Tzedakah QuizTzedakah, or righteousness, is often interpreted as charity, because Judaism views giving as the ultimate act of righteousness. As in most areas of life, here too Jewish tradition makes practical demands and specifies expectations. How much do you know about Tzedakah?
Question 1. Which of the following is not a loan regulation found in the Torah?
A creditor was forbidden from seizing as collateral tools necessary for the debtor’s livelihood
A garment pledged against a loan was to be returned for the night
A creditor was forbidden to enter a debtor’s home to take a pledge
Interest must be charged on loans of money and food
Question 2. The Talmud distinguishes between charity and benevolence in three ways. Which is not a way
Charity is in the form of money. Benevolence is in the form of time.
Charity is for the poor. Benevolence is for anyone.
Charity is given by adults. Benevolence is given by anyone.
Charity is given to the living. Benevolence can be given to the dead as well.
Question 3. According to Jewish law, should one give money to a beggar on the street?
Yes, but only if it’s clear that he is not intoxicated
Yes, but only if he’s Jewish
Yes, even if one’s own tzedakah fund has been depleted
No, because giving a beggar money does not solve the greater problem
Question 4. What does a Jewish community traditionally have to provide for someone who becomes impoverished?
Just enough to keep food on her table, clothes on her back, and a roof over her head
Food, clothing, shelter, and education
Whatever she was accustomed to before she became impoverished
The average salary for someone in their city or town
Question 5. According to Jewish law, which of these organizations should you be giving money to first?
An independent local recycling plant
A local food pantry
A fund for disaster relief in China
A hospital in Israel
Question 6. True or false: The halakhah (Jewish law) regarding interest-free loans apply to Jews and non-Jews.
Question 7. True or false: Jews traditionally give tzedakah just before Shabbat and festivals.
Question 8. According to the Talmud, before giving money to an organization, what should you do?
Ask your friends if it really does good work
Find out if it serves the Jewish community
Find out if the person running the organization is trustworthy
Volunteer at the organization
Question 9. Which of the following statements about tzedakah is true?
It is a way of looking at the world and understanding the human role in creating a more perfect world
It is something Jews are not obligated to do on a daily basis, but something they should do when they feel moved by a particular situation
It only applies if providing monetary assistance is both necessary and possible for the giver; if money does not change hands, it’s not tzedakah
It is a way of approaching financial decisions that will keep observant Jews out of debt
Question 10. Who composed the famous “Ladder of Tzedakah” which prioritizes the best forms of charity?
Rabbi Moses Feinstein