So much ink has been laid to parchment on the subject of tzedakah in the Jewish tradition, because it sums up all the values that our ancestors lived by and aspired to — a society in which all are cared for, and all have food to eat, clothing to wear, and lodging to shelter them. This glorious ideal can rise above our worst fear — that life ends and we are no more. But tzedakah keeps us alive, because the human spirit is indestructible and eternal. A worthy subject for a facile pen to poetically set down is the degrees of power that were created, but tzedakah trumps them all.

Dov Peretz Elkins, The Wisdom of Judaism