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CEDAKA - צדקה
The Halukkah. Various Thoughts about a Debatable Aid System
Dr. Kárpáti Judit, Ph.D.
It is a well-known fact that there are no dogmas in Judaism, however there are quite a few well-established ideas that cannot be questioned easily. One of these basic religious traditions has an utmost importance: the focal point of the Jewish religion is the Holy City of Jerusalem and the Land of the Holy One. This idea follows the Jews in their everyday religious practices from the womb to the grave. The whole Jewish existence outside of the Holy Land was considered to be a temporal phase during the Middle Ages, and the longing for the ancient homeland never ceased to be alive in the Jewish mind. One of the most important achievements of Rabbinical Judaism has been the emphasis on the land, which they had to leave behind for certain reasons but which they have never abandoned entirely. Beside the vivid pictures of the Holy City and the Holy Land in everyday and festive Jewish liturgy, the sometimes strong, sometimes weaker ties between the Diaspora and the Jewish communities of the Land of Israel not only kept the memory of the holy places alive but helped the Jewish people to be in physical contact with their former homeland. These ties had very practical, i.e. financial aspects, as well. The Jewish communities in the Holy Land survived with the help of the generous support of the Jews in the Diaspora, that developed into an elaborated system of donation called Halukkah in Hebrew. The following article the author intends to explore the different aspects of these practical connections between the Diaspora Jews and the Jewish communities of the Holy Land in the light of the traditional rabbinical literature, and the modern Jewish press in Central East Europe.

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