Tzedakah is from the word meaning righteousness. A tzadek is a righteous person.
The term is used to describe the act of charity or giving. Tzedakah boxes are used for collecting donations. The Yiddish word for a tzedakah box is pushke. A tzedakah box or a pushke can be made from anything and can be used in the home to store up the money or in the synagogue.
Helping someone to become self-sufficient is considered the highest form of Tzedakah. The reasoning is similar to the saying that if you give someone a fish you helped him for a day; if you teach him how to fish you have fed him for a lifetime.
Tzedakah is more than just giving a donation. Tzedakah is a life of caring and the giving of one's self in order to help humanity. Since God is the giver of all things we give to others out of our gratitude to Him. Being a tzadek, a righteous person, and doing mitzvahs (good deeds) and giving tzedakah go hand in hand.
Originally from: Jewish Discoveries by Jeff Zaremsky, page 224, which contains a total of 22 fascinating chapters of biblical history and lessons plus 25 rich Jewish tradition sections, and 27 powerful testimonies, with over 40 beautifully rendered professional works of art all on over 300 jam packed pages. You can own this treasure by visiting www.Jewishheritage.net
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