Maimonides opined that there are eight levels of tzedakah: From the lowest level of giving charity unwillingly or begrudgingly to the highest level of offering a loan, partnership or job to help another to eventually support themselves and their family independently. Furthermore, there are Jewish traditions that the degree of charity is relative to a receipiant's status in life. As such, a person who lost their wealth should be supported to the degree that would allow them to sustain their current life-style. In addition, there are times that the concept of tzedakah is merged with that of mitzvot. (Tzedakah is a mitzvah, but not all mitzvot are tzeddakah).

What are acceptable uses of charity? I understand the concept of once giving charity, just as a gift---unless conditional---is no longer the property of the giver, but I am not completely convinced that applies here. Of course the Maimonides Levels of Tzedakah provides some direct or implied answers to my question, but I am seeking a more thorough explaination.

Some examples of use of tzedakah:

Volunteering in a homeless shelter. Volunteering your master-chef skills in a homeless shelter A yeshiva using donations to throw the "Best Channukah Party Ever" A shul using donations to fix the roof. To replace 500 near mint condition Art Scroll siddurim in with the Koren.
A homeless person using charity to buy food. To buy a cell phone. A ticket to a movie? An organization uses donations to secure counsil for their Rosh Yeshiva who was recently charged with money laundering and real estate fraud Giving a car ride to someone who doesn't have the money for fare.

EDIT. Not sure why this issue has been raised four years later. The difference is my question touches upon what I believe are examples that stretch the definition of tzedakah to the point that it is possible that people are distorting the concept of a mitzvah. My question I believe is more consistent with the one asked several days ago by a different poster.


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