What is Hesed?
Within Judaism, there are two different but interrelated concepts or moral action and behavior – Tzedakah (sacred practice of charity) and gemilut hasadim (sacred practice of loving kindness). Jewish tradition distinguishes between them in several ways. The essential difference is already evident in the roots of the words: Tzedakah derives from tzedek (justice, righteousness), and gemilut hasadim derives from hesed (loving kindness, grace, steadfast love.) The Hesed Foundation believes tzedakah to be a core component of social justice. According to the Talmud, the most virtuous form of giving comes through the promotion of self-sufficiency by offering employment and assisting a person in need; in short, the improvement of the human condition.
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