“TZEDAKAH” MEANS “JUSTICE”
For millennia the Jews comply with the commandment of tzedakah as it is written in our Holy Torah. “He said: “If there will be among you a destitute person, from one of your brothers … you shall open your hand to him” (Dvarim 15:7-8). Separating 10% of our income to those in need, we restore the justice in this world.
It is said in the Babylonian Talmud (Bava Batra tractate): “tzedakah is equal in importance to all the other commandments combined”, the tractate of Taanis writes: “tithe in order to become prosperous”.
“GREAT IS TZEDAKAH, FOR SINCE THE DAY THAT THE WORLD WAS CREATED UNTIL THIS DAY THE WORLD STANDS UPON TZEDAKAH” –
(MIDRASH TANNAD’VEI ELIYAHU ZUTTA 1. )
Tzedakah provides confidence in the future not only for those who receive but also for those who give, as it is written in the Book of Tehillim 106:3 “Fortunate are those . . who perform righteousness at all times”. The Holy Zohar says that tzedakah is the only commandment, which brings a man the immediate reward and does not depend on the spiritual level, or the level of compliance with those who give. That is why in his prayers for healing the sick, for success in business, the praying person asks for help, promising at the same time to give a donation.
WHY DO WE HELP JEWISH COMMUNITIES?
Giving tzedakah to someone who is not in need is unwise. If one gives tzedakah to someone who is not worthy of it, he will be twice responsible – for the harm caused by his help and for not giving it to the person who really needed it. Therefore it is usual to contribute tzedakah into a Jewish community giving it the responsibility to manage the funds.
Jewish community is the center of the Jewish life. Nowadays activity of communities is far beyond ritual services. Many humanitarian and educational programs with traditional values of Judaism and projects about the Jewish identity and communion are implemented by the Jewish community.
ALL COMMUNITY PROGRAMS CAN BE DIVIDED INTO THE FOLLOWING:
Torah study is the only tool to fix our world. Today the Jews are returning to their roots, to the faith of their fathers, and in this they will need the help of their teachers. Jewish communities organize Torah classes for the people of different age and levels of training.
Currently there is a need in creating a communication environment for Jewish young people, as it is important to the formation of Jewish consciousness. Organization of activities, excursions, Holy Land Tours helps to strengthen Jewish self-identification and saves young people from a sense of loneliness peculiar to their age.
Children are our future. The Holy Book “Zoar” says that the last generation children will return their parents to their faith. Proper upbringing with the emphasis on religious and national identities will close the gaps caused by 80 years of atheism. Within the framework of this program the classes for children of different age groups are organized, during which they study the history of Jewish people, their traditions and culture.
Teacher Rebbe Yehuda-Arie-Leib Mochiach said: “A man only has two ways – to help the poor or to be poor”. Today Jewish communities open charity canteens for the poor, provide food, organize free medical consultations and buy medicines, clothes and other necessary things.
Wedding (“Chuppah”) is one of the most joyful and memorable events in a person’s life. Unfortunately, not every young couple has a possibility to organize a worthy celebration due to a lack of funds and the community covers the wedding costs in such cases.
By Jewish law girls reach adulthood at the age of 12 and the boys at the age of 13. This is a great event for a child and his parents, from this age the Jew must bear the responsibility for his actions. It is customary to observe Bar/Bat Mitzvah ceremonies on a grand scale, however not every family can afford it, but the community helps to cover the expenses of this celebration.
“Brit milah” (circumcision) is the most important commandment. Nowadays not every community has a qualified mohel (a person who conducts the rite). In case of necessity Jewish communities invite a mohel to conduct this rite.
The burial of the dead is such an important commandment that the High Priest who usually is forbidden to touch a dead body must perform it if there is no one around. All community perform “Chevra Kadisha” funeral services and keep cemeteries.
Pirkei Avot, the book about the moral rules for the Jewish people, said that if the community has funds to build a synagogue or a mikveh, it should build one. Hence we understand all the importance of the commandment about a mikveh. A mikveh obligatory operates in every Jewish community, but building and maintenance it is a difficult and costly affair.
Rabbis, soifers, shoikhets, mohels, etc. are trained at the Jewish schools.
The Torah commands us to pay special attention to orphans and children deprived of parental care. The communities organize orphanages where children do not feel abandoned and unwanted, but inherit a home and a family.
In this age of uncontrolled distribution of information it is very important that a person gets accurate information about the faith, history and traditions of their fathers. This facilitates and contributes to the financing of community programs and the acquisition of publishing religious literature, translation of the holy books into Russian and the formation of libraries in communities.
Since the Jewish communities do not obtain state support, all the programs are realized only by means of donations. That is why each contribution has an exclusive value. DANBANK gives tzedakah because we know how much it means to the Jewish people.