Parshat Shoftim (Deuteronomy 16:18-21:9) One of the biggest misnomers in the Jewish vocabulary is the translation of tzedakah as "charity." This mistranslation has gone on for so long in the American Jewish community that it's a hard habit to break.
In Ki Tetze, we are given many mitzvot to do -- 613, actually. What's a mitzvah? A commandment to do a good deed, or to follow directions to perform a certain ritual. As a Jew, it is important to do both. We become role models for the world in our acts of charity, and we remember who we are and where we came from through our ritual.