The Basics of Judaism: Basic Values and Morality: Repentance, Prayer, and Charity:
What is the relative importance of repentance, prayer, and charity?
Teshuvah (repentance), tefillah (prayer), and tzedakah (charity) are three powerful religious concepts. They are all called "great" in different contexts; on the greatness of repentance see Talmud Yoma 86b, on that of prayer see Talmud Berachos 32b, and on that of charity see Talmud Bava Basra 10a. The Midrash Tanna de-Bei Eliyahu Zuta (Ch.22) says that repentance is greater than both prayer and charity, and the Talmud in Berachos says that prayer is greater than good deeds (presumably including charity). In some Machzorim the words teshuvah, tefillah, and tzedakah are footnoted as tzom
("fasting"), kol ("voice" or "crying out"), and mammon "money"); the letters of these three Hebrew words all have the same total numerical value (136), which is also the numerical value of "sulam" ("ladder"): They are the three steps of a ladder on which our souls can mount up to Heaven.
Ask a follow-up question