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April 30, 2016

The Letter Z

I’m guessing most of the people who read the Z-topic I have selected, are scratching their heads while looking at the word TZADDIK. To be perfectly honest, I, someone who knows what this word means and where it derives from too, am scratching my head, feeling quite amazed, because I had no idea it could be considered an English word. Yet, lo and behold, there it was, in my Z-word lists, one that it clearly states is permissible in games of Scrabble. And what could be more legitimate than that?

Love and Giving

I am hard pressed to think of many real-life examples, however, and that saddens me – frightens me too; because a TZADDIK is defined as a man (because of grammatical conjugations and such the word changes to TZADEIKES when referring to a woman) who is righteous and saintly according to Jewish standards. And, needless to say, one of the things we are NOT inundated with in today’s world, is righteousness and saintliness according to ANY standards.

I’m not looking to pick an argument or rile anybody up with this conclusion, and a part of me would love to complete my A-Z blogging challenge on a much more upbeat note, but I also feel a tremendous need to speak from the heart; at least that is what I hope I have been doing a lot of here this past month. In no way am I looking at this from a religious point of view – but rather an ethical and moral one – one that comes from a sense of ‘good for the soul;’ nothing more, nothing less.


This all makes a lot more sense by working with the meaning of the word ZADDIK itself. Even though it can get confusing because of the very act of trying to work with words across different languages – some constants remain. The Hebrew word for charity is TZEDAKAH, but it has a moral obligatory component added to the concept we don’t have because of how closely connected it was to Jewish law in ancient times.

And the word ZADDIK (also spelled TZADDIK since there is no single letter in our alphabet that duplicates the sound of the first letter in the word) comes directly from here. Hebrew words often contain root words (3 letters in length) that logically connect to other words with the same root. The connection between righteous, saintly and charity is one of those.

kindness can change the world

And it makes me wonder – I wonder about why we aren’t inundated with kindness and charity and righteousness, at least enough to help balance out destruction, corruption and mean-hearted stuff. I doubt there is a simple, single-dimensional answer. And I know that means it is not an easy thing to bring attention to, nor do I expect it to be very popular.

Can it be true that we’ve collectively, as a society, gotten so accustomed to all the negativity in our lives? Do we accept it without even trying to set it right anymore? Maybe we’ve bought into it all being so much bigger and pervasive, because it can be found everywhere, and we just turn a deaf ear to it; as if numbed to its effect desensitized.

Facebook status

Sometimes it seems as if these things that we know deep down inside should matter, these things we truly want to do something about but feel helpless about – get replaced by terribly unimportant things…things like continuous updates to the status of people who we may never have been that close to in the first place.
We don’t address how little goodness, charity and kindness is broadcasted or announced. We are hit with so much information in the course of any given day, but it isn’t usually about such things as righteousness and charity – I guess those types of things don’t sell or monetize easily.

So, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to close this challenge with this brief piece on the concept of ZADDIKIM, those who live their lives with an element of righteousness. Maybe this might remind us to bring some type of balance back, to help these types of qualities regain a place in the world as something to look up to, rather than something to eliminate and override.

  1. I liked this post very much. It rings so true. It saddens me to see what is happening in the world these days – I would love to see more than just balance but a tip in the scales to the side of the charitable, honest, and kindhearted!

    • Hi Darcy,
      I love this comment and I am very glad you can relate to what it says. I always remain hopeful that things can turn back around.
      I hope to see you back again and thanks for the comment.

  2. Interesting that the word Tzaddik is an acceptable one for Scrabble 🙂 I do agree we need more kindness and compassion in our world these days and more Tzaddik way of people; whether man or woman. I think if we just treated people how we would want to be treated and love them like we would want to be loved, it would be a more gentler world indeed.

    Congrats on finishing the A/Z challenge!


    • Yes Betty, I agree completely. Thank you so much for your input. Hope to see you again.

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