My Jewish Learning

Tzedakah Quiz

Tzedakah, 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 Maimonides' Ladder of Tzedakah, what is the lowest level of giving charity?
 One who gives anonymously
 One who gives less than what is fitting
 One who gives unwillingly
 One who gives before the poor asks for it


Question 2. About the end of poverty, the Torah teaches
 “There will never cease to be needy ones in your land.”
 "There will be no poverty in the kingdom of David."
 "Poverty will end when sacrfice ends."
 "Poverty will decrease as learning increases."


Question 3. In the Bible, giving tzedakah mainly takes what form?
 A financial donation
 A business lesson
 A heart-to-heart talk
 An agrarian contribution


Question 4. 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


Question 5. 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 6. 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 7. 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 8. The call in Isaiah to "take the poor into your homes," read as the Haftarah on which holiday?
 Rosh Hashanah
 Yom Kippur
 Tisha B'av


Question 9. True or false: The halakhah (Jewish law) regarding interest-free loans apply to Jews and non-Jews.


Question 10. What does the Hebrew word “tzedakah” mean literally?