Passion Party #83 - Tzedakah

When I was a boy
we would get these little metal "Tzedakah boxes"
and would collect loose change,
and then at Sunday School we would hand them in to the teacher.
The money went somewhere, but I never really knew where.
It went to a Jewish Charity
It went to "the Needy"
It was a vague unknown where the money went
I just knew it went to somebody needier than me.

When I grew up I discovered that money was not the only way to give to the needy.
Charity meant service, taking the time to help,
working for free at times to do the right thing.

And then I learned generosity
and again it did not have to mean giving money
it was leading with the open hand
and an open spirit
It was giving, not the "the needy"
but to those you love
to those deserving.
It felt good to be generous
to be big enough to let the time and money flow
instead of hoarding what I had.

Now I see charity and generosity intertwined
and I remember
it is not about the money
I can wear this as a loose garment today
as I pray to heal the world
and heal my life.

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