Eight TZEDAKAH boxes
“There are eight degrees of giving, each one higher than the other”
(Maimonides, ZERA’IM, Laws of Charity, Chapters 9,10)
Inspired by the Rambam’s statement, Artist Yossi Matityahu has created eight TZEDAKAH-boxes. Yossi Ma
tityahu considers tzedakah, or charitable giving, to be one of the most basic commandments, characterized by simplicity and humility. With these qualities dictating the design, Matityahu has chosen to utilize basic geometric forms (triangle, circle, rectangle and others) and to repeat the motif of the outstretched hands on each TZEDAKAH -box, or pushke.
Matityahu’s choice of bright, joyous colors and his emphasis on movement and interaction between human and object, symbolize the importance of happiness in giving charity. We may look upon each box from various angles and different directions, yet each view provides an additional dimension of depth and added interest in each of the eight objects.
Each TZEDAKAH-box stands independently, but is also part of the set of eight; the viewer can observe the whole and the parts simultaneously. Thus it is with TZEDAKAH: it is personal and private, yet each act of giving strengthens the community as a whole and provides it with meaning.
As in all of Yossi Matityahu’s previous creations, the artist uses traditional Rashi script, integrating traditional elements with modern design innovations, enhancing the ancient custom of giving to others and symbolizing the unbreakable link between the unfolding generations of the Jewish people. As stated in the Saying of our Fathers, “On three things does the world stand: on Torah, worship and acts of selfless kindness.”