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929 Project: Genesis 7 – charity and disaster

July 23, 2018

This series is coordinated with the 929 project, as explained in this post.  A table of abbreviations and acronyms used is available here.

Genesis 7:1:

יאמר ה׳ לנח בא אתה וכל ביתך אל התבה כי אתך ראיתי צדיק לפני בדור הזה

And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation.  (KJV)

Noah is a tzadik צדיק (righteous one) of his generation.  That root is צ-ד-ק tz-d-k, giving us tzedakah צדקה (charity) and tzedek צדק (justice).  Being righteous, seeking justice, giving charity – these are all different aspects of the same word-root in Hebrew.

(The 929 Hebrew Corner for this day includes a fascinating mention:  “The family name of the popular singer Neil Sedaka really is tzedakah. His family is Lebanese, with Sephardi roots, and the word is the same in Arabic as well".”)

What was your response to the 2010 Haitian earthquake, or the 2005 Hurricane Katrina, or the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, or the 2017 North Bay (Sonoma-Napa) fires, or the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, or the many other disasters that have struck in our lifetime?  Did you give tzedakah/charity?  If so, then you too are are at least a bit like Noah, who followed the command given to him to try to save life on the earth.

(NB this blog entry was posted on July 31, 2018, and backdated to July 23 for reasons explained here.)

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