Charity in Judaism
Giving charity is seen as one of the most important things a Jew can do. There are hundreds of Jewish and Israeli charities and funds across the world, and they raise much-needed funds for everything from planting trees in Israel and aiding the country’s emergency services to supporting underprivileged brides and buying food for victims of terror.
One of the most important Jewish creeds is called ‘Tikkun Olam’ – repairing the world. Acts of charity are an essential part of righting the wrongs in our world: where the word “charity” comes from Latin caritas and Old French charite meaning compassion or love for other people, the Hebrew “Tzedakah” comes from tzodek, meaning right or just. We don’t consider charity to be a gracious act of benevolence: it’s a fundamental part of correcting the world’s balance and repairing its injustices.
This idea of Tzedakah as a method of Tikkun Olam is reinforced in Jewish liturgy. The “Unetaneh Tokef” prayer said on Yom Kippur says that repentance, prayer and charity can avert something evil that has been decreed against you – by redressing the world’s balance, you can remedy your own equilibrium.
Many Jews have the tradition to donate money to charity just before lighting Shabbat candles, or following the death of a loved one. Some write big checks once or twice a year; many keep a charity box close at hand for depositing loose change, which can be collected over time and donated to your charity of choice. No matter when or how you choose to donate, our collection of gorgeous Israeli Tezakah boxes is a great way to give!