Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Repentance = Prayer and Tzedakah--Elul 21

There is another reason why tzedakah is singled out to represent the mitzvot that bear witness to a life lived turnged and turning to the One. Repentance as turning involves the two-fold action of praying and doing justice.  When we turn from our false ego to the Holy One, we turn with our inner selves and our outer selves. We turn in the deep center of our hearts directly to the One Who Calls Us, communing with the One,  and we turn in and with our actions to the image of the One in the other, creating the beloved community of the One in our world. 

Prayer without justice is escapism, hypocrisy, worse. 
Justice without prayer is possible, but it lacks the sweetness it has when  it is the fruit of prayer. 

R. Eleazar would first give a copper to a poor man, and then pray, explaining:  It is said, "Through charity I shll behold They face" (Psalm 17:15). Bava Batra 10a. 

Teshuvah is prayer and tzedakah vitalizing each other, communing with God, communing with the other, for one cannot separate God and the world.

No comments:

Post a Comment