Give on Giving Tuesday

What Is Giving Tuesday?

In 2012, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving was designated as #GivingTuesday. Though not an official holiday, it was created to be a day when people give to charity, help those in need, and give back to their communities. It is based, in the words of its organizers, on “a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good.”

Giving Tuesday is preceded by — but stands in contrast to — two other unofficial holidays. One, Black Friday, occurs on the day after Thanksgiving and is the beginning of the Christmas shopping season. Black Friday has been the biggest shopping day in the U.S. since 2005, and its success led many retailers to begin opening at midnight to capitalize on consumer interest — and, later, to open on Thanksgiving Day itself. Black Friday goes hand-in-hand with another holiday, Cyber Monday, which occurs the Monday after Thanksgiving and encourages consumers to purchase items online.

Giving Tuesday-Yael Eckstein gives food box to elderly Jewish woman.
Yael Eckstein gives an elderly Jewish woman a food box from The International Fellowship of Christians and Jews.

Giving Tuesday was created as a response to what many see as the over-commercialization of the holiday season. Created by a partnership of tech companies and nonprofits, the first Giving Tuesday was well-covered by major media outlets and led to a resurgence in awareness about the importance of charitable giving. On the 8th annual Giving Tuesday in 2019, charities raised more than $500 million. While this pales in comparison to the amount spent on Black Friday, which typically exceeds $50 billion, it’s still significant.

The Biblical Significance of Tuesday

For both Jews and Christians, designating Tuesday as a day to give to charity has special significance. Many believe we receive double the blessings on Tuesdays.

What does it mean to be doubly blessed? In Jewish tradition, there’s a belief about Tuesdays that goes all the way back to the beginning of the Bible. In the biblical account of the third day of Creation (Genesis 1:9-13), God says “it was good” twice — as opposed to the other days when He says it just once, and Monday, the second day when it is not mentioned at all.

God creating the sun and the moon.
God creating the sun and moon in the sky.
Photo credit: iStock Photo by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

On this twice-blessed day of Creation, God separated the waters into the seas and, in turn, brought about dry land. He then filled the dry land with vegetation. So Jewish teaching says the double “good” of Tuesday means it is “good to heaven and good to creation,” implying that it is good both spiritually and physically — that is, good for God and good for earth’s inhabitants.

Thus, for many Jews, Tuesday is considered a particularly auspicious day; it’s common for Jewish people to schedule important, life-changing events for Tuesday — events like weddings, opening new businesses, or moving to new homes.

For those who give to support Israel and her people, it can also be considered a “day of double blessing.” We know God’s words in Genesis 12:3 promise blessings to those who bless Israel. For this reason, those who support Israel through charitable donations may choose Giving Tuesday as the day when they hope to receive a double portion of blessings in return for their generosity.

Tzedakah and Righteous Giving

Both Christians and Jews believe in doing what’s right and giving to others. In Judaism, there’s a religious obligation to do what is right and support those in need. This moral obligation is called tzedakah. Tzedakah is commonly defined as the Jewish term for charity, and comes from the Hebrew word tzedek, meaning “justice.” This linguistic relationship teaches us a fundamental concept about giving: It’s not just an act of mercy — it’s an act of righteousness.

Female IDF soldier gives a plant to an elderly Jewish man.
An IDF soldier helps an elderly Jewish man plant a flower.
Photo credit: Baz Ratner

Doubly Bless Vulnerable Jews 

Because when Tuesdays are joined with the Jewish tradition of celebrating God’s Double Blessings — you can imagine the impact of your own giving!

Together, we can provide desperately needed food, medicine, heat, shelter, and security for those who need it most.

Take part in celebrating the Double Blessings of Tuesdays! Give your best gift today and bless vulnerable people in Israel and around the world.

Donate Your Giving Tuesday Gift Today

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