Noam Zion has written a grand survey of Jewish giving in three separate stand-alone books. One, on society and poverty; second, on sensitivity to the shame and dignity of the poor; third, on the motivation of the giver — Jewish and Christian. Order the print version, and get the electronic version for free!

Tzedakah Trilogy Book 1

1.
From Each According to
One's Ability:
Duties to Poor People
from the Bible to the
Welfare State and Tikkun Olam

by Noam Zion
8.5x11, 810p

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Tzedakah as the Defining Social Marker of Jewish Identity
The End of Begging and the Gated Community

  • Introduction: Tzedakah as the Defining Social Marker of Jewish Identity
    A. The Test of a True Jew: Check the Pocketbook.
    B. Maimonides: Appealing to Jewish Genes — The Perfect “Pitch.”
  • Part One: Biblical Justice, Love and Empathy for the Needy    
    Chapter 1: Israel’s Vocation for Social Justice: Biblical Tzedakah uMishpat.
    Chapter 2: The Prophets’ Calling: Pathos and the Poor.
    Chapter 3: Israel’s Memory and Love of the Stranger: The Exodus and Historical Lessons of Empathy.
  • Part Two: The Sacred Economy: Living on God's Land and from God’s Hand — Maintenance and Redemption
    Chapter 4: Maintenance of the Poor: Agricultural Entitlements via Tithes, Peah, Gleaning and Shared Festival Meals.
    Chapter 5: The Jubilee and the Redemption of Debtors/Slaves: God and Your Brother as Redeemer (Geulah) “Proclaim Liberty in the Land to All the Inhabitants” (Lev. 25:10).
    Chapter 6: Paradoxes of Generosity: Ancient Israel’s Free Loan Society and the Sabbatical Amnesty on Debts.
    Chapter 7: The Triple Shabbat and its Implications for Poverty, Accumulation of Wealth, and Human Freedom.
  • Part Three: The Birth of the Social Welfare Society: Greek Philanthropy (Euergesia) versus Rabbinic Tzedakah (Kuppah)
    Chapter 8: Giving to the Public: The Greek Polis and the Culture of Euergesia (Philanthropy).
    Chapter 9: Supporting Torah Study or the Poor? The Education of the Jewish Philanthropist and the Founding of the Muslim Waqf.
    Chapter 10: The Rabbinic City of Social Welfare: The Invention of the Tzedakah Fund.
    Chapter 11: The Western Welfare State or Welfare Society: The End of Charity or the Return to Private Philanthropy?
    Chapter 12: Concepts of Justice: Tzedakah, Distributive Justice and Social Justice.
  • Part Four: Tikkun Olam: The Jewish Mandate to Fix the World
    Chapter 13: Tikkun Olam: A New Terminology for Social and Economic Reform and its Biblical, Rabbinic and Mystical Roots.
    Chapter 14: Appendix: Back to the Cave! Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's Dilemma: Torah or Tikkun Olam?
  •  

Tzedakah Trilogy Book 2

2.
To Each According to
One’s Social Needs:
The Dignity of the Needy
from Talmudic Tzedakah
to Human Rights

by Noam Zion
8.5x11, 959p

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Modern Jewish Discourses of Philanthropy: “No More Charity”
Family Welfare and Community Responsibility In Loco Parentis

  • Part One: The Hierarchy of Needs   
    Chapter 1: Meeting Needs in a World of Scarcity: Rehabilitating the Orphan as a Paradigm for Tzedakah.
    Chapter 2: Self-Respect and Hillel’s Horse: Attending to the “Outrageous Needs” of the Formerly Rich.
    Chapter 3: To Pamper or Not to Pamper? Nehemia’s Lentils — A Menu of Life and Death.
    Chapter 4: “I am Entitled!”: The Tale of Rava and the Moral Responsibility of the Poor to the Community.
    Chapter 5: Shame, Shamelessness and Paternalism in Welfare: Loans or Gifts to Reluctant Recipients and Stingy Applicants.
    Chapter 6: Secret Beneficence or Personal Giving? Mar Ukba in the Fiery Furnace: The Hero of Anonymous Donors.
    Chapter 7: Feminine Tzedakah: Ms. Ukba’s Home Oven and Mar Ukba’s Toasty Toes.
    Chapter 8: Welfare Abuse and Mar Ukba’s Bequest: “Beware, Charlatans” or “In Praise of Charlatans”?
    Chapter 9: Downgrading One’s Lifestyle and the Poverty Line:“How Shall We Dine Today — with Gold or Silver Utensils?”
  • Part Two: Work, Welfare and Parasitism — Forced Labor or Employment Opportunities? Medieval and Early Modern Attitudes Transformed
    Chapter 10: Maimonides’ Highest Level of Tzedakah: Loans, Jobs and Business Partnerships.
    Chapter 11: Doing Business with the Poor: Repayable Loans or Tzedakah?
    Chapter 12: Praising Work and Condemning Parasites: Changing Images of the Poor and the Early Modern Reformation of Welfare — From Poor Relief to Moral Improvement.
    Chapter 13: Changing Jewish Attitudes to Labor and to Torah Study: From the Bible to Contemporary Ultra-Orthodox (Haredim).
  • Part Three: Modern Jewish Discourses of Philanthropy: “No More Charity!”
    The Revolt against “Traditional” Tzedakah and Christian Charity

    Chapter 14: New Types of Jewish Philanthropists — Maimonides Revisited.
  • Part Four: Dignity Redeemed: Religious Discourses of Human Rights
    Chapter 15: The Welfare State: Entitlements and the Avoidance of Shame.
    Chapter 16: Human Dignity and Economic Entitlements: The Divine Image and the Religious Narratives of Human Rights.
    Chapter 17: Jewish Roots of Human Dignity: The Divine Image (Tzelem Elohim) and the Divine Creature (Kevod HaBriyot).
    Chapter 18: Human Dignity: Rights, Duties or Opportunities?
    Chapter 19: The Dignity of the “Self-Made Man” and the Contributing Member of Society.
  • Part Five: The Indignity of Inequality or the Dignity of Individual Difference?
    Chapter 20: Indignation at Social Difference: In Praise of Equality — Modern Perspectives.
    Chapter 21: The Jewish Critique of Social Honor: Egalitarian Trends in Biblical and Rabbinic Culture.
    Chapter 22: The Legacy of Talmudic Tzedakah: The Rabbinic Image of God and Sensitivity to the Unique Social Needs of Each Individual.
  •  

Tzedakah Trilogy Book 3

3.
For the Love of God:
Comparative Religious
Motivations for Giving.
Christian Charity,
Maimonidean Tzedakah
and Lovingkindness (Hesed)

by Noam Zion
8.5x11, 699p

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Paul’s Charity versus Maimonides’s Tzedakah: Loving Giver or Dutiful Donor?
Stewardship and Sharing the Surplus
Rationales for Giving: Touching the Emotional Bases

  • Part One: Diverging Narratives: “Who is my Neighbor?” Greek Citizens, Christian Sinners or Rabbinic Brothers   
    Chapter 1: Excluding or Including the Poor? Greco-Roman Stratification or Christian Spiritual Brotherhood?
    Chapter 2: Christian Altruism and the Good Samaritan: “Who is my Neighbor, Rabbi?” (Luke 10:29)
    Chapter 3: The Rabbis on “Love your Neighbor” (Leviticus 19:17): Neighbors as Covenantal Brothers.
    Chapter 4: Rabbinic Priorities: “Me and My Family First!”
  • Part Two: Diverging Narratives of Giving: Love or Duty?
    Chapter 5: Paul’s Self-Sacrificial Agape and Martin Luther’s Love as Service to One’s Neighbor.
    Chapter 6: Paul versus Maimonides: Loving Giver or Dutiful Donor? Renewing the Disputation between Love and Justice.
  • Part Three: Converging Tales of Calculating Charity and Prudent Tzedakah: Economic Metaphors for Managing Funds for the Needy
    Chapter 7: Banking with God: Giving and the Salvation of the Donor/Investor.
    Chapter 8: Stewardship and Sharing the Surplus.
    Chapter 9: The Reciprocity of Hesed: Giving and Being For-Given, Showing Human Mercy and Evoking Divine Mercy.
  • Part Four: The Character Traits of the Giver Maimonides on Lovingkindness (Hesed)
    Chapter 10: The Emotional Component of Tzedakah: Beyond Anonymity and Duty, Towards Relationship.
    Chapter 11: The Piety of Giving: The Generosity of the Hasid.
    Chapter 12: From Love of God to Love of Humanity: Maimonides’ Shift from Theology to Politics and Ethics in The Guide to the Perplexed.
  • A Retrospective Review
    Chapter 13: Types of Giving in Review: Touching the Emotional Bases.
    A. Empathy, Righteous Indignation and the Exodus.
    B. Self-Perfecting Therapeutic Giving versus World-Perfecting Tikkun Olam.
    C. Philanthropic Civic Pride.
    D. Respect for Human Dignity.
    E. Gratitude, An Opportunity to Give Back, and the Faithfulness of a Steward.
    F. Mercy, Rakhmanut, Compassion.
    G. Brotherhood, Solidarity, Reciprocity and Mutual Responsibility.
    H. Redemption: Empowering Tzedakah and Enabling Love.
    I. Prudent Giving: Investing in One’s Future.
    J. David Hartman: Mature Love with Respect for Frailty and Acceptance of Interdependence.
    K. Edgar Kahn’s Time Bank: A This-Worldly Bank for Depositing the Gifts of Rich and Poor Alike.
  •