A new online course by Rabbi Raleigh Resnick, a popular teacher on Chabad.org, explores the practical spirituality of this central yet simple mitzva.
By Menachem Posner
Tzedakah, or charity, is a central pillar of Judaism, to the extent that the Jerusalem Talmud refers to it as a mitzvah (“commandment”) without modifiers or qualifiers.
The principle is simple enough: give to others in need. But how much are we to give, how are we to prioritize, and what are the spiritual ramifications of our giving choices? A new Chabad U course addresses these questions and more.
The course will be presented by Rabbi Raleigh Resnick, a popular teacher on Chabad.org, whose previous courses, “The Jewish Pathway to Forgiveness” and “R-E-S-P-E-C-T” (on the mitzvah to honor parents), were enthusiastically received by thousands of students around the world.
Produced and streamed by Chabad.org, “Right on the Money” runs for four consecutive Tuesdays, starting on July 19.
In the first installment, Resnick will define the mitzvah of tzedakah and outline some nuances involved in performing the mitzvah. Through stories from the Talmud and other sources, students will gain an understanding of the true power of giving and how this act can change our destinies.
The following week, participants examine the place tzedakah has within the cosmic “wheel of the world,” where givers and takers have a symbiotic and at times reversible relationship.
In the third lesson, the rabbi provides practical guidance on how much to give, whom to prioritize and other practicalities associated with a tzedakah-based approach.
In the final class, viewers discover the cosmic impact of their actions and explore the ability to give with complete compassion and kindness.
“Whether you are a philanthropist or simply a good-hearted neighbor, this class will give you a life-changing perspective,” Rabbi Yaakov Kaplan, who produced the course, tells Chabad.org. “Rabbi Resnick’s record as a presenter speaks for itself, and we are so pleased that he focused on this all-important topic.”
The course is free (a donation is suggested, but not required) to those who register online. As all Chabad.org courses, handouts, quizzes and other study materials will be provided.
Visit “Right on the Money: The Best Charity Practices According to Judaism” to sign up.