Thursday, August 16, 2007

Creating Angels - Stories of Tzedakah

Award winning storyteller Barbara Diamond Goldin has collected and retold twenty-four stories about tzedakah in this inspiring volume.

The Hebrew word tzedakah is often translated as charity. But it actually means something different, it means justice or righteousness. According to the Jewish Sages, tzedakah means we have an obligation to give to those in need, not only when we are feeling generous, but on a regular basis.

One talmudic Sage, Rabbi Assi, believed the commandment tzedakah to be so important that he said, "Tzedakah is as important as all other commandments put together."

Some of these stories are based on oral tales like "The Two Beggars" which is from Afghanistan, and "The Rabbi's Blessing" which is from Tunisia. Some stories like "A Town of Baruchs" and "The Rabbi and the Rag Dealer" are Hasidic in origin while others like "Ox and Herbs" and "The Two Keys" are from much older sources.

Barbara and her son Jeremy Barbara Diamond Goldin says, "By performing tzedakah and the mitzvah of acts of loving kindness, we engage in tikkun olam or repair of the world. We experience the powerful feeling of doing good in our world, of creating angels. It is my hope that these stories will encourage young readers to create their own angels and to recapture the significance of the mitzvah of tzedakah for today's world."

"Perfect in length and style for bedtime stories, these re-tellings will expand the hearts of children and adults." --Review from Publisher's Weekly

Tony Berlant is probably most famous for his sculptural "paintings", in which he nails found pieces of colored metals to a plywood base to form images. One of these works, called Mountain Journey, is on view in the outer lobby of the museum. Later, Berlant became well known for using this technique to make small, house-shaped boxes. With a small slit for a coin hole, he transforms some of these sculptures into tzedakah boxes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love your theme lately. The most recent pieces of art are wonderful.