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April 05, 1991 - Image 70

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-04-05

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

N



WHAT IS A
MITZVAH HERO?

tj

W

riter and poet
Danny Siegel,
"American Jew-
ry's leading expert in micro-
philanthropy," according to
Leonard Fein, provides the
following definitions:
"Tzedakah" is variously
translated as "righteousness"
or "doing the right thing." It
also means "Using one's own
resources to bring fairness,
equity, and decency into the
lives of others." Tzedakah is
the Jewish way of giving, i.e.,
giving out of a sense of justice
and doing the right thing.
"Tzedek" means "justice,"
and it is the motivating force
for tzedakah acts. A person
performs an act if something
is wrong in the world; he is
determined to set things right
through an act of tzedakah.
"Tzaddik" (masculine form)

and "tzadeket" (feminine) are
variant forms of the same
Hebrew root, and they signify
someone who personifies by
his actions and lifestyle the
principles of tzedakah.
"Mitzvot" means "doing
good things." In the broadest
traditional Jewish sense of
word, "mitzvot" can mean
"commandments from God"
or "divine instructions on
how to live a good life." Mitz-
vot extend into every aspect of
daily Jewish life; they include
the laws of keeping kosher,
the Sabbath and holidays,
and many other acts. I use
"mitzvah" in the more
restricted and colloquial
sense of "a good act." Thus, a
Mitzvah Hero is one who lives
a life suffused with good
works and who is admirable
for all the good things he
does.

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