Teshuva, Tefila, Tzedaka – A Lover’s Guide From Rosh HaShana to Yom Kippur (Part 3 of 3)

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A192 RoshHashanah III

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Written by Dirty Di. Dirty Di is the author of Astray and Deborah and Aviva.

A note from the author: This is the third part of “Teshuva, Tefila, Tzedaka.” Make sure you start with Part One and Part Two!

“Teshuva, Tefila, Tzedaka” is the third part of a series called Holiday Indulgence. The series follows the adventures and misadventures of our heroine Malka Berkovich throughout the Jewish calendar, a fictional character that simply can’t resist celebrating and cherishing her Judaism.

Each installment can be read as a separate piece, although because of the character and the story’s development, I wouldn’t advise it. The first part, Shavuot, can be found here.

Rated RDAY 7 — Tzedaka

“Why are we in West Harlem, dear?”

“Because you, my girl, are going to do tzedaka, an act of kindness.”

“I do acts of kindness enough, Hannah. And I don’t have to take the subway to do them, thank you, very much.”


“Yes! I make a lot of donations!”

“Malka, I’m an accountant. You don’t have to point how these ‘altruistic’ donations help your taxes.”

“I fail to see how that annuls the good deed.”

“It doesn’t. But you need to take a step further! Especially during the Yamim Noraim! Remember, you are being judged.”

“Something says I’m going to regret this.”

“How can you ever regret doing good for mankind?”

“Have you heard that no good deed goes unpunished? Actually, why don’t we get out of here and I take you to Broadway so you can watch the musical version of that statement!”


“Hannah, this place is unsafe.”

“Okay, so let’s wrap it up really fast. Look, just pick somebody.”

“Whatever for?”

“To offer a job to that person.”

“Offer a job. Doing what exactly? I highly doubt these people have any kind of qualification.”

“Then find something. Do they need qualification to wash the dishes? Or make your coffee? Or clean the bathrooms? Anything would help them.”


“Because it’s not about giving money away just to fill a charity quota, Malka, it’s about actually helping somebody get on their feet. Look around you, these people need an opportunity.”

Malka took a deep breath and walked towards a woman on the ground with two kids sitting beside her. Reluctantly, she kneeled before her and handed her a card.

“Hi… I may be able to help you get a job. Go to this address tomorrow and ask for Bradley, he’ll be waiting for you.” After asking for the woman’s name and telling her there was day-care available for the kids, she stood up and walked back to Hannah and her 100-watt smile.

“There. Are you happy?”

“I am. Aren’t you?”

“Would you believe me if I said I’m not?”

“Not a chance. And look, you weren’t struck by a lightning bolt!”

“I have to call Bradley when we get back.”

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Dirty Di has the stuff that you want; she is the thing that you need. So if you're feeling devious, and looking glamorous, let’s get mischievous and polyamorous, because you live only once, so be sure you got it right. And if you don't, try again.