The roots of the commandment to charity are deep. They go to the essential call on all of us to help sustain life, to heal the world (Tikkun olam), and to remember that we were once ourselves strangers in a strange land. Tzedakah is justice itself. As the world changes, so too must our response to the profound commandment of charity. In line with globalization, I would like to urge a globalization of our tzedakah as well, that we increasingly aim our charitable impulses and energies to places on the planet in most urgent need, where tzedakah can mean the difference of life over death for millions of our fellow human beings each year, and where our giving can satisfy Maimonides' call to break the poverty trap itself.
Suggested Discussion Questions:
1. What is the importance of tzedakah in the Jewish community?
2. How does Sachs call on the Jewish community to fulfill the commandment of tzedakah? What is his vision of tzedakah in today's society?
Time Period: Contemporary (The Yom Kippur War until the present-day)