BLOG DE RAÍZ SEFARDÍ

TZEDDAKAH

CONTENT

Abraham Was to Be Faithful






















Chapter 1
Gate 1

THE CONCEPT OF TZEDAKAH / RIGHTEOUSNESS OR CHARITY?


And he (Abraham) believed (Ve’ HeÆmin) in the Eternal; and it was given to him as righteousness (Tzedakah (Bereshit/ Genesis 15:6)).

And Abraham Believed. Really? Is that really what happened? Abraham just blindly believed and God made him a Tzadik (A righteous person). Actually, it is not as simple as the Greco-Roman world has made us believed. For 2000 years, they have been trying to establish a new concept which is 100% foreign to the notion established here in Genesis. It is never just about just believe and I will make you righteous.

In fact, Abraham didn’t just believed. Let’s see, if that translation is accurate; if Genesis 15:6 really means that he just believed, then what happened two verses after? Why is Abraham still questioning God with doubt about the same fact? 

Because Abraham didn’t just believe blindly as the Non-Jewish world wants to make us swallow. The word “He’Æmin” coming from the Hebrew word “Amen” does not just mean believe, it has a group of meanings just like the word Tzedakah does not just mean righteousness

Chapter 2
Gate 1
(I) What is Tzedakah? 

Tzedakah is the Hebrew word for philanthropy and charity. It is a form of social justice in which a giver benefits from giving as much or even more than the recipients. 

The word Tzedakah used in the verse above seems to be more like God teaching Abraham about a concept which, as a matter of fact, he seems to have grasped very well, as we learned that throughout his whole life, he had become the biggest Philanthropist the world has ever known, Abraham went out giving Tzedakah to anyone that went by his dwelling, he fed and hosted in his tent anyone passing by.

So then what is it that God saw in Abraham that he granted the concept of Tzedakah to him? Arguably as we will see later, God saw that Abraham will remain faithful to him for all eternity, in that he would pass down whatever God teaches him to all the future generations forever. 

One of the meaning of the word “Amen” as it is formulated above Abraham “He’Emin” .. is to train or to coach someone. 

And to continue exploring what happened in the verse 6 above, we must also see the various meanings for that word, as we take a look at the other form of the word Amen also; like Ne’Æmen (Ne’Eman), MaÆmin (Ma’Amin). 

With these we will see that the concept is far from been simple as, we seem to be getting into something more like Fidelity, faithfulness, loyalty, etc. So it would seem more like what God saw in Abraham is the fact that he will remain faithful to him, despite of all his life circumstances.

Chapter 3

Gate 1
(II) What Really is Tzedakah?

“Ne’eman” really means to be true, devoted, staunch. And it also means to be Faithful, constant, loyal; it implies the qualities of stability, dependability, and devotion. It implies a long-continued and steadfast fidelity to whatever one is bound to by a pledge, duty, or obligation: “Like a faithful friend”.

Now let’s look at another verse in Genesis chapter 18:19, and we’ll see that it confirms for sure that this description is more accurate and more appropriate as a translation for Genesis 15:6 than what the western world has been trying to make us believe that verse 6 means. So God said: 

“Because I have known him (Abraham) to the very end, he will command his children and his household after him, so that they will keep the way of the Eternal, which is to do “Tzedakah and Justice”; and that’s the reason why The Eternal will bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him.”

Wonderful this verse seems to answer all the questions, God has analysed abraham from the beginning to the end and as He is the Eternal God, who is the past, the present and the future until eternity, he saw that Abraham for sure would be passing down his legacy to all his generations in the future for all eternity, and so God gave him as a gift “The Way of God”. And what is the way of God? The concept of Tzedakah and Justice. Whoever receives this concept will engage in acts of loving kindness for the sake of heaven.

So then base on that clarification, how do we shed light on Genesis 15:6? Well, if we now put it into perspective with all the info we just gathered, that verse must be translated as follows:

“And since he (Abraham) would remain faithful to the Eternal God; so then the concept of Tzedakah was given to him.”

The Concept of Tzedakah and Justice are called the Way of God. And Abraham became a master at it, he went on doing good to countless number of people, anyone that went by his dwelling place became a recipient of his Gemilut Hasadim (Acts of Kindness). In fact the continuity of the whole world is based on this very concept. The great sages of the Torah and our Masters tell us that the world depends on three things to continue existing, these are: Torah, Service of God and Acts of human Kindness (“Torah, Avodat HaShem and Gemilut Hasadim”).

Three Pillars That Maintain The World

In the Mishnah of Pirke Avot 1:2, Shimon Ha’Tzadik declares: “the world stands on three things: Torah, service [of God], and acts of human kindness.” These are like the three Pillars that God established to maintain the world by them. And that is not without the contribution of the Chosen people; which must do them, as they are bound to abide by the Legacy of Abraham, and are bound to remain faithful to the agreement, as it was transmitted to us by our forefathers throughout the generations.

Pillar 1. Our Masters say that the first pillar of creation is knowing your identity and your mission. The Torah is God's instructions for our lives. It provides the understanding to help refine our nature and perfect ourselves. It is the means by which we learn what the world is about, and what our obligations are.

Pillar 2. Avoda (‘t HaShem), the second pillar, is service of God. Really? What does that mean to serve God? And why would He want us to do so? Isn’t He an all-powerful, perfect being with no lack to be filled by anyone? I thought that by definition God has no need of our obeisance. So why does He want us to "serve" Him?

Clearly, service of God is for our benefit, not His.

Three activities are commonly referred to as "serving God": Prayer, Mitzvot and The Temple Service. The Temple service was the ultimate act of harnessing the physical, and converting it to serve the spiritual ― an open and concrete demonstration of the physical world's subordination to our will.

Mitzvot (Commandments) are physical actions imbued with spiritual significance. Every Mitzvah involves an opportunity to use our free will to transcend visceral drives. Mitzvot are the levers which allow actions in a physical universe to have impact on a spiritual soul. Mitzvot are the embodiment of the soul harnessing the power of physicality and the body.

Prayer, as discussed above, is the process of focusing one's will directly on ultimate goals ― e.g. self perfection, a relationship with others, and a relationship with God.

God created us to impart these ultimate pleasures. The extent to which we seek to elevate our world and allow the spiritual to transcend the physical, is the extent to which we can be said to "serve God." The second pillar of creation is, therefore, to fulfill your mission.

Pillar 3. “Chesed” or “Gemilut Hasadim” (Kindness or Acts of Kindness), the third pillar, is a commitment to performing acts of human kindness. Life is not a zero sum game. The success of others is your boon not your bane (Aish Ha’Torah).

Chapter 4

Gate 1


A Tzadik Abides by the Way of HaShem (Tzedaka & Mishpat)

God created us in order to give us good. The world was designed such that the greatest good is to give to others (Tzedaka = Charity) and to be other-centered. A person who remains totally focussed on himself and oblivious to the needs of others has, almost by definition, failed in the first two pillars. The third pillar of creation is to know that you are not in it alone. 

We are to be like Abraham and if we trully remain in his Legacy, then we prove to be a real descendant of Abraham Avinu. God said it like this: “Because I have known him (Abraham) to the end, so I know that he will command his children and his household after him, that they (his offspring) will keep “The Way of the Eternal”, which is to do “Tzedakah u Mishpat” (Righteousness and Justice); they will do it to the very end, so that the Eternal will bring upon Abraham that which He has spoken of him (Genesis 18:19).

Chapter 5

Gate 1



A Tzadik Must be a Chasid

In other words, the Torah is telling the descendant of Abraham: “You are your brother's keeper”. It is only after being diligent in “God’s Way” that you then becomes a real Tzaddik or a Master of Tzedek (A righteous person). So finally Abraham was a Tzadik (A righteous person), but not because he believed, he was Righteous because he was faithful to God and work at it, and he coached others to be the same and his legacy lives in us today, just like God saw it beforehand, Abraham passed it down to us. 

And another thing to keep in mind is that Abraham was not only doing one aspect of the Way of God, there are two things in the Way of God (Tzedakah u Mishpat); Tzedakah means charity and righteousness, and Mishpat which is a synonym to Tzedek (Just) means Justice. 

So the real way of God is to be Just by upholding Justice in our society, to be good and to do good to others by means of charity and act of kindness to other human beings and the best way to maintain this legacy is via the manual of life from God received on Mount Sinaí (The Torah).

What does Tzedek mean?

Tzedek means Just and Tzadik and tzadikim [Plural] צדיקים‬) is a title in Hebrew given to people who are considered to be righteous people, such as Biblical figures and later spiritual masters. The root of the word ṣadiq, is ṣ-d-q ( צדק‬ tsedek), which means "Just or justice" or "righteousness".

Chapter 6

Gate 1
What is a Chasid?

The third Pillar mentioned above is Gemilut Hasadim, to practice “The Act of Loving-Kindness”. Kindness or loving-kindness comes from the word “Chesed” and “ Hasadim” is simply the plural form of the word kindness. And Gemilut is the action verb that accompanies it. Which the way to say performing or Bestowing acts of kindness to people. 

People who excel in doing or performing acts of kindness in Hebrew are ideally called Chasid or Chasidim. Not to be confused with the several Jewish movements call “Chasidic Movements”. Although those groups are meant to be real Chasidim, they in general act more as branches or denominations within Judaism and most of the members in those group don’t even know the meaning of the word Chasid what it really entails and what a Chasid really is.

A quick search in Wikipedia will tell you that Hasidism (Chasidism) or , which is sometimes called “Hasidic Judaism” or Hasidut in Hebrew, originally meant "piety", is today a Jewish religious group. It arose as a spiritual revival movement in contemporary Western Ukraine during the 18th century, and spread rapidly throughout Eastern Europe. 

This description although true, it is not the whole truth, given fact that the meaning of the word Chesed or Chasid did not originate in a movement, and did not changed after those movement came to be, it is the only way in the Torah to call people who practice acts of Kindness, specially those who excel in that particular aspect of the Legacy of Abraham.

CHAPTER 7

Gate 1
The Eternal is a God abounding in Chesed

The truth is that if we reduce the word Chesed and Chasid to a religious movement, we are actually shooting our foot. Because this is one of the greatest attributes of God. A quick search in the Hebrew Scriptures will immediately show that it is all over the Torah, describing mainly God and great biblical figures who excel in the act of kindness, and who more than God excels in acts of loving-kindness. As we see in the following verses:

“.. and you oh God are ready to pardon (forgive sins), you are “Chanun” and “Rachum” (gracious and full of compassion); you are slow at getting angry, and you are abundant in “kindness” (Chesed) and mercy, and you did not forsake the people (Nehemiah 9:17)”.

“Your Tzedaka (righteousness) is like the mighty mountains; Your Mishpat (Justice or judgments) are like the great deep; You preserve both man and beast alike, O Eternal (Psalm 36:7).” “Answer me, O Eternal, because your “Chesed” (loving-kindness or mercy) is good; according to the multiple ways of you being “Rachum” (compassionate) turn towards me (Psalm 69:17).” “The Eternal is Tzadik (righteous) in all His ways, and He is Chasid (Kind) in all His works (Psalm 145:17)”.


List of Upcoming eBooks
The Seed - Gate II
Galuyot - Gate III
The Galutz within - Gate IV


About the author:
Enerio Yochanan Benorinu a linguist and educator Excelling in the studies of eight languages, including modern and biblical Hebrew. A Former Federal Government Officer specializing in the area of Security Intelligence.

 The war of Gog u Magog

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