Last week for the Jewish Mother Project, I wrote about the importance oftranslating kindness into action, so this week I need to put my money where my mouth is and step up to the tzedakah plate box.

Tzedakah is one of the biggies in Judaism. Every year during the big YK (as I like to call Yom Kippur), we learn about the power of teshuvah(repentance), tefillah (prayer), and tzedakah to save our sinful souls. And just to be clear here, tzedakah isn’t charity. Tzedakah is justice. It’s fairness. It’s our job as human beings living on this crazy planet where the richest 62 people in the world have as much money as HALF of the rest of the population. (Pardon my acronym, but WTF?)

Tzedakah is Judaism’s way of reminding us that no matter how much we have (or don’t), we always have something to share. It’s our tradition’s way of helping us get out of our own stressed out, maxed out, worried minds and remember that there is always someone who has less than we do, and that sharing is way more than caring.

It is nothing less than a sacred duty.

My husband and I are pretty good about giving tzedakah (this past year we gave our largest donation to a clinic that provides medical, mental health, and social services to refugees and asylees in the Boston area), but the giving often happens in front of a computer after the girls have gone to sleep.

Somehow we just never got around to setting up a tzedakah practice with our daughters, and it’s high time we do that.

This is where you come in, my dear readers.

You can read the rest of this post for the Jewish Mother Project over at