Meshulachim are people!!!

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    Why do people ignore Meshulachim when they come over to you and ask for Tzedakah , at least pick up your hands and give them a friendly smile if you can’t help them. When they come to the door invite them in give them a drink etc… Some people forget that Meshulachim are people! It’s bad enough what these people are going through!

    Don’t make it worse!


    When meshulachim come to my door late at night (as they often do), they are invading my daled amos inappropriately, and I will not open my door late at night to ANY stranger. There are thieves who dress up like chassidim and pretend they are collecting, in order to get someone to open the door at night. Sorry. Don’t do it. And if I don’t answer the door (as happened recently because I was injured and couldn’t get down the stairs, STOP banging on it or ringing the bell. I am happy to give tzedaka (wish nobody NEEDED it, though), but some meshulachim forget that balabatim are ALSO people.

    And if you really want to know why some meshulachim are ignored, maybe they had the chutzpah to tell you you did not give them enough money and they’ll take a check. Or maybe as one guy did with me, they throw the money back in your face because they don’t like the amount. That happened to me. Someone who REALLY is collecting for ehrliche reasons, will not turn any contribution away, and certainly will not act like a bulvan.

    Ken Zayn

    You’re 100% correct. Its better to ‘show your white teeth’ by smiling and making them a feel a mentch. Most ppl have maaser money anyways and are only gonna give a small amount so whats the big deal. Smile and give it. The guy probably prefers a smaller amount given where he feels treated with sympathy that a larger donation where he’s belittled or embarrassed in the process. The problem is that a tiny minority of meshulachim do give the others a bad name. One was once collecting for his child’s chassuna and i gave him an appropriate amount which he wasnt happy with. He began shouting at me ‘I have 9 other kids at home. Do you know what that means?’ This annoyed me so i said back ‘yeah it means you’re gonna be back another 9 times…’


    We made it a point to never answer a mishullach after 9:30 p.m. I would tell them (through the door) that it was too late at night. I very rarely gave to meshullachim collecting for out of town yeshivot. I explained to them that we decided what tzedaka we had would support our local institutions. I would say this nicely, but firmly. Of course, if it was hot out, I would always offer them a cold drink.

    Besides, we had a dog, so many meshullachim never wanted to come inside anyway. (She’s actually very friendly, but they didn’t know that.)


    ken zayn & oomis

    You are right , I agree it’s not nice but I try to keep in mind what these people are going through and it may be very frustrating for them when they knock on people’s door at when it’s freezing outside and no one answers.

    The main issue (for meshulachim) is in shul when they get $2 or 3$ from a large minyan.

    The main issue (for a lot of people) is when they come late at night.


    Over the summer I offered one a large bottle of water, and he said, “what do I look like, a water tank?” I just glared at him.

    He also practically ignored me and talked only to my husband until he realized I was the one writing the check, LOL.

    The ones who interrupt people’s davening are the worst. There’s a sign on the door in 4 languages not to ask until after.


    I think its very nice to greet meshulachim with a smile. For the genuine ones who have to lower themselves to knocking on peoples doors and asking for money being greeted with a smile means so much. And if they are really in need of money theyll be happy with whatever you give them. But inviting them into you house is not always the right thing to do. I would always offer them a drink or something until the one horrible incident. One meshulach marched himself in and demanded a meal. I was very uncomfortable and i was home alone. He stayed way longer than he shouldve and acted very inappropriately. It was very close to shabbos and he asked a neighbor if he could stay for shabbos. In shul a few people recognized him as a known child molester from out of town. The Rosh Yeshiva paskened that even though it was shabbos he has to leave yeshiva lane right then. After that the Rabbanim got together & anyone collecting in that community had to have a dated paper signed by them. They would look into them and make sure they were genuine. Anyone that didnt have one we shouldnt let them in or give them anything.


    Best Ima; This is a very ambiguous issue. On the one hand, you feel compassion for the people knocking on your door, or ringing your bell. But you still feel, it’s an intrusion on your family time. For example, when supper is being served and the bell rings every Two or Three Minutes. Especially, When the collectors ring the bell at late hours, possibly waking up small children you had a hard time putting to sleep. Additionally, some are so aggressive and unappreciative. But when I encounter someone very humble and decent, I’ll make an effort to give them more and be especially nice to them. While driving the bus, I observed a young couple from Israel knocking on some doors, in B.P. I noticed their humility and Derech Eretz. When I saw those same people on my block in the evening, I called them over to my house. My wife and I offered them supper (which they appreciated very much after going around all afternoon in the cold weather.) and a nice amount. This happened Three Years ago. Whenever they’re in town they come to visit, along with the beautiful baby girl they have. On the other extreme, I once had to threaten a very aggressive collector?/criminal who rang the bell at 11:20PM and refused to leave. I told him that the police are on the way.


    I had a similar experience to Metrodriver. But I was also accosted in the street, by a GOY pretending to be a Jew, waiting outside a store I was shopping in on erev Shabbos. I gave the person some money, then his wife/girlfriend came at me down the block, and I realized,a fter the fact, that they were togther. Having given them both money, I subesequently found out they were not Jewish, and were scamming the frum people in the neighborhood, asking for money “for Shabbos.” I expect that they were eventually chased away, as I have not seen them around for a while.


    Any ideas how to tell people nicely that they are not allowed to collect without a shtar from the rabbanim? No, it doesn’t mean that we think you are a fraud, its just the rules here…

    We have many who try to circumvent the rules, which were in place for a reason…


    Hss, tell them with youre mouth. If they dont listen, nothing you can do.


    I tell them to go and get a written haskama from the local Vaad Tzedaka, because we have had a rash of problems with collectors, so now all community members adhere to a shtar policy.

    Aishes Chayil

    Havemoreseichel and the rest,

    The Lubavitcher Rebbe once said, if someone goes around to collect without a shtar, or even if you suspect him of having money, its worth giving a person like that cos something is obviously wrong with him.

    Remember, whatever the case, its always better to give than to have to take!


    I’ll often meshulachim a shot of schnapps if they appear to need one.


    I never open the door if my husband isn’t at home, especially in the evening. And as Oomis said, in our neighborhood they are supposed to go to the vaad Tzedaka for a teudah. Of course I feel bad for meshulachim and I have raised funds for kids and people in dire straits in the past and believe me it is not easy asking for money, not even for other people. However, it is not easy to give if you feel you are being scammed. I have a problem with the car services who bring these people around, sometimes 3 or 4 at a time to our neighborhood and they each wait their turn and then ring your bell at 10 minute intervals. Of course the car service driver takes off his cheleck (%) from the top. That bothers me to no end. So we decided to tell them, leave an envelope and we will mail something to you. They don’t come here that often anymore, it doesn’t pay for the driver.


    If only Meshulachim would understand that I have another one hundred seventy five causes to give to!

    Btw, I have a policy not to open the door if my hub isn’t home. Even at 12 noon.I’m plain scared.

    I wish I can please everybody…


    I live in a community that BH has a lot of frum residents but also has a lot of people in need. I have always done my best to help out anyone who comes and asks.

    However, like some people have mentioned, I have to set priorities which for me is – local Hatzolah, local yeshivos, and my shul.

    The thing that upsets me is not so much the hours, but the tone that is presented. I enjoy giving Tzedakah. I am happy that I’ve got the means to help others. But it upsets me when a person is collecting in such a manner that they make me not want to help them. That’s the worst thing, in my mind. Coming into my house and responding negatively to what I contribute is unacceptable? So is pointing at my possessions and saying “You own such and such items and THIS is all you give me???”

    It’s not right. It makes people not want to give Tzedakah, or it makes them give with a bad feeling.

    Yeah they’re people too. But so are the people who are giving.

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