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Award-winning storyteller Barbara Diamond Goldin has collected and retold twenty-four stories about tzedakah in this inspiring volume. Some of these stories are based on oral tales, like "The Two Beggars," which is from Afghanistan, and "The Rabbi's Blessing," which is from Tunisia. Some stories, like "A Town of Baruchs" and "The Rabbi and the Rag Dealer" are Hasidic in origin, while others, like "Ox and Herbs" and "The Two Keys," are from much older sources. Some of the stories are based on midrashic tales. The Hebrew word tzedakah is often translated as "charity," but it actually means "justice" or "righteousness." According to the Jewish Sages, tzedakah means we have an obligation to give to those in need, not only when we are feeling generous, but on a regular basis. Barbara Diamond Goldin has brought these stories of tzedakah together in the hope that they will inspire the young and the old, the rich and the poor, to give to those in need and to adopt a righteous sensibility and sensitivity akin to the commandment of performing acts of loving-kindness. By performing these mitzvoth, we all engage in tikkun olam, repair of the world, and, according to the Sages, each good deed we perform in the physical world creates an angel in the metaphysical world. This book should encourage readers to create their own angels and to recapture the significance of the mitzvah of tzedakah to the Jewish community, even to the world, today.
Twenty-four stories on the theme of charity, retold by award-winning storyteller Barbara Diamond Goldin. Stories are based on the Midrash and Jewish folklore from Eastern Europe, Tunisia, Afghanistan, and elsewhere.
Chapter 1 Introduction Chapter 2 1. Mullah Avraham's Fine Silk Coat Chapter 3 2. The Water Carrier Chapter 4 3. Are Not the Ways of Heaven Wondrous? Chapter 5 4. A Rich Woman's Diet Chapter 6 5. Creating Angels Chapter 7 6. The Unusual Innkeeper Chapter 8 7. The Frangrance of Good Deeds Chapter 9 8. Mud Makes the Difference Chapter 10 9. The Two Beggars Chapter 11 10. Ox and Herbs Chapter 12 11. The Kaddish Chapter 13 12. The Loan Chapter 14 13. The Rabbi's Blessing Chapter 15 14. The Watchman Chapter 16 15. A Town of Baruchs Chapter 17 16. The Dirty Pastry Chapter 18 17. The Rabbi and the Rag Dealer Chapter 19 18. The Tutor's Wages Chapter 20 19. You Know What Friends Are For Chapter 21 20. The Ring Chapter 22 21. Two Keys Chapter 23 22. Being Choosy Chapter 24 23. A Partner You Can Trust Chapter 25 24. The Evil Urge Chapter 26 Glossary Chapter 27 Bibliography