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Halukah Definition

Halukah- (pronounced 'ha loo kah' in Hebrew, Chaloo'keh in Yiddish, meaning "distribution") Halookah is the descriptive name of the charity funds and funding organization that gathered and distributed funds for indigent Jews who lived in Palestine under the Turks before the advent of Zionism. The money was used to maintain large numbers of Yeshiva students and their dependents in parasitic penury. It was distributed through "Kolelim" that served different communities of ultra-orthodox Jews. This system and way of life was considered a disgrace by the Zionists, who preached self-sufficiency and productive labor. The Halukah system came under heavy attack by Zionists, both in the land of Israel and in Europe. This caused acrimony and tension. Eliezer Ben Yehuda and his circle in Jerusalem attacked it constantly. After his newspaper "Hatzvi" revealed widespread corruption in distribution of the charity, ultra orthodox religious Jews informed on him to the Turkish government, falsely claiming that he was planning insurrection.

The Halukah waned with the rise of Zionism, but was not entirely stamped out. Ultra-orthodox Yeshiva students get large subsidies from the Israeli government, engineered through the workings of coalition politics as well as charity monies delivered from abroad to "Kolelim." The anti-Zionist Neturei Karta group, which does not recognize the government and does not pay taxes, apparently does not partake of this largess. Ultra-Orthodox political parties stubbornly resist attempts to get their constituents off charity rolls.

Synonyms and alternate spellings: Chakuka, Chalukeh, Haluka, Halluka etc.

Further Information:

Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:

'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.

ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."

u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.

a- sounded like a in arm

ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.

'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.

o - close to the French o as in homme.

th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.

q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.

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