3. שמנה שמות נקראו לעני: עני, אביון, מסכן, רש, דל, דך, מך, הלך.

     

    1. עני, כמשמעו.
    2. אביון, שמתאב לכל, 
    3. מסכן שהוא בזוי לכל, שנאמר (קהלת ט): וחכמת המסכן בזויה.
    4. רש, מן הנכסים.
    5. דל, מדולדל מן הנכסים.
    6. דך, מדוכדך רואה דבר ואינו אוכל, רואה דבר ואינו טועם ואינו שותה.
    7. מך, שהוא מך לפני כל עשוי, כמין סקופה התחתונה.

     

    לפיכך משה מזהיר לישראל: וכי ימוך אחיך:

    There are eight names for a poor person: ani, evyon, misken, rash, dal, each, mach, helech.

     

    1. Ani [afflicted] means literally “poor”
    2. Evyon [one who longs] because he longs (mita’ev) for everything
    3. Misken [despised] because he is despised by all as it says “The poor man’s (misken) wisdom is despised.” (Eccl 9:16)
    4. Rash [impoverished] because he is dispossessed (mitroshesh) of property
    5. Dal [detached] because he is detached (meduldal) from property
    6. Dach [oppressed] because he is crushed (meduchdach); he sees a thing but cannot eat it, he sees a thing and cannot taste it, and cannot drink it
    7. Mach [trampled upon] because he is lowly before everyone, like a kind of lowest threshold.
    8. Helech [vagrant] or Chelech [weak]

     

    Therefore Moses warns Israel: "if your brother becomes poor…"

  4. (לה) וְכִֽי־יָמ֣וּךְ אָחִ֔יךָ וּמָ֥טָה יָד֖וֹ עִמָּ֑ךְ וְהֶֽחֱזַ֣קְתָּ בּ֔וֹ גֵּ֧ר וְתוֹשָׁ֛ב וָחַ֖י עִמָּֽךְ׃

    (35) And if your brother becomes impoverished, and his hand [means?] fails with you; then you should uphold him as a resident alien and a settler and he shall live with you.

  5. (יג) ט֛וֹב יֶ֥לֶד מִסְכֵּ֖ן וְחָכָ֑ם מִמֶּ֤לֶךְ זָקֵן֙ וּכְסִ֔יל אֲשֶׁ֛ר לֹא־יָדַ֥ע לְהִזָּהֵ֖ר עֽוֹד׃

    (13) Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king, who no longer has the has the sense to heed warnings. 

  6. (ג) וְדָ֕ל לֹ֥א תֶהְדַּ֖ר בְּרִיבֽוֹ׃ (ס)

    (3) nor shall you show deference to a poor man in his dispute.

  7. (א) חייבין אנו להזהר במצות צדקה יותר מכל מצות עשה שהצדקה סימן לצדיק זרע אברהם אבינו שנאמר כי ידעתיו למען אשר יצוה את בניו לעשות צדקה ואין כסא ישראל מתכונן ודת האמת עומדת אלא בצדקה שנאמר בצדקה תכונני ואין ישראל נגאלין אלא בצדקה שנאמר ציון במשפט תפדה ושביה בצדקה.
    We are obligated to be more scrupulous in fulfilling the commandment of tzedakah than any other positive commandment because tzedakah is the sign of the righteous, the seed of Abraham our father, as it is said, “For I know him that he will command his children to do tzedakah.” The throne of Israel and the religion of truth is upheld only through tzedakah, as it is said, “In tzedakah shall you be established” (Isaiah 54:14). Israel is redeemed only through tzedakah, as it is said, “Zion shall be redeemed with judgment and those that return by tzedakah” (Isaiah 1:27)
  8.  כל מי שאפשר למחות לאנשי ביתו ולא מיחה נתפס על אנשי ביתו באנשי עירו נתפס על אנשי עירו בכל העולם כולו נתפס על כל העולם כולו
    Everyone who can protest the sin of his
    household and does not, is responsible for the people of his household. For the people of his city, he is responsible for the people of his city. For the whole world, he is responsible for the whole world....
  9. I. The Obligation of Charity
  10. לָמָּה צַּמְנוּ וְלֹא רָאִיתָ עִנִּינוּ נַפְשֵׁנוּ וְלֹא תֵדָע הֵן בְּיוֹם צֹמְכֶם תִּמְצְאוּ חֵפֶץ וְכָל עַצְּבֵיכֶם תִּנְגֹּשׂוּ. הֵן לְרִיב וּמַצָּה תָּצוּמוּ וּלְהַכּוֹת בְּאֶגְרֹף רֶשַׁע לֹא תָצוּמוּ כַיּוֹם לְהַשְׁמִיעַ בַּמָּרוֹם קוֹלְכֶם. הֲכָזֶה יִהְיֶה צוֹם אֶבְחָרֵהוּ יוֹם עַנּוֹת אָדָם נַפְשׁוֹ הֲלָכֹף כְּאַגְמֹן רֹאשׁוֹ וְשַׂק וָאֵפֶר יַצִּיעַ הֲלָזֶה תִּקְרָא צוֹם וְיוֹם רָצוֹן לַיהוָה. הֲלוֹא זֶה צוֹם אֶבְחָרֵהוּ פַּתֵּחַ חַרְצֻבּוֹת רֶשַׁע הַתֵּר אֲגֻדּוֹת מוֹטָה וְשַׁלַּח רְצוּצִים חָפְשִׁים וְכָל מוֹטָה תְּנַתֵּקוּ. הֲלוֹא פָרֹס לָרָעֵב לַחְמֶךָ וַעֲנִיִּים מְרוּדִים תָּבִיא בָיִת כִּי תִרְאֶה עָרֹם וְכִסִּיתוֹ וּמִבְּשָׂרְךָ לֹא תִתְעַלָּם. אָז יִבָּקַע כַּשַּׁחַר אוֹרֶךָ וַאֲרֻכָתְךָ מְהֵרָה תִצְמָח וְהָלַךְ לְפָנֶיךָ צִדְקֶךָ כְּבוֹד יְהוָה יַאַסְפֶךָ.

    "Why have we fasted, and You did not see; we have afflicted our soul and You do not know?" Behold, on the day of your fast you pursue business, and [from] all your debtors you exact [payment]. Behold, for quarrel and strife you fast, and to strike with a fist of wickedness. Do not fast like this day, to make your voice heard on high.Will such be the fast I will choose, a day of man's afflicting his soul? Is it to bend his head like a fishhook and spread out sackcloth and ashes? Will you call this a fast and an acceptable day to the Lord?  Is this not the fast I will choose? To undo the fetters of wickedness, to untie the bands of perverseness, and to let out the oppressed free, and all perverseness you shall eliminate.  Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and moaning poor you shall bring home; when you see a naked one, you shall clothe him, and from your flesh you shall not hide.  Then your light shall break forth as the dawn, and your healing shall quickly sprout, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall gather you in.

Made with the Sefaria Source Sheet Builder
www.sefaria.org/sheets
Add Highlight
Create New
Save
Source Sheet created on Sefaria by Scott Bolton