By April 7, 2008 Read More →

Jews in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth


  1. Overview
    1. Overview- Jews in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth
  2. Primary sources and presentations
    1. Jewish legal status in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth,Adam Teller, University of Haifa, Israel.
    2. Close Quarters- Privacy and Jewish House Space in Early Modern Polish CitiesAdam Teller, University of Haifa, Israel.
    3. Unequal Opportunities- The Economic Possibilities Open to Jewish Women in 18th Century Poland-Lithuania, Adam Teller, University of Haifa, Israel.
    4. Law, Boundaries, and City Life in Early Modern Poland-Lithuania, Magda Teter, Wesleyan University.
    5. Anti-Jewish Accusations in Poland- A Medieval or Early Modern Phenomenon? Magda Teter, Wesleyan University.
    6. Two Cases of Apostasy in Dubno in 1716- Jews, Christians, and Family Life, Magda Teter, Wesleyan University, USA.
    7. Bolechow, Ber of. The Memoirs of Ber of Bolechow (1723-1805). Translated by Mark Wischnitzer. London, New York etc.- H. Milford Oxford University Press, 1922.
  3. Secondary sources
    1. Bogucka, Maria. “Jewish Merchants in Gdansk in the 16th-17th Centuries- A Policy of Toleration or Discrimination?” Acta Poloniae Historica, no. 65 (1992)- 47-57. Abstract- Immigration of Polish and “Portuguese” Jews to Gdansk in the 16th century ended the medieval policy of exclusion from the city. The city elite favored toleration, seeing economic benefits from their activities, but the merchants saw them as competitors and favored discrimination.
    2. Frick, David. “Jews and Others in Seventeenth-Century Wilno- Life in the Neighborhood.” Jewish Studies Quarterly 12, no. 1 (2005)- 8-42. Research Notes- Primary sources excerpted on pages 8, 18, 21, 26, 28, 30-31.
  4. Secondary sources
    1. Fram, Edward. “Creating a Tale of Martyrdom in Tulczyn, 1648.” In Jewish History and Jewish Memory- Essays in Honor of Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, edited by Elisheva Carlebach, John M. Efron and David N. Myers, xv, 462. Hanover, NH- University Press of New England, 1998.
    2. Goldberg, Jacob. “‘De Non Tolerandis Iudaeis- On the Introduction of the Anti-Jewish Laws into Polish Towns and the Struggle against Them’.” In Studies in Jewish History Presented to Raphael Mahler on His Seventy-Fifth Birthday, edited by Shmuel Yeivin, 39-52. Merhaviyah- Sifiriat Po`alim, 1974.
    3. Goldberg, Jacob. “Poles and Jews in the 17th and 18th Centuries- Rejection or Acceptance.” Jahrbücher für Geschichte Osteuropas 22, no. 2 (1974)- 248-282.
    4. Goldberg, Jacob. “Friends and Strangers- An Outline of the history of Polish Jewish Relations.” Dialectics and Humanism 16 no. 1 (1989)- 13-31.
    5. Heyde, Jürgen. “”Ghetto” And the Construction of Jewish History- The Case of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. Considerations About a Research Project.” Kwartalnik Historii Zydów, no. 4 (2004)- 511-518. Abstract- The term “ghetto” originated in 1516 in Venice, in reference to the closed Jewish quarter on the outskirts of the city. Eventually, the term came to mean any place in Europe where a non-Jewish government assigned a place within or adjacent to an urban area for Jews to live. In early modern Poland and Lithuania, while segregation of Jewish communities was a goal of the Catholic Church, Jews in medieval Poland did not generally live separated from the Christian parts of towns or cities. Ironically, by the time ghetto became a common term in cities throughout Europe, enclosed Jewish districts had disappeared from Italy. It was a far step to move from predominantly Jewish districts within cities to restrictive ghettos, and it was not until the Nazi era that ghettos aimed at the complete marginalization of the Jews, as a prelude to more drastic measures, came to exist in Poland and other parts of Eastern Europe.
    6. Horn, Maurycy. “Jewish Jurisdiction’s Dependence on Royal Power in Poland and Lithuania up to 1548.” Acta Poloniae Historica, no. 76 (1997)- 5-17. Abstract- Discusses the evolution of Jewish jurisdiction under the Polish monarchy. Beginning at least as early as 1264, the kingdom’s Jews were treated both as a distinct religious group and as a community governed by its own laws, mostly without royal interference in internal disputes. By the 16th century the situation changed, a 1541 decision illustrates the king’s aspiration to subordinate the rabbis to his own will.
    7. Hundert, Gershon. “An Advantage to Peculiarity? The Case of the Polish Commonwealth.” AJS Review 6 (1981)- 21-38.
    8. Hundert, Gershon. “Implications of Jewish Economic Activities for Chrsitian-Jewish Relations in the Polish Commonwealth.” In The Jews in Poland, edited by Chimen Abramsky and Maciej Jachimczyk, 245-275. London- Blackwell, 1986.
    9. Hundert, Gershon. “Poland- Paradisus Judaeorum.” Journal of Jewish Studies 48, no. 2 (1997)- 335-348.
    10. Hundert, Gershon David. “Jews, Money and Society in the Seventeenth-Century Polish Commonwealth- The Case of Krakow.” Jewish Social Studies 43, no. 3 (1981)- 261-274.
    11. Hundert, Gershon D. “The Kehilla and the Municipality in Private Towns at the End of the Early Modern Period.” In The Jews in Old Poland, 1000-1795, edited by Antony Polonsky, Jakub Basista and Andrzej Link-Lenczowski, 172-185. London, New York, Oxford- I.B. Tauris; Institute for Polish-Jewish Studies, 1993.
    12. Hundert, Gershon David. “On the Jewish Community of Poland During the Seventeenth Century- Some Comparative Perspectives.” Revue des Etudes Juives 142, no. 3 (1983)- 349-372.
    13. Hundert, Gershon David. “The Role of the Jews in Commerce in Early Modern Poland-Lithuania.” Journal of European Economic History 16, no. 2 (1987)- 245-275.
    14. Kalik, Judith. “Church’s Involvement in the Contacts between Jews and Burghers in the 17th-18th Centuries Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.” Kwartalnik Historii Zydów, no. 3 (2003)- 342-348.
    15. Kalik, Yehudit. “Patterns of Contact between the Catholic Church and the Jews in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth- Jewish Debts.” In Studies in the History of the Jews in Old Poland in Honor of Jacob Goldberg, edited by Adam Teller, 102-122. Jerusalem- Magnes Press- Hebrew University, 1998.
    16. Kazmierczyk, Adam. “The Problem of Christian Servants as Reflected in the Legal Codes of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth During the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century and in the Saxon Period’.” Gal-Ed 15-16 (1997)- 23-40.
    17. Maczak, Antoni. “The Jews in Poland and Western Europe in the 16th-18th Centuries- Problems in Comparative Research.” Proceedings of the…World Congress of Jewish Studies 10, no. B2 (1990)- 281-288. Research Notes- Pages 284-285- Excerpt from the writing of an anonymous writer (in English) comparing and contrasting the situations of Armenians and Jews in Poland-Lithuania and Russia (1598).
    18. Rosman, Moshe. “Innovative Tradition- Jewish Culture in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.” In Culture of the Jews- A New History, edited by David Biale, 519-570. New York- Schocken Books, 2002. Research Notes- Primary sources excerpted on pages 519, 522, 532-533, 534, 536-537, 542.
    19. Rosman, Moshe (Murray) J. “A Minority Views the Majority- Jewish Attitudes Towards the Polish Lithuanian Commonwealth and Interaction with Poles.” Polin 4 (1989)- 31-41.
    20. Rosman, Moshe. “The Indebtedness of the Lublin Kahal in the Eighteenth Century.” In Studies in the History of the Jews in Old Poland, edited by Adam Teller, 166-183. Jerusalem- Magnes Press, 1998.
    21. Teller, Adam. “The Laicization of Early Modern Jewish Society- The Development of Polish Communal Rabbinate in the Sixteenth Century.” In Schöpferische Momente Des Europäischen Judentums- In Der Frühen Neuzeit, edited by Michael Graetz, 333-349. Heidelberg- Winter, 2000.
    22. Teller, Adam. “The Magnates’ Attitude to Jewish Regional Autonomy in the Eighteenth Century.” In Studies in the History of the Jews in Old Poland, edited by Adam Teller, 246-269. Jerusalem- Magnes Press, 1998.
    23. Teter, Magda. “The Legend of Ger Zedek of Wilno as Polemic and Reassurance.” AJS Review 29, no. 2 (2005)- 237-26.
    24. Wyrozumska, Bozena. “Did King Olbracht Banish the Jews from Cracow?” In The Jews in Poland, edited by Andrzej Paluch, 27-37. Cracow- Jagiellonian University, 1992.
  5. Images
    1. Mirkevet ha-Mishneh, Anshil of Cracow, Helicz, Cracow, 1534, BS1121.A5 1534, Fol. 3v
    2. Reshit Hokhmah, Elijah Vidas, Cracow, 1593, RB 149-17, Title page.
    3. Yeven Metzulah, Nathan Nata Hannover, Venice, 1653, RB138-6, Title page.

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