If you think about it, there are hundreds upon hundreds of methods by which a person can give charity (Tzedakah). There are food packing assembly lines, fundraisers, thousands of charity organizations, collections for hospitals, people begging for money on almost every city corner, and even small Tzedakah boxes on store counters where you can give just a penny if you’re so inclined. It can feel as though the opportunities to give are endless!
But how do we ever know if what we’re doing is enough or if we’re maximizing our giving?
Way back in the 12th Century, Rabbi Moshe Ben Maimon, more commonly known as Rambam, or Maimonides, organized the many different types of charity into eight levels ranging from adequate to ideal (as he saw it):
Shavuot, one of the lesser known Jewish holidays, celebrates the giving on the Torah on Mount Sinai. All the Jews gathered around the mountain and heard the Ten Commandments. It was a glorious event, one where the Jews officially became a people, unified with God. We celebrate the holiday by reading the Ten Commandments, learning Torah all night, and…. eating cheesecake. Wait, cheesecake? Yes, cheesecake.
There a few reasons why we eat dairy on this day. Milk, a nourishing substance, is connected with the Torah, the greatest nourishment of all, and it is said that the Torah was given on Shabbat, when it would have been forbidden to slaughter animals for feasting. And so, we feasted on dairy. Nobody’s complaining. As we celebrate the giving of the Torah, let’s also celebrate the delicious food we eat with our friends and family!
Below is a selection of our favorite cheesecake recipes. Enjoy :-)
Passover, the Jewish festival of freedom (and matzo) is coming. Passover is action-packed; there’s the Seder, the hunt for the Afikoman, and of course, no bread for 8 whole days. But Passover fever comes early - to say that preparing for the holiday gets a little crazy would be an understatement.
Here’s how you know Passover is just around the corner!