As is our custom and tradition, CBY has selected a worthy organization for our High Holiday Tzedakah. This year the recipient is the International Rescue Committee (IRC), a refugee resettlement agency providing multiple services to refugees here in Salt Lake City. As requested by the IRC, we will be collecting bulk items including laundry detergent, dish soap, hand soap, body wash, paper towels, toilet paper, feminine pads, diapers (sizes 3-5) and wipes.
We will collect the items at both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services, and see to having them delivered to the IRC.
P.S. No doubt we all know the basic meaning, and the spirit, of Tzedakah, Nevertheless I thought as a reminder I’d just make note of a definition provided by Judaism 101, which distinguishes Tzedakah from what we customarily consider to be charity:
“Tzedakah” is the Hebrew word for the acts that we call “charity” in English: giving aid, assistance and money to the poor and needy or to other worthy causes. However, the nature of tzedakah is very different from the idea of charity. The word “charity” suggests benevolence and generosity, a magnanimous act by the wealthy and powerful for the benefit of the poor and needy. The word “tzedakah” is derived from the Hebrew root Tzadei-Dalet-Qof, meaning righteousness, justice or fairness. In Judaism, giving to the poor is not viewed as a generous, magnanimous act; it is simply an act of justice and righteousness, the performance of a duty, giving the poor their due.
As many know too, Maimonides had much to say about Tzedkah, but we’ll leave that for another day.