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Tzedaka and candle lighting
There’s no more significant time in the Jewish week than candle lighting on Friday evening. It’s been the mainstay of Jewish women for centuries. Traditionally, women would drop a coin in a pushka before ushering in the holy Shabbat.
If you’re of Jewish descent, chances are that somewhere along the line, one of your maternal ancestors had a small tin Kupath Rabbi Meir pushka covered with yellow paper. She may have dropped in her weekly contribution with a whispered prayer, and dreams of reaching Jerusalem herself one day to see how her donations helped build the holy city.
You too can reclaim the glory of this ancient tradition. We’ll send you a pushka along with the blessing to recite at candle lighting and a beautiful prayer in Hebrew and English. Your contribution will go directly to help the poor of Israel, and you’ll connect to our rich history in a deep and meaningful way.
Order your free pushka and get a beautiful prayer card.
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The Tradition of a Tzedakah Box
A Jewish home isn’t complete without a tzedakah box. It is one of those ancient traditions that Jewish families continue to uphold and observe until today.
Tzedakah translates to philanthropy and charity. One of the most important teachings in the Torah is about charity. This has been in practice for thousands of years, with different means of distribution throughout the ages. There were times when the poor were granted the edges of a field where they could collect wheat; at other times there were designated funds for the poor. A tzedakah box could be found in nearly every beis midrash (synagogue), where people would drop in however much money they could afford to spare, and the funds would be distributed to needy families in the community. In every generation, the poor and downtrodden were not cast aside, but rather received financial assistance.
Such is the concept of the tzedakah box. While there are variations to the receptacle that symbolizes generosity, the idea and the purpose of this ancient – and ongoing – ritual remains unchanged.
Today, the tzedakah box sits on kitchen counters, on executive office desks, at checkout counters, and many other prominent spots, reminding people to give a bit of charity each day.
Why the need to keep a pushka box, rather than donating to charitable causes on an annual basis? Regularly placing coins inside tzedakah boxes enables you to participate in the mitzvah of tzedakah on a frequent basis, and with each donation you accrue the mitzvah of tzedakah again.
And lest you think that the recipient of tzedakah is the sole beneficiary of the tzedakah box, that could not be further from the truth. The Torah is replete with praise and brachos for those who give tzedakah to the poor.
Ordering a Pushka Box
Charity is a vital part of the Jewish life. Traditionally, Jews contribute 10 percent of their income to charity. Therefore, ordering your own pushka box is a simple step you can take to keep this generous tradition alive in your household.
Order a Pushka box now so you can maintain the habit of generously giving coins and collecting them into your box. Over time, once the box is full, you can use that money towards providing aid and assistance to the needy or other worthy causes.
Order a Pushka