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Friday, February 8, 2013

5th Cycle of 41 Days: Tzedakah


The fifth cycle of 41 days, which runs from the 13th of Adar until right after Passover, is connected to the Mivtzah of Tzedakah. As mentioned in the previous post, the month of Adar is connected to the Half-Shekel. It was this mitzvah that saved the Jewish people from the hands of Haman. One of the mitzvot of Purim is that of Matanot La'Evyonim (gifts to the poor), and it is further stated on Purim that "Kol HaPoshet Yad Notnim Lo" - "One is not exacting with their money on Purim. Rather, one should give to anyone who extends their hands" (Shulchan Aruch 694:3).


Pessach is also very much associated with Tzedakah. Before Pessach, there is an age-old custom to provide Kimcha d'Pischa, which literally means "flour for Passover." This was so that the poor people in the community would be able to buy flour to make matzot. Nowadays, this mitzvah is taken in a more general sense of providing the poor with their Passover needs.




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