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Word of the Day
Monday, December 26, 2016

Definitions for tzedakah

  1. Hebrew. charity or the giving of charity.

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Citations for tzedakah
Frequently translated as “charity,” the word “tzedakah” comes from a Hebrew root meaning “righteousness” and “justice.” The prototype tzedakah (pronounced tze-DA-ka) box can be traced back thousands of years, described in an Old Testament verse that relates how the First Temple in Jerusalem collected donations for its repair in a chest with a hole bored through the top. Laura Joseph Mogil, "A History of Giving," New York Times, September 16, 2007
You don't have to be Jewish to understand tzedakah, giving back to the community. It's a matter of teaching. If you don't teach your children about it, they won't know about it and they will miss this satisfaction in their lives. Bernie Marcus in conversation with Michele Cohen Marill, "Conversation: Bernie Marcus," Atlanta, March 2003
Origin of tzedakah
The Hebrew noun tzedakah has the basic meaning of “righteousness” and the developed sense “charity, acts of charity.” A more exact transliteration of tzedakah is ṣĕḏāqāh, which derives from the West Semitic root ṣḏq meaning “to be or become just or righteous.” The same root appears in Melchizedek and Sadducee. Tzedakah entered English in the mid-1800s.