Halukka is the Hebrew term for "distribution." The system, which dates back to the Second Temple period (536 b.c.e.–70 c.e.), enabled those not living in the Holy Land, Eretz Yisrael, to assist those who were. Throughout the centuries, emissaries from Palestine travelled to diaspora nations to solicit donations. Periodically, Ashkenazi and Sephardic communities in Eretz Yisrael clashed over the proportion of funds to be distributed in their respective communities. The system became a source of contention between the traditional Orthodox, who wished to preserve it and their communal autonomy, and the Zionists, who viewed it as parasitical—claiming it hindered incentive—and a barrier to national regeneration and growth. As the "New Yishuv" grew, the segment of Palestine Jewry supported by halukka contributions steadily shrank and became a very small minority.
Barual, Jacob. The Jews in Palestine in the Eighteenth Century: Under the Patronage of the Istanbul Committee of Officials for Palestine, translated by Naomi Goldblum. Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 1992.
Ruppin, Arthur. Building Israel: Selected Essays. New York: Schocken, 1949.
chaim i. waxman