Woman giving alms by János Thorma

Alms (z/, z/) or almsgiving involves giving to others as an act of virtue, either materially or in the sense of providing capabilities (e.g. education) free. It exists in a number of religions and regions. The word, in the modern English language, comes from the Old English ælmesse, ælmes, from Late Latin eleemosyna, from Greek ἐλεημοσύνη eleēmosynē ("pity, alms"), from ἐλεήμων, eleēmōn ("merciful"), from ἔλεος, eleos ("pity").


Sandstone vestige of a Jewish gravestone depicting a Tzedakah box (pushke). Jewish cemetery in Otwock (Karczew-Anielin), Poland.
Tzedakah pouch and gelt (Yiddish for coins/money) on fur-like padding.

In Judaism, tzedakah - a Hebrew term literally meaning righteousness but commonly used to signify charity [1] - refers to the religious obligation to do what is right and just.[2] Contemporary tzedakah is regarded as a continuation of the Biblical Maaser Ani, or poor-tithe, as well as Biblical practices including permitting the poor to glean the corners of a field, harvest during the Shmita (Sabbatical year), and other practices. Tzedakah, along with prayer and repentance, is regarded as ameliorating the consequences of bad acts.

In Judaism, Tzedakah (charity) is seen as one of the greatest deeds that man can do.[3] Jewish farmers are commanded to leave the corners of their fields for the starving to harvest for food and are forbidden to pick up any grain that has been dropped during harvesting, as such food shall be left for the starving as well.

Famous Jewish scholar and sage Maimonides has been noted for creating a list of charity, with the most righteous form being allowing an individual to become self-sustaining and capable of giving others charity. [4]

  1. Enabling the recipient to become self-reliant
  2. Giving when neither party knows the other's identity
  3. Giving when you know the recipient's identity, but the recipient doesn't know your identity
  4. Giving when you do not know the recipient's identity, but the recipient knows your identity
  5. Giving before being asked
  6. Giving after being asked
  7. Giving less than you should, but giving it cheerfully
  8. Giving begrudgingly
Other Languages
العربية: إحسان
aragonés: Almosna
català: Almoina
čeština: Almužna
dansk: Almisse
Deutsch: Almosen
emiliàn e rumagnòl: Limòśna
español: Limosna
Esperanto: Almozo
euskara: Limosna
français: Aumône
Bahasa Indonesia: Derma
italiano: Elemosina
עברית: צדקה
magyar: Alamizsna
Nederlands: Aalmoes
norsk: Almisse
norsk nynorsk: Almisse
polski: Jałmużna
português: Esmola
română: Pomană
русский: Подаяние
sicilianu: Limòsina
српски / srpski: Помана
suomi: Almu
svenska: Allmosa
тоҷикӣ: Садақа
українська: Милостиня
ייִדיש: צדקה