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. According to the “Ladder of Tzedakah,” what is the highest level of tzedakah?
Giving a poor person some money
Giving a poor person an interest-free loan to become independent of charity
Teaching a person some Torah
Teaching a person about peaceful coexistence
Question 2. In the Bible, commandments regarding assistance for the poor are modeled after which of these?
A mother’s behavior towards her child
A king’s behavior towards his subjects
A prophet’s behavior towards the people he is leading
God’s behavior towards the People of Israel
Question 3. Which of the following is an example of tzedakah in biblical law?
Lighting Shabbat candles
Not eating pork
Putting no other god before God
Leaving the corners of one’s field unharvested
Question 4. The corners of fields, which were designated for the poor, are called
Question 5. 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 6. 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 7. The rabbis of classical Judaism said tzedakah is
Less important than other mitzvot
Just as important as any other one mitzvah
Equal in value to all other mitzvot combined
Not important if you don't know any other mitzvot
Question 8. What does the Hebrew word “tzedakah” mean literally?
Question 9. How does the Talmud respond to someone who says, “I give this coin to the poor so that my sick child may recover?”
There is nothing wrong with this, even if it’s not the ideal
This person is worse than a thief
This person is giving charity at the highest level
What this person gives cannot be considered charity
Question 10. According to the Talmud, which of the following is not a difference between charity and benevolence?
Charity can only be carried out by giving money, whereas benevolence involves giving of one’s person
Charity is directed to the poor, whereas benevolence involves the expression of goodwill to all
Charity is given to the living, whereas benevolence can be extended to the dead
Charity is not required of those who are less fortunate, whereas benevolence is required of everyone