Iron Mom

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Tag along with Rita Toomey to follow the adventures of Iron Mom, the world's greatest superhero! From epic battles with out of this world villains, to Shabbat dinner with the kids, Iron Mom does it all. But why does she keep sneaking out on Sundays in disguise? 

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Today's episode is all about a Jewish value and concept called tzedakah. While many people think of tzedakah as charity, it actually comes from the Hebrew word for justice, and it means doing the right things by helping people or causes in need.

There are lots of ways to do tzedakah, but the most common way is giving money to the poor or other worthwhile causes. Tzedakah can also include donating food, clothing, and other necessities, or volunteering one's time, like Iron Mom and her kids do. The overarching goal of tzedakah is to insure that the world's resources (food, water, clothing, education, and shelter) are shared justly.

Here are three easy ways to do tzedakah with your family:

Buy an extra non perishable food item each time you go to the grocery store. Once a month take your extras and make a donation to a local food pantry.

Make a Tzedakah Box together and decide, as a family, where to donate your funds.

Write letters or send postcards to residents of your local senior center -- it's a wonderful way to let people know they're loved while social distancing.


If you liked this story, you’ll love one of these books:

Here are three beautiful stories about tzedakah:


Browse other children’s books  about tzedakah


Episode Notes

The medieval philosopher Maimonides taught that one of the best ways to give tzedakah (charity) is anonymously, so the person receiving the charity doesn’t know who gave it, and the one who gave the charity doesn’t know who’s receiving it. This is exactly what’s happening when Devrah visits Shady Pines: her disguise and anonymity mean the patients receive care and are the sole focus of her visit. Without press and Iron Mom fans swarming around, the residents each keep their dignity.

Believe it or not, many many years ago,  a donation program was instituted at the ancient Holy Temple in Jerusalem, where there was a fund for people to give in secret — whoever wanted to give could give, whoever needed to take could take, and everyone got to hold their heads high.

Episode Credits

Have I Got a Story For You is a production of PJ Library

Executive producers: Meredith Lewis, Alli Thresher
Director: Alli Thresher
Additional production: Craig Rossein
Website design: Christina Rizer
Audio editing, mixing and mastering: Peter Moore
Score: Peter Moore
Recorded at Palace of Purpose Studios in Malden, MA.
Cover art: Barb Bastian
Story editor: Alan Silberberg
This episode was written by Daniel Ginsburg


Narrator, Rita Toomey: Madelaine Ripley
Iron Mom: Jen Kenneally
Crabula: Walter Alice Sickert
Daniel: Zad Gravebone
Darcy: Gwen D'Angelo
Shady Pines' staff: Kristofer Jenson
Residents of Shady Pines: Deirdre Wade, Tau Zaman
The Michelson Twins: Wednesday Alice
Daniel's classmate: Bowie D'Angelo