Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Gemach

Gemach (Hebrew: גמ"ח‎, plural, גמחים, gemachim, an abbreviation for גמילות חסדים, gemilut chasadim, "acts of kindness") is a Jewish free-loan fund which subscribes to both the positive Torah commandment of lending money and the Torah prohibition against charging interest on a loan. Unlike bank loans, gemach loans are interest-free, and are often set up with easy repayment terms.

Gemachs operate in most Jewish communities. The traditional gemach concept — that of a money-lending fund — extends loans on a short- or long-term basis for any need, including emergency loans, medical expenses, wedding expenses, etc. However, many people have expanded the concept of gemachs to include free loans of household items, clothing, books, equipment, services and advice.

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