Light of the Nations
Bless You God, and thank You God, for the wealth of the knowledge of You.
Thanks for providing for all our needs in all the great ways that You do.
Please always continue to provide for us, all our family, friends, Israel, your world and all the good life, in all the best ways.
Look after us all, and all You entrust to us, and help us to be for good, for to use all things for good for You and Your life!.
Please accept this small offer, and may our main offering be that we use our lives to do good and better and greater things for You.
Thank You for all the great things You do for us! We really appeciate it.
Please always be with us, and all our loved ones, in all the best ways, and help us to be with You in the best ways!
We need You. We love You! Thanks for loving us!
Bless You God!
Most people use the word “charity” to define tzedakah, but it actually translates as, and refers to, “justice.”
“Justice,” as such, represents all life. Just by being part of our planetary existence, all life is uniquely special and worthy of respect for its place within the universal scheme. Everyone is part of this world/universe system, and by giving tzedakah we symbolically demonstrate our desire to contribute positively by doing mitzvot, acts that benefit the world and life. In this case the money we set aside goes to help other people and life forms who are in need.
This, however, is only a token donation. The true amount of tzedakah we did during the week is reflected by our actions and what we did to benefit life.
By choosing an amount that provides further insight into our reason for being here and celebrating the Sabbath, we magnify our awareness level to perceive how special and important it is to slow down and take the time to reconnect with and attain balance with the essence of our existence.
We choose for everybody to give 36 cents. Similar to the way they did it in Temple times, when each person provided a small amount of tithe, but the same amount, to recognize every one’s value equally, we all also give the same amount.
The 36 represents “Chai,” which is 18 and signifies “life.”Plus, it is said that on the Sabbath people are given an additional soul, double “Chai,” although we feel it is not so much an extra soul, just a magnified one, where we feel an added degree of mindful consciousness.
When we start with tzedakah before candle lighting, it is also a reminder that Shabbat is a “giving” festival celebration, a time of giving, and receiving, love.
Shabbat is about setting aside an amount of time to be sacred space, different from all the other things that we put our energies towards during the week. This is about tending to the spiritual and physical needs of our hearts, minds, souls and bodies.
So the last physical act we do before we begin acknowledging the holy space of Shabbat, is to do an act of tzedakah, to finish the week with one more mitzvah, knowing that we did one more thing to help create a healthier, safer, saner world for us all…and to acknowledge the Source of our blessings.