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ẒEDAKAH (Heb. צְדָקָה; "righteous act," or "charity"), word derived from the root צדק ("to be correct"). In the Bible, it is variantly used: as righteousness, in the sense of "piety" (Gen. 15:6); as justice (Amos 5:7; 6:12); as right in one's claims (ii Sam. 19:29); and, in the plural, as righteous acts (Judg. 5:11; i Sam. 12:7; Jer. 51:10). In later Hebrew literature, it more generally came to mean "charity," implying "acts of justice" but was distinguished from *gemilut ḥasadim ("acts of kindness"). In the liturgy of Rosh Ha-Shanah and the Day of Atonement, ẓedakah, along with "repentance" and "prayer," is said to "avert the evil decree."

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