Read e-book online A History of East European Jews PDF

By Heiko Haumann

ISBN-10: 9639241377

ISBN-13: 9789639241374

The origins and lifetime of East eu Jewry took on new ancient and political value after the Holocaust. In Poland by myself ninety nine in line with cent of Polish Jews 3 million in all have been killed; Yiddish as a spoken language kind of disappeared. This quantity offers a background of East eu Jewry from its beginnings to the interval after the Holocaust. It supplies an summary of the demographic, political, socioeconomic, spiritual and cultural stipulations of Jewish groups in Poland, Russia, Bohemia and Moravia.Interesting topics contain the tale of early settlers, the 'Golden Age', the impact of the Kabbalah and Hasidism. vibrant snap shots of Jewish kinfolk lifestyles and non secular customs make the ebook stress-free to learn.

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The golem performed all kinds of services, but grew to such a height that the rabbi could no longer reach his forehead in order to erase the first letter 'e', so that the word 'met'—that is, 'death'—would remain and the artificial man would be destroyed. When the golem became too dangerous the rabbi hit upon a cunning plan: he got the golem to take off his boots and was then able to reach his forehead. Unfortunately the collapsing clay crushed the rabbi to death (or badly injured him, according to another version of the story).

After the poll tax for Jews was introduced in 1549, Stephen Bathory (1533-1586), who had been crowned Poland as a Place of Refuge for Jews 21 king of Poland three years previously, appointed a representative body for the Jewish population in the whole of the Kingdom of Poland-Lithuania. This 'Council of the Four Lands' (in Hebrew, Va 'ad Arba' Aratsot), the 'Jewish parliament', met for the first time in Lublin in 1581. It was to sit at least once a year and elect a council, from its ranks, the 'Generality of the Jews': a marshal-general, a rabbi-general, a scribe-general, and a treasurer-general.

In 1500 there were around 18,000 Jews in Poland and 6,000 in Lithuania—less than one percent of the total population—while in 1648 the number had increased to 500,000, five percent of the population. The bulk of the immigrants still came from the German empire. Some Sephardic Jews had in the meantime settled in Zamosc, southeast of Lublin. From one-quarter to one-fifth of the Jews lived in the countryside, the majority in the towns. Preeminent in this respect in the seventeenth century was Red Ruthenia, where thirty to forty percent of its Jewish population living in towns, fol- Poland as a Place of Refuge for Jews 31 lowed by Little Poland with ten to fifteen percent, and Great Poland with ten percent.

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A History of East European Jews by Heiko Haumann


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