Meshulach

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Old Yishuv
A sepia photograph shows three elderly Jewish men sporting beards and holding open books, posing for the camera. Against a backdrop of leafy vegetation, the man in the centre sits, wearing a black hat and caftan, while the two others stand, wearing lighter clothes and turbans.
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History of the Jews and Judaism in the Land of IsraelHistory of Zionism (Timeline) • Haredim and ZionismEdah HaChareidisShaDaRYishuvThree Oaths

A meshulach (Hebrew: משולח‎) (plural: meshulachim) or SHaDaR (Hebrew: שד"ר‎, acronym for SHelichei DeRabonan - an emissary of the rabbis; according to others, the acronym is SHelichah DeRachmanah - an emissary from God) is a rabbinical emissary sent to collect charity funds (chalukah). In the original meaning it was for the resque of the Yishuv ha-Yashan of Eretz Yisrael, the funds were distributed by the Kollelim in form of chalukah.

In recent times, the term has come to mean any charity collector for a Jewish organization. Often an individual meshulach may operate as an independent contractor for several different organizations, taking a portion of the proceeds as profit. The percentage retained by the meshulach is sometimes as high as 49%.

In response to the public perception of fraudulent meshulachim, some communities (for example, Baltimore) have appointed rabbis or panels to investigate meshulachim and issue them certificates to attest for the validity of their cause.

Originally only trustworthy meshulachim were employed. A list of the best-known meshulachim, with their dates and spheres of activity, is provided here:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Graziadio Nepi-Mordecai Ghirondi, Toledot Gedoley Yisra’el. p. 166.
  2. ^ ib. p. 61.
  3. ^ Michael, Or ha-Ḥayyim, No. 593.
  4. ^ Michael, l.c. No. 835.
  5. ^ Nepi-Ghirondi, l.c. p. 206.
  6. ^ ib. p. 359.
  7. ^ Michael, l.c. No. 154.
  8. ^ ib. No. 895.
  9. ^ ib. No. 664.
  10. ^ Michael, l.c. No. 871.
  11. ^ ib.
  12. ^ ib. No. 877.
  13. ^ ib. No. 518.
  14. ^ Nepi-Ghirondi. l.c. p. 76.