- Posted by Tali Puterman
- On November 10, 2015
- 0 Comments
What is Tzedakah? Why do we give it? Are there better ways to give Tzedakah than others?
In class, we studied the root (shoresh) of the word “Tzedakah” and realized that the root of the word (Tzadi-Dalet-Qof) means justice, righteousness, and fairness. We discussed that giving Tzedakah is not only something good to do, but it is the right thing to do, and the just thing to do. We also learned about Maimonides, a famous Jewish philosopher who created levels of giving. In groups, we created our own levels and discussed if there were better ways to give than others, and why.
We also learned about activism. One way we can take action is by giving Tzedakah. We also learned we can take action through art. We learned about the artist Keith Haring and how he made a difference through his art. Then, we created our own artwork, putting forth our own social justice messages, in his style.
Our class then heard from our fellow classmate, Maya, about meeting her biological mother, Olivia, who lives in a poor village in Guatemala. We will be donating our classroom Tzedakah money to help Olivia’s village become self-sustaining. Specifically, we will be donating to the NGO CorGuate, which stands for Corazones en Acción por Guatemala, or Actions of the Heart for Guatemala. By supporting this cause, we will be helping to fund a project that will allow Olivia’s village to grow and sell chilies to be used as Tabasco in the U.S. We learned from Maimonides that helping someone to help themselves is one of the highest forms of Tzedakah. We are excited to be helping a village become more economically self-sufficient.