What would you do?

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    What would you do if you heard constant ringing on the door bell and knocking on the door, in the time it takes for you to actually get to the front door, to find that it’s a meshulach. Yet again.

    I know it’s not an easy job to go collecting, but please, we are busy housewives, it takes a minute to get to the door, and som of us have young babies sleeping in the house.

    Personally, I find that this is the norm amongst meshulachim, and I am getting very fed up of it. I hear the bell ring once, pounding (literally) on the front door, another ring, another ring, and more knocking. In the time it took me to get from the kitchen to the front door.

    Unfortunately, the last time this happened I was very curt with the meshulach, told him my husband was not at home and he should not knock like that – I have a young baby in the house. What would you have done by this point?


    I would put up a sign outside my door “Baby Sleeping, do not ring the bell or knock on the door” and/or in Hebrew or Yiddish, the same.

    You also might want to invest in an intercom with a camera (good idea for security anyway), so you know who is there. I go to my window and ask who it is, because otherwise I would have to go down to open the door. And if my husband is not home, I NEVER open the door anymore. At night when they sometimes show up, even if he is home, we do not open the door to ANYONE we don’t know. We tell them to return in daylight hours, but they never do.


    Use it as a moment to practice patience. I did, and the results are amazing. ‘My’ kids picked up on this, and are so excited whenever a Meshulach comes. They run to get him/her money, and to thank them for allowing us to help in this Mitzva with a smile. Now I love it when they come, because they helped me become better then I was.

    I like the sign idea, although I would word it differently. Possibly something like “Baby sleeping, please knock softly.” I wouldn’t want to discourage a Meshulach from coming.


    I am really not like that normally, if it is during the daytime then I will give if I have cash, otherwise I apologise and say my husband is not at home, but I am so annoyed by the way this seems to have become normal practice among meshulachim – the only people who have the right to knock like that are the police if you have done something wrong and they have a search warrant.

    I thought of the sign, but it is not going to be read, let’s face it.

    SIO – I understand what you said, I even gave my two year old the money once to give to a meshulach cause I want her to learn it.


    notasheep- i agree it’s a problem the way they knock, ring, then batter on the door, all in 30 seconds. It takes time to walk to the door! And it’s given people at our house a good scare more tha once also. It’d be nice if it’d work to hang a sign over the bell, so they had to see it, asking not to ring, or only ring once, or ‘if i’m home, i heard you, but i need a minute to turn off my stovetop and walk to the door. Please be patient’. It’d be smart for whoever is hosting or driving or meeting them to tell them how we knock in America.


    Just be careful when answering the door. A woman in Brooklyn was recently attacked by a meshulach she allowed into her home.


    I don’t want to discourage meshulachim also, but they are coming to YOUR home, so they should be respectful of YOUR neeeds. When your baby is sleeping, they should NOT be bothering you. I don’t care WHO they are. Your priority is your child.


    I know exactly what it feels like. It’s mostly on a hectic erev Shabbos or better yet erev (three day) Yom Tov, when the bell rings over and over from these sweet kids collecting… or this meshulach.. We gotta stop what ever we were in middle of doing (again) and answer (again), take the time to find the “vault”, come back to the door…

    For our own sake, for the sake of our children we try to do it bsimcha as any other mitzvah, knowing that it’s just so, a great mitzvah, all the more enhanced by the hardships in it’s trail. Also, the children take it ALL in, they absorb the attitude a parent has when going about Mitzvohs. So it’s a good idea to do it with zest, enthusiasm, happiness, a “bren”.

    Of course, one must take caution when opening the door to strangers, this point being driven home by an incident r”l…


    I dont answer the door to strangers when my husband isnt home. Of course there are exceptions. When my husband is home, we usually allow the children to give the money.

    However, 2 nights ago, after a particularly grueling day and my husband had to be up really early the next morning, we went to sleep by 9:30. Now i dont care if in your house you stay up until 12AM or later, there is a certain time that you just dont visit/call people after. Anyway, a short while later, the bell rings, not just one time, not twice…I jumped out of bed so that my husband wouldnt be woken up, thinking it was probably an emergency if someone is coming at such a late hour. And what do you know?! A meshulach! I calmly told him that now was not a good time (over the intercom) and good night. Meshulachim should go to a ‘meshulachim etiquette’ course.


    Here are some options

    #1 get a guard dog

    #2 lose wait

    #3 leave a stack $$$ outside

    #4 put up an xmass tree

    #5 take away the door and the bell (but keep the dog)


    garlicbreath – love the suggestions! But wouldn’t it be cold without the door? I think I might just make my house soundproof so I can’t hear the door…

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