If the concept of charity is giving to those in need out of ones own free will, then it is likely to be infrequent, and is apt to fall short of what is required to provide those in need with what they need. This is because it is dependent upon the trust that people are generally good, moral beings that would earnestly give of themselves to better the lives of their neighbors. Tzedakah however, is not at all an act of free will, rather an obligation. We as Jews are commanded to help those in need; it is not an action of self-autonomy. Being so it eliminates any possibility of going amiss in attempt to give of oneself because it is required, we do not have a choice in the matter. Tzedakah, being compulsory, is the more practical model for helping humanity.
Because Tzedakah is a commandment, it ensures that all who accept the Jewish religion as their own see to it that this deed is done. It will produce undeniable results because everyone partakes in the mitzvah. Granted there are those that would do yotzeh, only fulfilling what is required of them by Jewish law and do nothing more. However they are still doing something. This in itself speaks more highly of the religion it represents than of the individual giving Tzedakah. The fact that the Jewish religion demands the giving of oneself for the good of mankind is the epitome of justice and morality; the very definitions of Tzedakah. If one where to consider charity the more righteous path because it is out of pure love and compassion for the neighboring needy, I would not argue them. I do believe that charity being an act of free will is more righteous, but I cannot deny the justice done and the results provided in the mandatory act of Tzedakah. Everyone has the right to a decent life; Judaism guarantees this in its commanding the contribution of those with the means to aid or fellow man. [continues]
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