- OTTOMAN EMPIRE
- OTTOMAN EMPIRE, Balkan and Middle Eastern empire started by a Turkish tribe, led by ʿUthmān (1288–1326), at the beginning of the 14th century. This entry is arranged according to the following outline: - sources - GROWTH OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE UNTIL THE CONQUEST OF CONSTANTINOPLE (1453) - the ottoman empire after the conquest of "" the migration of the refugees - the settlement of the spanish and portuguese refugees in the empire - the spread of the ottoman empire - The Conquest of Syria, Ereẓ Israel, Egypt, Hungary, North Africa, Iraq, and Yemen - THE CONQUEST OF IRAQ (1534–1623, 1638–1917) - the nasi in babylon - THE ERA OF STAGNATION AND DECLINE OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE (THE 16TH–18TH CENTURIES) - decline of the political and economic status of the jews - STATUS OF THE JEWS IN THE EMPIRE IN THE 19TH CENTURY - the poll tax - RESTRICTIONS ON BUILDING NEW SYNAGOGUES, CLOTHES, HEADGEAR, AND SLAVES - blood libels - conversion - economic life - the organization of jewish communities in the empire - Religious and Secular Administration (1453-1520) - Communal Organization during the 16th–19th Centuries - DISPUTES BETWEEN CONGREGATIONS AND INSIDE THE COMMUNITIES (15TH–19TH CENTURIES) - THE ḤAKHAM BASHI - cultural life - The Spiritual Revival in the 16th Century - heterodox spiritual trends among ottoman jewry - social and family life - ladino literature - POWERFUL JEWS, PHYSICIANS, COUNSELORS, LORDS, AND MEDIATORS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE - reign of abdul-hamid and the last years of the empire - ottoman jewry and zionism - the salonika community - turkish support for zionism - voltre-face - diplomatic overtures The Ottoman Empire spread through Asia Minor, and until 1922 the realm built by ʿUthmān and his descendants was called by his name: the Ottoman-Turkish Empire. The Ottoman Turks continued to extend the areas of their conquests, and in this way the Jewish communities in the region came under their rule (for the earlier period, see byzantine empire ).The rule of the Ottoman Empire in North Africa was very loose. Therefore the history of the Ottoman Empire as presented in this entry relates chiefly to Turkey, Greece, the Balkans, Egypt, Syria, and Iraq (see also the individual countries). -SOURCES Our knowledge of Ottoman Empire Jewry is based on a wide range of sources, Ottoman, Arabic, European, and Jewish. The Ottoman documents include those of the Ottoman archives, especially the Prime Minister's Archives in Istanbul, which shed light on forms of taxation and on demographic and economic matters, as well as containing collections of orders issued by the Sublime Porte to the various provincial governors. Other Ottoman sources on Jews include travel literature, such as concern the Turkish traveler Evliya Çelebi, and some Ottoman chronicles. Other Ottoman historical material relating to the Jews exists in the Muslim courts of law in many cities throughout the empire. The majority of the Arabic historical sources on the Ottoman period are chronicles written in the Arab provinces of the empire. The European material includes diplomatic reports submitted to their governments by foreign ambassadors and consuls, archives of trade companies such as the Levant Company, and letters of merchants and European Itinerary literature. The Jewish sources contain some significant chronicles, letters written by Jews, marriage contracts, records of Jewish courts of law, and especially the vast halakhic literature including hundreds of books. The main considerable historical material is included in the responsa literature. In the last century, the publication of a large part of these sources, and especially new research since the 1950s and its conclusions, has enabled one to portray the history, demography, and social and economic life of the Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire from the 15th to the 20th centuries. -GROWTH OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE UNTIL THE CONQUEST OF CONSTANTINOPLE (1453) The first Jewish community to come under Ottoman protection was that of bursa (Brusa), captured in 1326 by Orhan (1326–1359), the son of ʿUthmān. In accordance with the pact made between the inhabitants of the town and the victors, the Greek inhabitants were removed; the Jews returned to the town by themselves and settled in a special district, Yahudi mahallesi (Jewish quarter). The conquest was a blessing for the Jews after the experience of servitude under Byzantium, which had decreed harsh laws upon them. The Jews were permitted by the sultan, who issued a firman (royal order), to build a synagogue (Eẓ Ḥayyim). They were also allowed to engage in business in the country without hindrance and to purchase houses and land in the towns and villages. On the other hand, they were obliged to pay the government the poll tax, called here kharāj (or jizya ). At a later period this tax was imposed by district, and the community leaders of every district apportioned it in accordance with the members of each. The Jews of Bursa were all old inhabitants of the country and were called romaniots (or Gregos); during the 15th century they were joined by Jews from france and germany , as well as refugees from spain and portugal . The son of the sultan Orhan, the vizier Suleiman Pasha, proceeded to Europe, capturing gallipoli , which from early times had a small Jewish community. With the beginning of Ottoman rule the community grew, however, through the addition of local Jews. Angora (ankara ) and adrianople (Edirne) were captured by the sultan Murad I (1360–89). In Angora there was a Jewish community from early times. Adrianople, which the sultan turned into his capital in 1365 – instead of Bursa – became the largest town in the empire and contained the largest Jewish community in the Balkan Peninsula. Jews from Germany, Italy, and France lived there, as well as karaites . The Ottomans continued their conquests taking Philippopolis (plovdiv ), sofia , and other towns. Nicopolis (nikopol ) and Vidin were captured by the sultan Beyazid I (1389–1403). These towns contained various Jewish communities. Besides the Romanian and Bulgarian Jews, who were early inhabitants, there were also recent settlers from Hungary who had been driven out in 1376 by order of the Hungarian king Ludwig I and admitted to Walachia near Nicopolis. They continued from there, settling in Nicopolis itself and in Vidin. Beyazid conquered all bulgaria and fought the mongols near Angora. The town of izmir (Smyrna) was captured by Sultan Mehmed I (1413–21). Before this conquest not many Jews lived there. The community of Izmir flourished from the 17th century on. salonika was captured by the Ottomans in 1387, but in 1403 the city returned to the hands of the Venetians, and was recaptured by Sultan Murad II (1421–51) in 1430. Salonika had an ancient Romaniot community which was transferred to Istanbul after 1453. ioannina was captured two years later, together with other places in albania where Jews lived. The Jews were well treated. Many were enrolled in the troop of foreigners called gharība (aliens) which was then established. Murad II was the first Ottoman ruler to introduce special clothes for Jews (ghiyār; see Covenant of omar ). They were compelled to wear long garments like other non-Muslims (Greeks and Armenians); their headgear was yellow to distinguish them from other non-Muslims, while the Turks wore green headwear and were called "green ones" by the Jews. A large part of the Peloponnesus was captured by Murad; Jews had lived there from the earliest times (see greece ). Murad's attitude toward them was expressed by his appointment of a Jew as personal physician. -THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE AFTER THE CONQUEST OF CONSTANTINOPLE: THE MIGRATION OF THE REFUGEES constantinople was captured in 1453 by Mehmed II, the Conqueror (1451–81), who changed the name of his new capital to istanbul . Immediately after the conquest, in which many Jews, who did not flee in time, were killed, Mehmed II adopted the transfer policy. In order to renovate the town, populate it, and convert it rapidly into a flourishing and prosperous capital, he adopted a policy of transferring Muslim, Christian, and Jewish inhabitants, most of them merchants and craftsmen, from various regions of the empire – principally from Anatolia and the Balkans – to the new capital. All the transferred Jews were Romaniot and were called by the Ottoman authorities "sürgün" from the Turkish word for "those who were exiled," to distinguish them from other Jews, principally from Spain, Portugal, Ashkenaz (Germany), and other European lands who were named "kendi gelen," meaning "those who came of their own free will." The sürgüns also included survivors and escapees, Jews from the city who resettled in the city as sürgün. All the Jewish population of Asia Minor and many communities in Greece, Macedonia, and Bulgaria, and also a large group of Karaites from Adrianople were deported to Istanbul over a period of 20 years and established synagogues called congregations (kehalim). All these congregations bore the name of their original communities. The chronicler Elijah Capsali described the new Jewish settlement in Istanbul in his book Seder Eliyahu Zuta: "There came into being in Constantinople splendid communities; Torah, wealth, and glory increased in the congregations". The sürgün congregations paid taxes separately from the kendi gelen, and had a special status forbidding their members to leave Istanbul without a permit from the Ottoman authorities. All the Jews of Salonika were transferred as sürgün to Istanbul, so that the Ashkenazim who settled in the city in the second half of the 15th century found no Jewish community there. After a short time the Spanish expellees joined them. The Ottoman censuses and documents and many Jewish sources enable us to evaluate the demographic, social, and economic strength of every ethnic group in the Jewish communities during the Ottoman period. Mehmed II needed Jews to develop business and crafts, and also imposed taxes upon the Jews: kharāj, those paying it being registered in the sultan's ledger; rab akçesi (rabbi tax), which permitted them to appoint rabbis; and ʿavāriḍ, household tax. The following sultans imposed many other taxes on the Jewish Map 1. Growth of the Ottoman Empire from the beginning of the 14th century until the end of the 15th century. Map 1. Growth of the Ottoman Empire from the beginning of the 14th century until the end of the 15th century. Map 2. Decline of the Ottoman Empire from the conquests of the 16th17th centuries until the end of the 19th century. Map 2. Decline of the Ottoman Empire from the conquests of the 16th–17th centuries until the end of the 19th century. communities, which considered them difficult. There were many appeals by the Jewish communities to the Ottoman authorities to reduce the taxes. There were also many disputes within the Jewish communities about the division of the tax burden between the congregations. In the second half of the 15th century, refugees from Germany, as well as French families, came to settle in Adrianople (Edirne). Isaac Sarfati, the rabbi of the congregation, became well known for the letter he sent to the refugees from Germany and Hungary, informing them of the advantages of the sultanate and of its liberal attitude toward Jews. Seven years after the conquest of Istanbul, the entire Peloponnesus, Serbia, Bosnia, Herzegovina, Albania, the Crimea, and the Aegean islands, including the large island of Euboea, were conquered by the sultan Mehmed II; thus all their Jews came under Ottoman rule. In 1462 he conquered Walachia. The Settlement of the Spanish and Portuguese Refugees in the Empire Beyazid II (1481–1512) settled many of the Spanish and Portuguese refugees in Istanbul. The communities of Turkey assisted the refugees to settle down: "Then the communities of Turkey performed innumerable and unlimited great deeds of charity, giving money as if it were stones, to redeem captives and restore Jews to their environment" (Capsali, ibid.). According to Jewish sources, Beyazid wanted to enrich his Empire by giving economic rights to the refugees, but at the same time he closed new synagogues and forced Jews to convert to Islam. In 1499 the sultan captured Lepanto and Patras. The overall total of Jewish families who arrived in the Ottoman Empire soon after 1492 is estimated at 12,000, which represents approximately 60,000 persons. Some estimates suggest a figure of 50,000 for the whole Jewish population of the Empire at the end of the first quarter of the 16th century, and others put the figure at 150,000. The Ottoman statistics were used for levying taxes, and the real figures could well have been higher than the official count. Most of the refugees settled in Istanbul, Salonika, Edirne, in towns in the Peloponnesus, Egypt, etc. They founded separate synagogues, also called congregations (kehillot) and named after the country or town from which they had departed. In the Ottoman documents the community or congregation is called cemaat or taife, and later, millet. Those who wandered to smaller towns, and in smaller numbers, founded one general Spanish congregation (Kehilah, Kahal Kadosh). Spanish congregations were also established in kastoria , Bursa, manissa (Magnesia), Gallipoli, tokat , amasya , ephesus , Siderokastron (Serres), patras , naupaktos (Lepanto), arta , trikkala , larissa , valona , monastir , skoplje , Ioannina, Serres, corfu , chios , cairo , safed , and other cities. A small number of refugees settled in jerusalem . Among the leaders of the refugees who settled in the empire soon after 1492, were abraham saba , Abraham ibn Shoshan, Baruch almosnino , David ibn Vidal Benveniste, Judah Benveniste, judah ibn bulat , Joseph Fasi, Meir ibn Verga, Isaac Don Don, Samuel Franco, isaac levi (Bet Halevi), Moses ha-Levi ibn Alkabeẓ, moses ben isaac alashkar , Solomon Attia, Samuel ibn Sid, Samuel Ḥakīm-Ḥaqan ha-Levi, david ibn abi zimra , Joseph Saragossi, and Abraham ben Eliezer ha-Levi. The Spanish refugees were followed by immigrants from Portugal (most of whom were Spanish Jews) in several waves (1497, 1498, and 1506 until 1521). They brought with them wealth and prosperity, in contrast to those coming from Spain, most of whom came with almost nothing. Among the leaderswho came from Portugal were Ephraim Caro and his young son joseph caro , David b. Solomon ibn Yaḥya and his son Tam Ibn Yaḥya , Jacob Abraham ibn Yaish, Joseph Taitaẓak and his brother Samuel, Jacob ibn Ḥabib and his young son Levi ibn Ḥabib , and Solomon Taitaẓak . These Portuguese refugees founded separate Spanish and Portuguese congregations in Istanbul, Edirne, Salonika, Safed, and other towns. Among those who came were conversos (Crypto-Jews) and the children of Conversos who fled to Turkey and returned to their ancestral faith. The Iberian immigrants were motivated by strong religious feelings and had to cope with many religious and economic problems, including the halakhic meaning of betrothal and the betrothal gifts, the sivlonot, to decide about many questions of marital status and personal problems and tragic situations resulting from the expulsion, such as the loss of their children, the problems of yibbum, ḥaliẓah, and agunot. There were many expellees who lost their families and were anxious to rebuild their lives in the communities of the Ottoman Empire. -THE SPREAD OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE The Conquest of Syria, Ereẓ Israel, Egypt, Hungary, North Africa, Iraq, and Yemen Selim I (1512–20), called "the Grim," began a new era in the great conquests of the Ottoman Empire. Instead of continuing conquests in Europe, he turned to the East, and because of this was called "the man of the eastern front." In his time the Ottoman Empire doubled its area by conquests in Asia. He built a Turkish fleet, established a cavalry corps and mercenary bands, in addition to the sipahi, the feudal cavalry army. His aim in doing this was to overpower the mamluks , whose kingdom extended over Egypt, Ereẓ Israel and Syria. The war between the Ottomans and the Mamluks commenced in 1516; the Ottomans were victorious due to their superior use of firearms, their good organization, their strict discipline and, to a certain extent, the treachery of some leading Mamluks. Before the end of 1516 Syria and Ereẓ Israel were conquered, thus beginning a new era in the empire's history, lasting 400 years. Selim I seized control of Egypt in January 1517 and was acclaimed in Cairo as the ruler of two continents (Europe and Asia) and two seas (the Black and the Mediterranean), the destroyer of two armies (the Persian and the Mamluk) and the "servant" of two temples (Mecca and Medina). For Jews the conquest was a salvation, as their situation in the 14th and 15th centuries under Mamluk rule had deteriorated. After the Ottoman conquest of Egypt, the office of nagid , which had existed under fatimid and Mamluk rule, was abrogated. The last nagid, isaac ha-kohen sholal , was removed from office and settled in Jerusalem. It seems that in Cairo under Ottoman rule a chief dayyan served and with him a secular leader, a wealthy person who also fulfilled political functions. It seems that the first to serve in that office in the 1520s was abraham castro , the master of the mint in Egypt, who is called in an Ottoman document ra'is al-yahud (the head of the Jews). Until 1769 the Jewish masters of the mint in Egypt functioned as sarrāf bashis, fulfilling de facto the office of the supreme leader of the Jews in Egypt. The Egyptian pashas also had Jewish physicians who were appointed to high positions in the government. The economic situation of Egyptian Jews, like that of the other inhabitants of Turkish lands, was good. Among the best-known wealthy persons in Egypt in the 16th century were solomon alashkar , who maintained yeshivot in Egypt and Ereẓ Israel; Samuel ha-Kohen (Kahana); Abba Iscandari and his son the physician Abraham Iscandari; Joseph Bagliar, who maintained the yeshivot of Ereẓ Israel for a period of ten years; and in the 17th century Raphael b. Joseph, who was executed in 1669. After the Ottoman conquest refugees from Spain settled in Egypt (in Cairo, alexandria , Rosetta, etc). They found the old congregations of Mustʿarabs (Moriscos), maghrebis (North Africans), Shāmīs (from Syria or damascus ). Among the Spanish refugees who settled in Egypt, or lived there for a time, were Samuel b. Sid, Abraham b. Shoshan, Moses b. Isaac Alashkar, Samuel Ḥakīm-Ḥaqan ha-Levi, David ibn Abi Zimra, and jacob berab . They founded yeshivot and the study of Torah developed. Well-known rabbis of the next generation included Bezalel Ashkenazi, isaac luria (Ha-Ari), the pupils of David ibn Abi Zimra, Simeon Kastilaz, jacob castro , Ḥayyim Capusi , abraham monzon . In syria , Spanish refugees settled in Damascus, Kfar Jubār (near Damascus), and in aleppo . In all these localities there were Mustʿarab communities. The sephardim surpassed them in knowledge and culture, however, and sometimes were unable to live in peace with these veteran inhabitants. Prominent among the rabbis of Damascus were moses najara , the chief rabbi, and his son israel najara , the poet jacob abulafia and his pupil josiah pinto , moses galante , Ḥayyim Vital . Prominent among the rabbis of Aleppo were samuel laniado , Moses Laniado, Abraham Laniado, Ḥayyim ha-Cohen, Mordecai ben Isaac ha-Cohen, Moses Dayyan, Mordecai Dayyan, Abraham Berabi Asher, Moses ben Solomon Ibn Alkabatz, R. Samuel ha-Cohen, Daniel Pinto, and others. When suleiman the Magnificent (1520–66) ascended the throne, the rebellious governor of Syria and Ereẓ Israel was defeated by him and his head sent to Istanbul. Moreover, the Jerusalem community suffered from this rebellion. Later, the Turks learned the lesson of this rebellion and changed all the governors of these regions, replacing them with Ottomans. The local Mamluk troops were disbanded, and the land then became quiet. The civil and military administration was organized in accordance with the political system of Sultan Suleiman. He ordered the erection of the walls of jerusalem and he repaired the water conduits and the pools; as a result of these actions the security of the city was improved. During his rule the Ottoman Empire attained its greatest power and extent. For more than 50 years Ereẓ Israel benefited from the peace and security which prevailed. Its population grew and its agricultural economy was expanded. This sultan introduced the capitulations , i.e., pacts or contracts between the Ottoman sultans and the Christian states of Europe concerning the rights to be enjoyed by the subjects of each when dwelling in the country of the other. Many Jews who had immigrated from abroad benefited from these agreements, which had great influence on their legal standing. They acquired the status of protected persons and were granted extraterritorial rights and protection from attacks on property and life. venice was the first to come to such an arrangement in 1521 and was followed by François I, king of France, in 1535. After Suleiman's death, the capitulations were renewed during the time of his heir Selim II (1566–74), and also in the time of Murad III, Mehmed III, and Ahmed I. The era of Suleiman is considered to be the most prosperous period of Ereẓ Israel, and its Jewish communities were extended. Dona Gracia Mendes became the multazima (lessee) of the city of Tiberias and its environs during the years 1560–66 and was permitted to build the walls of the city. Details about this agreement are written in the orders of Suleiman to the governor of Damascus and to other Ottoman officials. The chronicler Joseph ha-Cohen writes about the important role of Joseph Nasi, the adviser of Suleiman and the son-in-law of Gracia Mendes, in developing the city of Tiberias. According to Jewish sources Joseph Nasi wanted to turn the locality into a great Jewish center, both spiritually and economically, and he sent his steward, Joseph b. Ardit, who was a representative of the sultan, there. There is no proof that Nasi had the aspiration to establish in Tiberias a Jewish state under the patronage of the sultan, or to become a Jewish king in Ereẓ Israel or later in Cyprus. Gracia Mendes and Nasi did not visit Tiberias themselves. With the support of Gracia, nasi founded a yeshivah of scholars in Tiberias and supported its students. The wall of Tiberias was built, people were brought from Safed, and foundations for the development of the site were laid. On Joseph Nasi's death the enthusiasm evaporated. He was followed by a new benefactor, Don Solomon ibn Yaish, who was also a counselor of the sultan Murad III (1574–95). The sultan gave Solomon a renewed concession for Tiberias, and sent his son Jacob ibn Yaish there. For want of organizational ability, however, he devoted himself to Torah study, but did not succeed in his task and the settlement in Tiberias failed to continue. Toward the end of the 16th century, signs of decline manifested themselves in the Jewish settlement of Ereẓ Israel. Security deteriorated, especially after the period of Safed's eminence, which lasted three generations. The ruler of the town treated the Jews poorly and the sultan was unable to supervise his rulers. Sultan orders in 1576 demanded the expulsion of wealthy Jews from Safed to Cyprus, but it seems that the orders were not implemented. The Ottoman Jewish communities during this period, especially in Istanbul, began to send assistance to the Jewish population of Safed. The rabbis Yom Tov Zahalon, Joseph of trani , abraham shalom , Moses Alsheikh, and Bezalel Ashkenazi traveled to Istanbul, Syria, and Persia to collect financial aid for the Jews of Safed and Jerusalem, as well as to beg the viziers to ease the burden imposed on them by the local governors. Emissaries (sheluḥei Ereẓ Israel ) also departed for North Africa, Italy, and Germany. Tiberias was evacuated, and Safed's community lost its hegemony and experienced an economic and social crisis in the last quarter of the 16th century and during the 17th century. The center of the Jews of Ereẓ Israel passed to Jerusalem. In the 17th century many Sephardi, Italian, and Ashkenazi scholars settled in Jerusalem. The most famous Ashkenazi scholar was Rabbi Isaiah ha-Levi horowitz , who settled in Ereẓ Israel in 1620. Another rabbi, Jacob Hagiz from Morocco, established a yeshivah in Jerusalem called the Beit Ya'akov Viga Yeshivah. In 1522 Suleiman captured Rhodes, and then defeated the Hungarians in the battle of Mohacs in 1526, conquering hungary and its capital Buda (Budon), but the final conquest of the city was only in 1541. In 1526 its other inhabitants had fled, but the Jews remained. The leader of the Jewish community, who handed the keys of the city to the sultan, was Joseph b. Solomon Ashkenazi of the Alaman family. The sultan dealt charitably with him and also with his children, giving them a deed exempting them and their descendants from taxes. The Jews of Buda frequently defended the city from enemies and were faithful to the Ottoman sultans. It contained both Ashkenazi and Sephardi congregations. Suleiman transferred the majority of the Buda Jews and settled them in Sofia, Kavalla, Edirne, Salonika, Istanbul, and perhaps even in Safed. They were dispatched as sürgün in the category of craftsmen and tradesmen. But it seems that in the 16th century not all the Hungarian Jews in the Ottoman Jewish communities were sürgün. A Jewish community in Buda existed during the Ottoman rule over Buda until 1686. The struggle of the Ottoman sultans to extend their domain west of Egypt lasted almost 60 years (1518–74), but their success was incomplete. The Turks were unable to seize control of morocco , which preserved its independence. They forced their sovereignty upon Tripolitania (see libya ), tunisia , and algeria , three of the berber countries. Each of these developed a different administration and legal system that also differed from those in the Ottoman Empire in Asia, Egypt, and Europe. The rule of the Ottomans in these countries was very loose, and during the long period until the French occupation of Algeria and Tunisia in the 19th century local rulers reigned in these lands. With the consolidation of Ottoman rule, descendants of Spanish refugees and anusim, who had succeeded in escaping from Spain, began to settle in three Berber countries. The condition of Jews changed from country to country and was dependent upon the goodwill or whim of the local ruler. In Algeria the establishment of a new synagogue was dependent on giving bribes. In the 17th century, a new wave of descendants of the refugees arrived in these countries, who had first settled in leghorn (Italy). Rabbis who were descendants of Simeon b. Ẓemaḥ Duran lived in Algiers, and in the second half of the 16th century members of the sixth generation of the family headed the congregation. Apparently, Abraham b. Jacob ibn Tāva was also a descendant of the Duran family. The Algiers scholars in the 18th century included Raphael Jedidiah, solomon seror , judah ayash , and Jacob ibn Naʿim. In Libya an improvement in the situation of the Jews took place when the Sublime Porte in Istanbul reestablished direct rule over it (1835–1911). This improvement was manifested primarily in the appointment of valis (pashas, governors) charged with administration of the country and their periodic replacement, as was customary in other provinces of the empire. The Ottoman valis, who did not succeed in getting to know the conditions of the country and its language, were to a great extent dependent upon the help of Jewish secretaries. The influence of foreign consuls also increased and, as a result, the status of the Jews improved, especially in the city of tripoli . THE CONQUEST OF IRAQ (1534–1623, 1638–1917) In 1534 Suleiman captured tabriz , the capital of Persia, through the efforts of the vizier Ibrahim Pasha. From there he sent the vizier to take Baghdad from the Persians. It fell on Dec. 31, 1534. The Jews of Baghdad, who had suffered under Persian rule, helped the Turks in this victory. Baghdad remained in Turkish hands for almost 90 years. In the 16th century it had a large Jewish population, including wealthy people and great scholars. There was another community in Ana, which had strong ties with the aleppo community and contained "Ma'raviyyim" and "Mizraḥiyyim" congregations. The economic situation of the two communities in Baghdad and in Ana was good. At the beginning of the 16th century there was a large yeshivah in mosul , headed by asenat barazani , wife of the ḥakham Jacob b. Judah Mizraḥi. She was a daughter of Samuel Adani (Barazani). At the request of the local Jews, she sent her son Samuel to Baghdad, where he established a yeshivah. Murad IV (1623–40) captured Baghdad from the Persians. Among his 15,000 troops were 10,000 Jews – as a result of their great suffering in the period of Persian rule, the Jews helped the Turks conquer the city. After its capture, Murad rewarded the Jews accordingly. They considered the capture of the city a miracle from heaven and named the 16th of Tevet, 1638, as the day of the miracle. For a period of 280 years (until 1917), Baghdad remained in Turkish hands. The sultans appointed valis, and the condition of the Jews depended upon their favors. Baghdad had wealthy Jews, among them the banker ezekiel gabbai , who was from a philanthropic and charitable family that supported Talmud torahs, yeshivot, the printing of books, etc. The sultan Mahmud II (1808–39) appointed him chief banker and money changer (sarrāf bashi) and a member of his government. After Gabbai's death, the pasha of Baghdad severely persecuted the Jews, and as a result of his actions, many left the city and fled to neighboring countries, including Syria and Egypt. He was followed by two more oppressive rulers. The Nasi in Babylon It was customary for the pasha to appoint a wealthy and respected Jew as his banker and also as nasi of his community. This functionary acted as an intermediary between the community and the government, and his influence extended beyond Babylon to Persia and Yemen. As in Baghdad he had complete authority over the communities in the other towns of the country. In 1890 the Jewish population in Baghdad numbered 30,000 people, which means that it was one of the largest Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire, after those of Salonika and Istanbul. Yemen was conquered by the Turks in 1546. In the days of Suleiman I the Turks ruled over Sanʿa and part of yemen : their sovereignty continued until 1628. There are only a few extant details on the situation of the Jews at the time of their rule, except for zechariah al-Ḍāhiri's introduction to his Sefer ha-Musar. The imam al-Muṭahhar drove the Turks from Sanʿa in 1569. After his victory he falsely accused the Jews of assisting the Turks in their conquest and expelled them to Mowzaʾ. The Jews, who wished to redeem themselves from oppressive rule, longed for the Turks and assisted them in their conquests. The Turks, who nominally ruled Yemen, were however unable to dominate the country. They held part of Hodeida, but the road to Sanʿa and the district were under the influence of the local sheikhs. In 1872 the Turks conquered Yemen again. During the period of their rule – up to World War I – the Jews generally experienced a certain degree of well-being in the district towns. -THE ERA OF STAGNATION AND DECLINE OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE (THE 16TH-18TH CENTURIES) After the peak military, political, and economic era of the sultans Selim I, Suleiman the Magnificent, and Selim II, the gradual eclipse of the empire began during the rule of Murad III and his son. The strict discipline introduced into the janissary army by Selim I was destroyed, and the military became a constant source of danger to the sultans because of frequent revolts and exaggerated demands for remuneration and bonuses. Breaches occurred in the feudal arrangements of the army of sipahis. The tax burden increased and the foundations of rule and order were undermined. In the courts of the sultans and the pashas, luxuries and extravagance spread. The cruel exploitation of the conquered regions caused revolts in many parts of the empire, which the rulers succeeded in crushing only with difficulty. Bribery was one of the most certain methods of arranging all matters at the court, as well as with its representatives in the provinces. Sheikhs and minor rulers enriched themselves on the ruin of the Ottoman Empire. When the sultan Murad III learned that Sephardi girls were wearing choice garments and ornaments with precious stones, he issued a decree to exterminate all Jews throughout all the provinces of his empire. Through the influence of the sultan's mother, the decree was revoked, but an order was issued that Jews must wear, in place of the yellow turban, a peculiar and strange tall hat, pointed above and wide below, like those of the Spaniards. Jewish women were forbidden to walk in the streets of Turkish towns wearing silk gowns and elegant clothes. As a result of this decree, the rabbis issued an ordinance which added to the royal decree: "women and girls are not to go out wearing velvet garments and ornaments of gold and precious stones." The situation of Jews in Istanbul and throughout the empire deteriorated. Murad IV (1623–40), known for his cruelty and bloodshed, ordered the execution of Judah Kovo, the chief of the Salonika delegates who came to pay "the clothes tax" (paid annually), in 1636; there was no Jew powerful enough to influence the sultan to rescind the decree. During the rule of Ibrahim I (1640–48) the Turks attacked the island of crete , which belonged to Venice, and conquered part of it (1646); the war for its complete capture was a prolonged one. The sultan's court was transferred from Istanbul to Edirne, and as a result of this transfer many Jews who had business dealings with the sultan also moved their residences there. Nevertheless, the political and economic situation of the Jews deteriorated during the 17th century. The Turkish Empire gradually lost the areas it had conquered. In July 1703 the Janissary rebellion which dethroned Sultan Mustafa II in Istanbul was followed by large-scale sacking of the Jewish quarter of Salonika by the Janissary garrison and the local Greek population. The Janissary troops had a long anti-Jewish policy from the 15th century onward, in spite of the fact that Jews had economic relations with the Janissaries. In the time of Ahmed III (1703–30) a decree was issued (1728) that all the Jews living in the capital in the street of the fish market – near the mosque of the sultan's mother – must sell their houses and possessions to Muslims in order not to contaminate the street. In 1730 the Janissaries massacred Jews in Istanbul, Salonika, Izmir, Bursa, and cities in Macedonia. During the rule of ʿUthmān III (1754–57), the Ottoman authorities oppressed the Jews and limited their rights. An ancient decree was renewed which stated that Jews could not build houses above the height of 18 feet (c. 5.4 m.), while Turks could build up to 24 feet (c. 7.2 m). In October 1757, Jews, Greeks and Muslims were the objects of exactions on the part of the military garrisons in most Ottoman cities and towns in Europe. The Janissaries invested their wealth in lands and tax farms, using Jewish agents who collected their taxes. In 1758, Mustafa III issued a decree, renewing the decree of 1702 that Jews could not wear clothes and hats like those of Muslims. The weakness of the central government in the 18th century encouraged local strongmen to establish themselves as independent or semi-independent rulers, and some of them targeted the Jews for particular oppression. For example, in Egypt the rebellious Mamluk ruler Ali Bey al-Kabir (reigned 1760–73) oppressed the Jews with particular vehemence. He executed and seized the property of the wealthiest Jews, Joseph Levi, who administered the Alexandria customs house, and Isaac al-Yahudi, who held the tax farm on the customs house in Bulaq in 1768 and 1769. He systematically purged Egypt's financial administration of Jews, replacing them with Syrian Catholics, and he imposed on the Jewish merchants heavy fines. The Jewish population in the 17th and 18th centuries suffered a lot from the decline of the Ottoman cities, a result of the political situation and of anarchy, hunger, numerous epidemics, and fires. In about 1800 the Jewish population in the Ottoman Empire numbered around 100,000 people. Decline of the Political and Economic Status of the Jews STATUS OF THE JEWS IN THE EMPIRE IN THE 19TH CENTURY Sultan Mahmud II (1808–39), in his desire to inaugurate reforms in the empire, fought the Janissaries, and the vizier Bayrakdar Mustafa Pasha spoke out harshly against the wealthy Jews of the capital who conspired with the Janissaries, among them the çelebi bekhor carmona , the brothers Adjiman, and Gabbai. These supported the Janissaries in order to defend themselves and their property; nevertheless, they were sentenced to death in 1826. The reforms continued at a quicker pace in the time of Abdul Mejid (1839–61), who was concerned with the modernization of the judiciary and removal of the restrictions on Christians. Reforms were introduced in internal government, in the collection of taxes and in the granting of some equal rights to non-Muslims. The Jews received the same rights and liberties as the other non-Muslim inhabitants (Greeks, Armenians, Bulgarians, etc.) as a result of the Ottoman proclamation – known as haṭṭi-i sherif of the Gül-Khane (The Rose Law or The Rescript of the Rose Chamber) – of Nov. 3, 1839; according to it, the sultan instituted the Tanzimat (reforms): He vouched for the security of the lives, property, and regularization of taxation for the subjects of the empire without distinction of religion; religious and personal freedom, as well as equality of rights and military service for non-Muslim citizens, were also guaranteed. The ceremony which took place in the above-mentioned Rose Chamber was also attended by the ḥakham bashi R. Moses Fresco and the delegates of the Jewish community of Istanbul. These rights were again reconfirmed in 1843 by the grand vizier Riza and in 1846 by the grand vizier Reshid. Some time in the mid-19th century, and perhaps as early as 1835, a new political term, millit-I erba'a ("The Four Communities"), entered the Ottoman political lexicon. It came to denote the officially recognized four religious communities: Muslims, Jews, Armenians, and Greeks, and to suggest that the empire was at the same time also a pluralistic society in which the minorities' special status was officially recognized. The Gül-Khane Edict of 1839 was renewed in 1856 by the proclamation of the Haṭṭ-i Hümayun (imperial rescript), which was a charter of tolerance the sultan granted to all protected subjects and whose first lines were written by the sultan himself. A solemn ceremony was attended by ministers, patriarchs, and the ḥakham bashi of the Jews of Turkey, R. Jacob Bekhar David. It was stipulated in this legislation that there was to be no distinction between sects, races, and religions; liberties were granted to all; non-Muslims were to be admitted to the government, civil, and military schools; the security of life and property were guaranteed; equality before the law was instituted; every citizen was eligible for public or military office; and religious freedom, equal taxation, and jurisdiction and representation in the municipal councils were guaranteed. The Jews of Turkey received the same rights as the other minorities. As formerly, they secured positions in Ottoman society and participated in the cultural and economic life. They did not, however, regain their past importance, and their positions were of a secondary nature. Jews began to hold such government functions as administrative directors, judges, physicians of ministers, military doctors, officers, consuls, etc. Every Jew was authorized to wear the national hat (fez). Rabbis were authorized to add a scarf of blue silk to their headdress, and the turban of the rabbis was of the same color as that of the Muslim imam. In 1847 the sultan Abdul Mejid visited the military medical school. When he observed that there were no Jewish students, he decided that their entry should be encouraged and ordered the director of the school to install a kasher kitchen under the supervision of a Jewish cook and supervisor; he exempted Jewish students from studies on the Sabbath and authorized the organization of Jewish prayers on the premises. When the sultan visited Salonika, the children of the Jewish schools, led by the ḥakham bashi R. Asher Kovo, welcomed him; he contributed 25,000 piasters to the Jewish schools and 26,000 piasters to the poor of the community. In spite of the sultan's proclamations, which should have increased the rights of the empire's Jews, certain internal events in the Jewish community in the capital caused a delay in confirming the regulations for the jewish millet . This delay was caused by the following internal struggle within the Istanbul Jewish community. The Gabbai, Adjiman, and Carmona families, the most prominent in the capital, maintained close relations with the Janissaries and they, as bankers and farmers of taxes, maintained their high position in the Jewish community. As mentioned above, the massacre of the Janissaries in 1826 was accompanied by the execution of the major figures of these families and a consequent decline in their importance. In the 1830s abraham de camondo assumed the leadership, as he was from a family of noted scholars and wealthy businessmen. He was influential in court circles, and the confirmation of the first ḥakham bashi of Jerusalem in 1841 was in a large part due to his efforts. He also led the group which attempted to strengthen the community's economic position vis-à-vis the Armenians and the Greeks, who for many years past had held the upper hand due to their better general education, ready acceptance of European influence, and connections with the court. Aware, as a result of his business experience and travels, of the progress made in Europe, Camondo undertook the establishment and a large part of the financing of a modern school in the capital. In 1856 the Haṭṭ-i Hümayun further influenced these modernization trends and brought about the formation of a "committee of notables" comprised of wealthy and reform-minded persons under Camondo's leadership. The constitution of this committee in 1860, which included members of the Hamon, Adjiman, and Carmona families, was to some degree an irregular response to the appeal by the Haṭṭ-i Hümayun for non-Muslim communities to offer the sultan suggestions for their reorganization in accord with the times. Progressive and conservative circles in the community split over the matter, and the conflict was heightened after the modern school was established (French was taught there). An attempt was made to avoid elections to the ruling bodies by establishing a rabbinical grand court and a lay "committee of notables," which was attended by the ḥakham bashi, Jacob Avigdor. However, the rabbis Isaac Akrish and Solomon Kimhi led an anti-Camondo propaganda and claimed that the modern school encouraged children to become Christians. This sort of propaganda easily inflamed the common people. Camondo was subsequently excommunicated by Akrish and some scholars. The ḥakham bashi had Akrish imprisoned, but he was released on the order of the sultan Abdul-Aziz (1861–76) following demonstrations by those who wanted Jacob Avigdor to be dismissed. The grand vizier then convened a special rabbinical court on which the ḥakham bashi of Izmir and his colleagues from Edirne and Salonika sat. The court heard the opponents of ḥakham bashi Avigdor who wanted him removed and the notables who supported him. The court cleared Avigdor of all charges and threatened excommunication to those who repeated such charges, but Avigdor was unable to continue in his position and resigned the next year (1863); he continued to serve as rav ha-kolel for the next 11 years. Carmona and Camondo were also exonerated and their attackers were compelled to apologize. Camondo moved in 1866 to Europe and died in Paris in 1873, so new forces entered politics in the Jewish community of Istanbul. The new ḥakham bashi was Yakkir Gueron, who had held the same position in Edirne. He was ordered to draft regulations immediately for the community (niẓām-name), but they were only confirmed, after close scrutiny and some changes, in 1865. The "Organizational Regulations of the Rabbinate" (ḥakham-khane niẓām-namesi) were divided into five parts, as follows: (1) the status of the ḥakham bashi as head of Jewry in the empire; his qualifications and election (clauses 1–4); (2) his powers and replacement in the event of resignation or removal from office (clauses 5–15); (3) the "general committee" (mejlis umūmī), its election and powers. It consists of 80 members and is presided over by the permanent deputy of the ḥakham bashi. Sixty secular members are elected by the inhabitants of Istanbul according to city districts, and they in turn elect 20 rabbinical members. These 80 members elect the seven rabbis forming the spiritual committee (majlis rūḥānī) and the nine members of the secular committee (majlis jismānī). These elections require the approval of the Sublime Porte. At the election of the ḥakham bashi for the entire empire, the general committee is temporarily reinforced by 40 members from eight districts where they officiated as provincial ḥakham bashis: Edirne, Bursa, Izmir, Salonika, Baghdad, Cairo, Alexandria, and Jerusalem (clauses 16–19). It is to be noted that clause 16 fails to prescribe the committee's term of office; only in 1910 was it fixed at ten years; (4) the powers of the spiritual committee. The seven rabbis are to concern themselves with religious and other matters referred to them by the ḥakham bashi. The committee is not to prevent the publication of books or spread of science and art unless prejudicial to the government, the community, or religion. The committee is to supervise the activities of the city-district rabbis (marei deatra), who act under its instructions. The committee is headed by a president, who is also the head of the rabbinical court; he is to have two deputies (clauses 20–38); (5) the powers of the secular committee regarding management of communal affairs and carrying into effect government orders. It has to apportion communal taxes and supervise the property of orphans and endowments (clauses 39–48). No changes in the status of non-Muslim subjects of Muslim rulers took place until the middle of the 19th century. Restrictions and tax laws on changing the shape of existing synagogues or constructing new ones remained in effect (see Covenant of omar ). The authorities also closely regulated the ghiyār – distinctive apparel and footwear. Certain individuals, physicians in particular, were granted dispensations such as tax exemptions – by imperial firmans – and were allowed to ride horses and dress normally. Those who were employed by European powers covered by capitulation agreements also enjoyed privileges and were exempt from special clothes. In their legal status within the empire the Jews were not essentially on a different footing from Christians, except for the fact that veteran Jewish inhabitants could not find support from the European powers which saw as their duty to protect Christianity in Muslim countries. THE POLL TAX The jizya (also kharāj or jawālī) was generally collected from small income earners, the middle class, and the wealthy at a ratio of 1:2:4. Agents, interpreters, or other employees of European powers who worked at consulates or embassies were completely, or substantially, relieved from paying the poll tax, under capitulation agreements. The Ottoman reforms abolished the poll tax and ordinances in 1855 and in 1856 replaced it with a military service exemption tax for non-Muslims (bedel-i ʿaskeri). It was abolished in 1909, when non-Muslims were drafted into the army. No complaints were voiced about the existence of the poll tax, but there were numerous ones over the manner of its collection. In the Jewish communities many discussions were held between rich and poor Jews about the internal assessment of this tax and also about other taxes. RESTRICTIONS ON BUILDING NEW SYNAGOGUES, CLOTHES, HEADGEAR, AND SLAVES In spite of the fact that non-Muslims were limited in their use of buildings for religious worship to those constructed prior to the Arab conquest, they found ways to circumvent this restriction. Indeed, many hundreds of buildings for worship were constructed in cities founded under Islam, e.g., in kairouan , Baghdad, Cairo, and fez ; R. Obadiah of Bertinoro states in the last decade of the 15th century that a Jew was prohibited "from rebuilding his house and yard (in Jerusalem) without permission, even if they were falling down, and the permit was sometimes more costly than the rebuilding itself " (A. Yaari, Letters from Palestine, 130). This was the state of affairs in Jerusalem, which was then ruled by the Mamluks. The Ottoman sultan Mehmed II, at about the same time, allowed the use and repair of old synagogues, even though he prohibited the construction of new ones. About a generation or two later, Jacob ibn Ḥabib described the situation in Turkey as follows: "We are not permitted to obtain permanent quarters for a synagogue, let alone build one: we are compelled to hide underground, and our prayers must not be heard because of the danger" (quoted by Joseph Caro, Beit Yosef, Tur Oraḥ Ḥayyim, 154). These regulations were used by zealous officials and fanatical muftis and qadis to frustrate the Jews in their efforts to worship, for example in Jerusalem, but in spite of this, many synagogues were built during Ottoman rule due to both tolerance and greed on the part of the authorities. In 1554 a complaint was lodged with the sultan concerning the large number of synagogues in Safed; it reported that in the town there were only seven mosques, while Jews, who in olden times had had three synagogues (kanīsa), then had 32 synagogues, built very high. The sultan ordered an investigation of the matter (U. Heyd. Ottoman Documents on Palestine, 1552–1615 (1960), 169). As the results of the inquiry and the action taken are unknown, the matter may possibly have been taken care of by a bribe. This state of affairs continued there until the middle of the 19th century, and every major or minor repair demanded the appropriate bribe for the official who had to rule on the necessity of the action. The condition of synagogues in Jerusalem was poor, and in 1586 the old synagogue was closed by the governor; change only came during the rule of Muḥammad ʿAlī. His son Ibrāhīm Pasha allowed two important synagogues in the Old City of Jerusalem to be both enlarged and repaired. Since the situation of bribes continued to get worse, the Turkish authorities were unable to overlook such a cause of corruption, and in about 1841 a berāt of the ḥakham bashi was issued which stated that the reading of the Scroll of the Law (during services) in the house of the ḥakham and in other houses was in accord with Jewish religious practice; consequently it was allowed that veils be hung and candelabra be placed in houses where the services took place. Thus, synagogues and their property gained immunity and could not be confiscated or held in security for debts. Generally, Jews were careful in most other Muslim countries in building their places of worship so that they were not readily noticeable – and as they lived in special quarters – there were only a few mentions of trouble from the authorities. In addition, there was little likelihood that the feelings of Muslims would be hurt. Refugees in North Africa seem to have encountered little difficulty in building their synagogues. Nonetheless, D'Arvieux, who was the French consul in Algiers in 1674 and 1675, says that the Jews of that city had to pay large sums to the Ottoman authorities in order to construct additional places of worship. At times savage attacks were made upon synagogues by incited mobs of Muslims or troops. Various sources relate that Scrolls of the Law were desecrated, religious articles stolen, furniture burned and buildings destroyed. Nevertheless, these events were not connected with the regulations of the Covenant of Omar, as they were in fact violations of them. Middle Eastern Jewish quarters are frequently mentioned in the writings of European travelers from the 16th century on, laying stress on the conditions of overcrowding and poor sanitation, dirty narrow streets, and indifferent state of health of the inhabitants. Nevertheless, it should be realized that these sources were often not sufficiently objective in their presentation. Even though the special dress of non-Muslims in the East (ghiyār) is described in detail by European tourists, Jewish sources were more concerned to determine deviations from the regulations and whether they existed due to tolerance on the part of the authorities or to a lax enforcement of the law. Difference in dress was the most common and at the same time striking phenomenon. In Algiers the refugees from Spain after 1391 wore the capos or caperon, as distinguished from the veteran inhabitants who wore the cap (shāshiyya). As there were no Christians in the region at the time and the Muslims wore no European clothes, the capos was also a sign of the Jewishness of the wearer. The chief rabbi of Istanbul prohibited the wearing of the caperon, which was the cloak of the Sephardi ḥakhamim, in the late 15th century. D'Arvieux gave the following description of the clothing of the Jew, in Algiers: "the residents wore a bournous over a black shirt of light-weight fabric and covered their heads with a black woolen shāshiyya; those from other Muslim countries wore a turban of different shape, ending in a tassel descending upon the shoulders; all wore sandals without stockings. Livornese (from Leghorn) and Alexandrian Jews wore hats and clothes like the Italians or Spaniards, whose customs they even preserved" (L. D'Arvieux, Mémoires du… envoyé extraordinaire (Paris, 1735), vol. 5, 288). A number of orders (which are in the archives in Istanbul) were issued by the kadi of the capital between 1568 and 1837 to the official in charge (muḥtasib) of non-Muslims concerning the headgear and clothes of Jews and Christians; in one particular instance such an order, which was issued to the chief rabbi, is extant. In 1599 the sultan ordered the Jews to change the color of their headgear to red. In 1595 the sultan ordered the kadi of Istanbul not to hurt the Jews because of their dress and headwear. These particular orders stressed the headwear, that if it was replaced by the turban of the Turks, it was considered as evidence of a change of religion on the part of the wearer. Jews in the East generally had to wear dark apparel, and light or colored clothes were allowed only on the Sabbath and festivals, and then only within their own quarters. Particular stringency existed concerning the prohibition of the wearing of green (green headgear was a sign of descent from the Prophet muhammad ) and purple. Nevertheless, there is evidence that the above-mentioned Ottoman decrees were not strictly enforced, as 18th-century sources mention that many Istanbul Jews wore green turbans and the same kind of shoes as the Muslims. There seems to have been some doubt on the part of the Jews as to the halakhic permissibility of this kind of dress, and a discussion of the problem is preserved in rabbinic literature. The ghiyār continued to be mentioned in official Ottoman sources until almost the middle of the 19th century. In 1702 and in the 1750s the sultans renewed the orders about clothing, and forbade Jews to put green on shoes and wear red headgear with red strings. They were ordered to wear black shoes and black clothes. In 1837 a decree stated that Jews and Christians permitted to wear the tarbush had to use special marks on it so that it could be distinguishable from that of Muslims. The berāt which was issued to the first ḥakham bashi of Jerusalem in 1841 states that his official emissaries are held to be exempt from the ghiyār so that they might travel without being molested. In addition, they were allowed to carry arms to defend themselves from attack. In the 17th and 18th centuries the sultans issued orders which forbade the Jews to sell wine to Muslims, and threatened those who did not obey. The upper middle class Jewish households in Ottoman cities had slaves bought in the slaves markets, and in the 16th century there were immigrants from Portugal who brought their own slaves into the Ottoman Empire. Most of the slaves in Jewish homes were Christians from Europe and pagans from Africa. The Ottoman authorities tried to limit the number of slaves held by Christians and Jews. Jews did not stop buying slaves but paid a tax for the right to own slaves. Jews kept slaves until the 19th century. BLOOD LIBELS Until the damascus Affair of 1840 accusations of ritual murder were very rare in the Ottoman Empire. The majority of blood libels broke out as a result of the hostility of the Greek and Armenian populations toward the Jews. The first blood libel is mentioned in a firman (sultanic decree) issued in the time of Mehmed II. Orders were given that henceforth such cases should be brought before the imperial divan in Istanbul. During the reign of Suleiman I such an accusation was again made, between December 1553 and June 1554, and the firman to hear such cases in the divan only was renewed. The order was renewed by Selim II and Murad III. It seems that Suleiman's decree was obtained by the sultan's chief physician, Moses Hamon after a blood libel in the Anatolian cities of amasia and tokat . The firman removed the prosecution of such cases from the jurisdiction of the local kadis and assigned them to the sultan's jurists. In 1592 two firmans were issued which dealt with a ritual murder accusation in Bursa. The accused Jews were tortured, and Murad III ordered them to be exiled to Rhodes. It is not clear if they remained in Rhodes or were punished and sent to serve in the Ottoman naval galleys. In the beginning of the 17th century a blood libel broke out in Thebez (Thebatai) in Greece. The Jews had to pay to end the libel and asked the Jews of Chalkis to contribute money for that purpose. The ill-famed blood libel against damascus jewry (1840) was followed by another on the island of rhodes . In order to protect the Jews from slanderous accusations, moses montefiore , A. Crémieux , and the well-known Orientalist S. Munk traveled to Egypt to meet Muhammad Ali, who ruled Syria at that time. The blood libel was not quashed, but the Jewish prisoners were freed so that Muslim public opinion in Syria considered the accusations true. Montefiore went to meet the Sultan Abdul Aziz in Istanbul, and on October 28, 1840, after an audience with the sultan, obtained a firman which could be regarded as a bill of rights for the Jews. It mentions the deep emotions that the blood libels had stirred in Europe and recommends the issuing of a firman that would exonerate the Jews of all ritual murder accusations, and to translate the firman into European languages. All the recommendations of this document were indeed carried out. In 1844 a blood libel occurred in Egypt when the Jews of Cairo were accused of murdering a Christian. Only the firmness of Muhammad Ali prevented the outbreak of violence. Between 1840 and 1860 there occurred 13 blood libels in Damascus and Aleppo. In February 1856, three days after the Ottoman Reform Decree was made public, a blood libel reappeared in Istanbul in the Balat quarter. A mob consisting of Greeks, Armenians, and Turks started attacking Jews. French Jewish leaders who visited the city, including Alphonse de Rothschild, immediately alerted the Ottoman authorities, who put a stop to the disturbances. In 1864 and 1872 the Jews of Izmir were accused of kidnapping Christian children before Passover. There were similar conspiracies in Istanbul in 1868, 1870, and 1874. In 1872 there were blood libels in Edirne, Marmara, Ioannina, and La Canee. All these cases required the intervention of the ḥakham bashi R. Yakkir Gueron and ḥakham bashi R. Moses ha-Levi, as well as that of the Alliance Israélite Universelle . The Alliance in Istanbul or its headquarters in Paris called upon the Ottoman government to investigate this affair and punish the rioters. A blood libel also occurred in 1880 in the island of Mytilene. In 1884 there was a blood libel in a village located near the Dardanelles, where about 40 Jewish families lived. When a non-Jewish boy servant was sent to fetch something and failed to return, it was rumored that the Jews had murdered him. The Jews were fortunate that the boy reappeared once the riots broke out. In 1887 the municipality of Salonika accused the Jews of ritual murder. The representative of the government condemned the libel and mentioned the firman according to which the propagators of such rumors would be prosecuted. In Beirut, Jews were molested by Christian youths but the Ottoman authorities punished the assailants. Other blood libels occurred in Aleppo (1891), Damascus (1892), manissa (1893), Kavalla, and gallipoli (1894). There were also blood libels in Jimlitoh near Bursa (1899), in Monastir (Bitola) (1900), and in Izmir (1901). All these were based on the disappearance of a child who was subsequently found. In general, Ottoman government officials defended the Jews, and the Jews also received help from Jewish organizations such as the Alliance Israélite Universelle, European ambassadors and consuls, and even Protestant missionaries. Many blood libels occurred also in Egypt during the 19th century. In Cairo blood libels occurred in the years 1844, 1890, and 1901–2. In Alexandria an elderly Jew named Sasson was arrested in 1870. He was imprisoned for a month, during which period the press emphasized his Jewish identity in an attempt to have him accused of having sought to kidnap a child to strangle and to utilize his blood for the baking of the Passover matzoh. The fall of a Christian child (1880) from a balcony into the courtyard of a synagogue in Alexandria served as a pretext for the Greeks to accuse the Jews of ritual murder. The Greeks, with the assistance of Arabs who had joined them, attacked the Jews in spite of the fact that the doctors who had examined the child testified that he did not bear any wounds. In 1880 the Jews were accused of having raped a local girl. In 1881, again in Alexandria, it was rumored that they had employed the blood of a ten-year-old Greek child who had disappeared from his home. The Greek mob threatened to attack the Jewish quarter and burn it down. The British consul then called on the governor of Alexandria to intervene on behalf of the Jews. During the same year a nine-year-old child of Cretan origin disappeared there. The corpse of the child was retrieved from the sea and no wounds were found on it. In Mansura a blood libel occurred in 1877 and in Damanhur in 1871, 1873, 1877, and 1892. In Port Said a girl disappeared in 1882. She was found dead in the Arab quarter but rumors were immediately circulated that the Jews had assassinated her in order to use her blood for the preparation of matzoh. The Jews were the victims of many attacks and the French consul was influential in calming the passions. During the same year the Jews of Cairo were accused of having killed a girl. There were antisemitic accusations in the Arabic press, and newspapers of the Syrian Christians played a prominent role in this campaign of agitation; they claimed that the Jews lent money for interest and were thus usurers. The foreign consuls assisted the Jews by intervening with the Ottoman authorities. The libels in Egypt and throughout the empire were largely due to commercial rivalry between Greeks and Jews. Everywhere Greeks were the foremost agitators. The Jews were also hated by Christian Syrians, Christian Arabs, and Armenians both for religious reasons and competition. In Egypt there were also local circumstances: there was a period of extreme tension as a result of the deposing of the ruler of the country, Ismail, by the Ottoman sultan and the accession of his son Taufik. The inhabitants of Egypt were also embittered against foreigners. Many articles imbued with hatred and defamation of foreigners appeared in the local press; Jews became the scapegoats for the hostility of the masses. With the establishment of British rule in Egypt (July 1882) the Jews lived there in greater security. In spring 1862 a blood libel occurred in Benghazi. Four Jews, including British and French subjects, were accused by Christians that on their return from "Blessing the Trees" out of town during Passover, they had mockingly raised the image of Jesus covered with blood. Following mass agitation by the Christian and Muslim population, both the British and the French local consular agents collaborated against the Jews, although some of these were their own subjects. The intervention of the British consul in Tripoli put an end to this libel. The imprisoned Jews were released and the local consular agents were ordered to leave town. A blood libel broke out also in Ereẓ Israel during the lifetime of the rishon le-Ẓion, ḥakham bashi raphael meir panigel , in 1890, when two jews of gaza were brought to Jerusalem and accused of ritual murder. These men had employed an Arab lad as a servant. The lad went to play with another Arab who owned a camel and as he toyed with a rifle, a bullet was fired from it and the camel owner was killed. The next-of-kin seized the lad and slaughtered him. The Jews then informed the tribunal of the details of the murder but some Muslims accused the Jews of the murder. They were arrested by the police, imprisoned in Jerusalem, and after interrogation were set free as they were foreign subjects. In 1892, Ereẓ Israel was stirred up by the publication of a work entitled "The Sounding of the Horn of Liberty by the Innocent," which was circulated in Egypt in Arabic and French and propagated anti-Jewish hatred. This book described how a Jewish rabbi was about to slaughter a Christian child to take his blood, which was to be employed for kneading the Passover matzoh. The pamphlet was also widely circulated in Palestine and came into the hands of many government officers and officials in Jerusalem. The ḥakham bashi R. Elijah M. Panigel, accompanied by a delegation, intervened with the pasha; the pasha ordered the immediate destruction of the pamphlet and prohibited reading it and spreading such rumors, as it was claimed that a child had also disappeared in Jaffa and his blood was to be employed for religious requirements. A Catholic publicly proclaimed that a famous rabbi who had converted had confirmed that Jews indeed employed Christian blood for the Passover ceremonies. The pasha immediately sent out orders to every town that this report was to be suppressed so as to prevent the outbreak of riots and disorders. The sultan then ordered his minister of education to extirpate this evil, as he was shocked that in his empire, a land of peace and tranquility, there were conspirators who incited Greek citizens against Jews who enjoyed his protection and published slanderous pamphlets whose contents were unfounded. All the pamphlets that were subsequently found were burned. CONVERSION Jews converted to Islam and, to a much lesser extent, to Christianity throughout the duration of the Ottoman Empire. Beyazid II compelled Jews to adopt Islam, but we do not know the precise number of these converts. His son, Selim I, gave them permission to return to Judaism, an irregular decision in a Muslim state. It seems that during the Ottoman period not more than 5% of the Jewish population converted to Islam, and only a few Jews converted to the Greek Orthodox and Catholic faiths. Some Jewish men converted to Islam for economic reasons or to enhance their professional status, while some women converted mainly to resolve social and personal problems or to marry non-Jews. In the 19th century the American Mission, the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst Jews, and the Church of Scotland Mission were active in the larger Jewish communities of the Ottoman Empire, but only a few Jews converted. It seems that in the 19th century conversion to Islam and Christianity rose, apparently by about one percent. In that century, apart from one document that mentions fear of a mass conversion to Protestantism in the community of Izmir, around the year 1847, no other source indicates that there was any cause for concern. The converts came from all strata of society, but mainly from the lower classes. Some migrants were easy targets for conversion. Notwithstanding the increasing secularization of Jewish society in the second half of the 19th century, it would be fair to conclude that Jewish tradition and the traditional education most Jewish children received prevented the large-scale conversion of Jews. In the cases of forced conversion, the Ottoman policy was precise and further strengthened by the Tanzimat reforms. Local officials were ordered to prevent forced conversion, and forced converts were freed through government intervention. Economic Life The large Ottoman Empire, spread over three continents, with its maritime and land routes which connected it with many countries, provided extraordinary facilities for the activities of its Jewish inhabitants. All fields of economic activity, except the functions performed by members of the askeri class, were open to Jews. Jews could not be governors, military officials, and judges in the system of law and justice of the empire, but otherwise there was hardly any activity in which Jews did not participate. The sultans offered the old settlers, the refugees, and immigrants from Christian Europe all the facilities necessary to carry on commerce, foreign trade, industrial enterprises, and the development of firearms. Their knowledge of the foremost European languages – German, Italian, Spanish, and French – was an asset in commercial relations with Europe. Another important asset were the old established Jewish merchant firms in Muslim ports and capitals, like Alexandria, Cairo, Baghdad, Damascus, and Basra. This Ottoman economic policy explains the growth of Salonika, Safed, Izmir, Tunis, Algiers, and other cities as centers of Jewish trade and industry. The communities in these towns served in international commerce as new centers for the import of finished foreign goods and for the export of raw products and manufactures. Jewish merchants settled in Izmir only from the last quarter of the 16th century. The community particularly increased in the 17th century and the city became an entrepôt for international trade. Many anusim and Jews from Anatolia and Salonika settled in the city. The Levant trade carried on by the Jews of the Ottoman Empire by sea and land reached its height in the 16th century. Many Levantine Jews of Iberian origin settled in Italian cities, especially in Venice, and had the patronage of the Ottoman Empire. In 1534 the Pope gave those Jews trading rights in the town of Ancona, trying to attract the trade between Italy and the Ottoman Empire from Venice to his realm. At the end of the war between Venice and the Ottoman Empire in 1540, the Venetians officially recognized the presence of the Levantine merchants in Venice for the first time. The Jewish merchants also followed their trade with Ancona. In 1555 the new Pope, Paul IV, annulled the privileges of the Portuguese Jews in Ancona, and 24 of them were burnt after being tortured for months. Gracia Mendes and Joseph Nasi made efforts to put a Jewish ban on the city of Ancona, but Levantine Jews continued to trade there. Similar rights were granted to them in Florence, Ferrara, and Urbino in the middle of the 16th century. In this century the Ottoman Turks relied very heavily in commerce, diplomacy, and many fiscal matters on the Jews – the only community which possessed the necessary aptitudes and yet was not suspected of having treasonable sympathies for Christian powers. The commercial routes were under Jewish control, and ships loaded with goods belonging to Jews passed through the ports of the Mediterranean. The Jews used to insure their goods against piracy and shipwreck. A peculiarity of Jewish commerce was family partnership. Rich merchants with widespread commercial connections used to extend their business affairs by opening branches managed by their closest relatives, brothers, brothers-in-law, etc., in large ports and towns, even in foreign countries. A classic example is the firm of bacri and bus nach in Algiers, who were the grain suppliers of France during the French Revolution. Also widespread were the occupation of agents (fattors); they received a fixed commission for their activities as buyers of raw materials or sellers of manufactured products. These agents used bills of exchange, "polizza di cambio." Many Jews were employed in international trade as clerks, interpreters, accountants, dealers, and criers. The Jews of the Ottoman Empire developed trading techniques which enabled them to expand their activities both geographically and financially, and gave them an advantage over Muslim and Christian merchants. The existence of Jewish communities almost in every place gave the Jewish merchants possibilities to remain for long in Jewish communities afar and get help from them in difficult times. Many Ottoman Jews bought from the embassies berāts, i.e., certificates, originally intended to protect locally recruited interpreters and consular agents. Such practices were extended especially in Egypt. However, the majority of Jews in the empire were not rich. In fact, the majority of the employees in the textile industry were poor home workers. The suppliers of export goods and distributors of imported products (fancy goods and the like) were small traders and peddlers who set up trade relations on a barter principle with the farmers in villages or made payments in advance and received their products at low cost. In a few communities, such as Aleppo, Cairo and Alexandria there were Jews who leased or managed agricultural property in the town's vicinity while other Jews were directly involved in farming. There existed also in some remote provinces such as eastern Anatolia, northern Iraq, Yemen and North Africa Jewish peasants and peasant communities. In the Galilee region of Ereẓ Israel in the 16th century there existed peasant Jews in 12 villages, such as Peki'in, Kefar Kanna, and Kefar Yasif. Among the trades in which the Jews in Spain had engaged, weaving took first place. The refugees found excellent opportunities in the Ottoman Empire with its backward industry – and manufactured cloth, which previously had had to be brought from abroad. This explains the rapid growth of Salonika, the largest center of the Spanish refugees, and the even more astonishing rise of Safed, the largest and most developed town in Ereẓ Israel in the 16th century, with a concentration of the second-largest Jewish population in Asia. The development of both communities was based on the manufacture of textiles and ready-made garments, although the raw material – wool – had to be imported, sometimes from abroad, and the product – the cloth and the garments – exported. The wool used in Salonika was sometimes bought in Macedonia and in other districts of the Balkans. This kind of wool was also brought to Edirne, and then forwarded to ports in the Sea of Marmara. From there it was sent once a year in a special ship to Safed by way of sidon or tripoli (Syria). Other communities in the empire had their textile factories. The textile industry was mainly a domestic one. Spinning was done by women at home; weaving, in larger workshops. Dyeing had been a traditional Jewish occupation from the earliest times, and the art was more developed than in Europe. The wool industry of Salonika produced thousands of bolts of cloth for the Ottoman army, the palace, and export. The decline of this industry in Salonika and Safed impoverished the two communities from the last quarter of the 16th century. The Jews of Bursa played a prominent role in the city's international trade in silk and spices. A considerable number of Jews throughout the Middle East were engaged in the leather trade. They bought raw hides and exported them to Europe or finished them into leather, and Jewish tanners were famous for their products. The production of wine was a specifically Jewish occupation. As Muslims were the main consumers of alcoholic beverages, prohibited to them by the koran , dealing in that commodity was dangerous and was prosecuted by governmental authorities. Thus, very often in rabbinic literature there are references to ordinances promulgated by the Jewish authorities against the selling of wine to gentiles (Muslims). Another old Jewish occupation was dealing in precious stones, gold, silver, jewelry, and the making of jewels. It was a risky business, so jewelers were either very rich or very poor. The production and sale of refined gold was strictly controlled by the Ottoman authorities to prevent the flow of precious metals abroad. The farming of the money mints of Istanbul was often in Jewish hands in the 15th and 16th centuries. In some areas of the empire, e.g., the Barbary States, Yemen, and Iraq, the handicraft of making jewels was a Jewish monopoly until the 19th century and even later. Some branches of food industry that were connected with ritual precepts, e.g., the production of cheese, were in Jewish hands. In many parts of the empire money changing and the farming of government taxes, tolls, and monopolies (iltizām) were occupations in which Jews predominated from the 15th century. This was sometimes dangerous, as it aroused popular hostility. These occupations, sometimes connected with the functions of administrators of the treasury (ṣarrāf bashi ) of the governor of the province and his banker, developed into important banking enterprises which controlled the growing industry in Ottoman cities. The first modern banks were opened in the 19th century. The pasha's banker during the 16th and 17th centuries in Egypt was known by the title Ḉelebi. He often combined the office of ṣarrāf bashi and several other official positions in the financial administration. Some Ḉelebis were executed. Jews in many cities were active as sarrafs (money changers). They were expert in all Ottoman and European currencies, and often were accused of clipping the edges of the coins that passed through their hands or cheating on their weight. Jews lent money to gentiles, but this profession was not as common with Jews in the Ottoman cities as it was in the cities of Christian Europe, because of the possibility of borrowing money from Muslim vakfs at low interest. Foreign Jewish merchants and their representatives were protected against ill treatment by Ottoman government officials through the stipulations of the capitulations agreements which awarded them the same protection as their Christian compatriots. During the period of Western strength and Ottoman decline, the capitulations were transformed into a system of extraterritorial privilege and immunity. The populations of some towns in Ereẓ Israel–Jerusalem, Safed, Hebron, and Tiberias – were so poor that they had to rely on financial assistance (Ḥalukkah ) from other towns in the empire and foreign countries. The Jewish communities and congregations throughout the empire supported the poor, but the poorest members could not take part in the public life of their communities because they did not pay taxes. There were Jews in the Ottoman Empire, especially during the 16th century, who were compelled by the Ottoman authorities to buy flocks of sheep in Anatolia or the Balkans and bring them to Istanbul. Jews from Salonika and other cities had to undertake this activity, and there were Jews that went bankrupt from dealing with flocks. Jews in the empire worked at many crafts, such as tailors, carpenters, pharmacists, bakers, fishermen, mirror makers, glassmakers, printers, bookbinders, actors, dancers, musicians, and other crafts. Shops of Jews were situated either in Jewish neighborhoods or in markets among shops owned by Muslims and Christians. This situation existed in Istanbul, Aleppo, Izmir, Bursa, Jerusalem, and other cities. In Salonika, Jews worked also as porters and fishermen. In Istanbul Jewish fishermen also sold wines. Many Jews, especially in Egypt and Aleppo during the 16th and 17th centuries, were active in farming port customs and custom houses, while others were multazims. From the last decade of the 16th century the Ottoman government changed the tax system, and tax farming was transferred to Muslims. Jews were now gradually reduced to secondary positions, as agents or managers of tax farms. This situation continued in the 17th century onward in cities such as Aleppo and Izmir. In spite of their diminished role, Jews continued in the 18th century to occupy an important position in the Ottoman economy and administration. There were Jews who served as contractors and purveyors for the military. In Egypt the rebellious Mamluk ruler Ali Bey al-Kabīr (ruled 1760–73) imposed heavy fines on the Jewish merchants, which destroyed them financially. It is obvious that many changes occurred in the economic and social structure of Ottoman Jewry in the space of 500 years or more. The rivalry of the powerful Greek and Armenian communities in the capital and the decline of the whole empire and its gradual dismemberment into national states in the Balkans and protectorates in Africa influenced the economic position of the Jews. The weakened economic structure of the empire and the empty government treasury, which was sometimes close to bankruptcy – felt all the more because of the corrupt bureaucracy – imposed heavy burdens on the weak taxpayers. From the 17th century the economic decline of the empire and the involvement of European traders in the international trade in dominions of the Ottoman Empire and their commerce with Western Europe reduced the economic opportunities of the Ottoman Jews. The competition between Jewish and Christian merchants who were supported by European ambassadors and consuls caused many Jews to be forced out of positions as principals in large-scale trade to secondary occupations as agents, brokers, and interpreters. In spite of the Jewish economic decline, in the 18th century Jewish traders living in Ottoman cities continued to trade with Livorno, Holland, England, and Leipzig. Hundreds of Jewish brokers in important commercial cities like Istanbul, Izmir, Aleppo, and Salonika received incomes from British, French, and Dutch merchants. Friction between Jews and non-Jews increased in the 19th century, and one of its results was an increase in blood libels (see above). In spite of the decrease of Jews in the trade of the 19th century, they owned large trading houses and firms in Salonika, Istanbul, Izmir, Aleppo, Egypt, and elsewhere, e.g., in Salonika the firms of the francos Alatini, Modiano, Fernandez, and Mizrahi, which traded not only in Macedonia but all over the empire. Another factor which had a great influence on the economic life in the 18th and 19th centuries was the above-mentioned capitulations. The francos who lived particularly in the main cities of the empire became the local Jewish elite as a result of their privileges and political and economic rights. The reʿāya, the Ottoman nationals, were in a worse position in matters connected with daily life than the ḥimāya, the foreign citizens, or the local owners of berāts, as they were deprived of the protection of the European powers. At the end of the 18th century, the Ottomans tried to compete with the foreign consuls by selling berāts to the reʿāya, both Jews and Christians. These berāts conferred the privilege to trade with Europe, together with important legal, fiscal, and commercial privileges and tax exemptions. They enabled non-Muslim reʿāya to compete with foreign merchants. The Jews played no significant role in these transactions because of the general decline in their position. In the 19th century the positions of preeminence in international trade, with few exceptions, remained in the hands of the Greeks. These times also witnessed the general decay of Ottoman industry and its "Jewish" branches. A flood of cheap manufactured goods flowed into the Turkish market. The imported textiles competed successfully with local wool, cotton, and silk manufactures. In the beginning of the 20th century, the nationalism of the Young Turk movement, and later the rise of the Republic of turkey brought about socioeconomic developments which changed the entire economic structure of Ottoman-Turkish Jewry. -THE ORGANIZATION OF JEWISH COMMUNITIES IN THE EMPIRE Religious and Secular Administration (1453–1520) The first chief rabbi in Istanbul was moses capsali (1420–50) from the Romaniot population in Byzantium, and there are some traditions about him. According to the 17th century chronicler sambari (but no other source) Capsali sat in the sultan's divan at the side of the grand mufti and the patriarch. Sambari says that the sultan loved Capsali as his own soul, and describes Capsali as a very modest person. He notes that he was also responsible for collecting taxes from the Jews and delivering them to the sultan's treasury. Sambari's description contains many details that do not confirm what we know about the status of the Jews, especially in regard to the sultanic divan. According to the chronicler Elijah Capsali, who wrote his book Seder Eliyahu Zuta in 1523, was from Crete; Moses Capsali was the leading rabbi of the Istanbul community and dayyan of the Jewish community even before the Ottoman conquest. Mehmed II honored Capsali with royal garments, the privilege of riding a horse, and an escort of Ottoman dignitaries at home. Capsali became a welcome personage in the sultan's court. He went around the communities in Istanbul and collected charity to help the Spanish expellees. He had a sultanic decree which enabled him to confiscate property and have people arrested. He also acted against the young Jewish men who fraternized with the Janissaries. According to the mid-17th century chronicler David Conforte, all the other rabbis in Istanbul were subordinate to Capsali owing to the formal status the sultan had granted him. It seems that Capsali was officially appointed to the office of "the leader rabbi" of the Istanbul community by the Ottoman authorities. After the arrival of the Spanish expellees in the last decade of the 15th century the government abandoned the practice of appointing one religious-judicial leader for all the Jews in Istanbul, and in the last years of his rabbinate the fiscal power was transferred from Capsali to the kâhya and later to other functionaries. It is clear that Capsali found it difficult to impose his authority over the Spanish congregations in the capital because he forced them to follow Istanbul rules and traditions. He was involved in a few disputes with other rabbis. In the 1490s the leaders of some Romaniot congregations sought to ban anyone who taught anything, even Greek philosophy, to the karaites . Only after their decision on the ban did they call for Capsali to make it official. He refused and denied the ban, but the ban was forcibly declared later in Capsali's presence. Those who were jealous of him wrote slanderous letters to joseph colon in Italy and stirred up opposition to him. After Capsali's death, the rabbi Elijah Mizraḥi , a famous Romaniot scholar and the head of the most important academy in Istanbul in that period, and also an expert in ethical and natural sciences, became the leader rabbi of the Romaniots in Istanbul. He was asked by the majority of the congregations in the capital in 1518 to ban the kâhya She'altiel and later to annul the ban. Rabbi Mizracḥi was also active before the Ottoman authorities when irregular taxes were demanded from the Jews of Istanbul. It appears that he received a formal confirmation of his authority from the Ottoman authorities, but there is no proof that he presided over the Spanish congregations, even though he was admired by them. He helped them and wrote decisions for them. Capsali tried to impose his authority over the Sephardim, but Mizracḥi decided that they could not be forced to act against the ruling of their rabbis. After Mizracḥi's death in 1526, the Romaniots had their own rabbis. The Sephardi congregations in the capital did not have a single rabbinical authority over all of the Sephardi rabbis. Owing to the existence of various ethnic groups, the Jews in the empire did not have a ḥakham bashi until 1835, in contrast to the existence of a Greek patriarch and an Armenian patriarch who were appointed by the sultans and represented the Greek and the Armenian nations in the empire during the entire Ottoman period. It seems that the function of kâhya was not introduced until the final years of Capsali or after his death. The Ottoman rulers decided to rely on the kâhya and to deal with him in all financial and secular matters related to the Jews of Istanbul, including tax collection. This kâhya Shealtiel (Salto) was a Spanish Jew, and in 1518, after many complaints of bribery and illegal arbitrary taxes had been lodged against him by the Jews, the community banned him and his sons from holding the position of kâhya or performing any other function involving contact with the Ottoman authorities. He was returned to office on April 29, 1520, by the leaders of the congregations and R. Elijah Mizraḥi. After the death of She'altiel no successor replaced him. During the Ottoman period there existed in Istanbul and other communities other kâhyas dealing with taxes and other matters before the authorities. Communal Organization during the 16th–19th Centuries The great scholar R. Joseph Ibn Lev describes the divisions and differences between the congregations of the empire after the arrival of the Spanish and Portuguese refugees as follows: "Even in Salonika, where everyone speaks the native language, when the refugees came each language group founded its own congregation and no one switches from one congregation to the other. Each congregation supports the poor speaking its language, each is inscribed separately in the king's register, and each seems to be a town unto itself " (Responsa, II n. 72). All those coming from a town or a definite region founded a special congregation (kahal) for themselves, spoke their own language, and paid taxes separately in accordance with their registration in the governmental registers. In the 1560s R. Moses Almosnino described the Jewish community of Salonika as a "republic." Each congregation had a secular administration run by elected parnasim and treasurers, whose primary responsibilities were to supervise the collection of taxes and see to all internal political, administrative, and financial matters. Sometimes the lay leaders in some communities were also granted judicial authority. This executive council was composed of six to 12 members, elected for one to three years at the most. The elite of the congregations – the wealthy and the nobility – aided the lay leaders in the running of public affairs, and it was from this class that the lay leaders were elected. Generally the poor in the communities lacked representation. Every congregation had a religious administration consisting of the ḥakham (rabbi) of the the kahal (congregation) or kehillah (community), who served principally as the dayyan of his congregation. Sometimes he also headed it, like Rabbi joseph caro in Safed. Frequently he was called marbiẓ Torah, dayyan, or rosh ve-kaẓin; and he taught and performed various religious functions. In the Musta'rab communities, the head of the community was called dayyan. Sometimes the rabbi held all of these positions, sometimes they were divided up. Other officials were the treasurer (gizbar), gabbai of the synagogue, and tax assessors (ma'arikhim). Each congregation also had officials serving as readers and cattle slaughterers; they were paid salaries from the communal funds Each congregation had institutions such as a synagogue, talmud torah, yeshivah, and bet din, as well as charitable societies such as Bikur Kholim – visiting the sick, and extending help to the poor, a burial society (Hevrat Kbarim, Ḥesed shel Emet), ransom society (pidyon shevuyim), and others. If the members of the congregation were few, then two or three joined together to found educational institutions such as a talmud torah. The well-known Great Talmud Torah of Salonika was used jointly by the children of all the congregations in town. The congregations and the communities based their economic, cultural, and religious life upon haskamot and takkanot (ordinances, regulations) instituted by their rabbis, scholars, and communal leaders, together with appointed members, e.g., regulations not to transfer membership from one congregation to another; agreements relating to many fields of private and public life, such as the appointment of lay and spiritual leaders and their duties; an agreement that no one may be married without the presence of ten adult male Jews, one of whom shall be the ḥakham, and that should anyone marry in any other way the marriage is to be considered void. The best known of the agreed takkanot is that relating to the renting of houses: If anyone rented a house or shop from a gentile, then no other Jew could enter that house or shop as long as it was rented to the other Jew, and even if the Jew vacated the rented house or shop, no other Jew was allowed to enter it until the passage of three years from the day it was vacated. These are called Takkanot ha-Ḥazakah. There were different regulations about the inheritance of women. Individuals opposing the regulations were placed under a ban and excommunicated. Frequently in medium-sized and large communities the religious leaders met and decided on new regulations as results of new and burdensome realities. Sometimes these regulations dealt with the division of taxes among the congregations. There were many objections to these regulations, and the rabbis dealt with the question of how to enforce them, especially when wealthy persons objected. The Jewish courts of law, battei din, had the authority to deal with civil and religious matters, but many Jews also turned to the bet din in cases concerning money matters (dinei mamonot). The Jewish courts of the empire had to turn to the state authorities to enforce their decisions, for on occasion an offender did not follow their ruling. In the larger communities there also existed higher Jewish courts of law. Berurei Averot (Memunei Averot) committees existed in a few communities, such as Istanbul, Salonika, Sofia, Bursa, Magnesia, and Safed during the 16th and 17th centuries. Their members dealt independently with religious and moral offenders through the agency of the local bet din. In Izmir there was a berurei ha-kenasot council which dealt with such problems. In spite of the regulations of many communities forbidding Jews to turn to Muslim courts of law, it was acceptable among the Jews to appeal to these courts. Sometimes the communal leaders and the local dayyanim appealed to the Muslim courts of law to enforce their decisions. In the 17th and 18th centuries, in some of the large communities, such as Salonika, Izmir, and Edirne, the congregations chose a local chief rabbi, and sometimes the office of chief rabbinate was shared between two or even three rabbis. In Izmir from the 17th century until the middle of the 19th century there functioned a dayyan for dinei mamonot and a dayyan for Issur ve-Heter problems. DISPUTES BETWEEN CONGREGATIONS AND INSIDE THE COMMUNITIES (15TH–19TH CENTURIES) After the arrival of the expellees to the Ottoman Empire, friction and disputes arose between the congregations, especially between the Romaniots and Spanish and Portuguese refugees. The Spanish refugees regarded themselves as more learned, cultured, and of good descent and wanted to dominate the communities, while the Romaniots and their famous scholars regarded themselves as more important, since they were the permanent and earlier settlers and had admitted the former. An additional cause of friction was the differences in their customs, one of the many being the matter of sivlonot (presents sent by a man to his betrothed). In the Romaniot customs this is seen as indicating that kiddushin may have taken place; this is not so, however, according to the Sephardi custom (see betrothal ). On the death of Rabbi Elijah Mizrahi a conflict occurred between Sephardim and Romaniots about the Jewish custom of chanting elegies on the eve of the Hebrew new moon. The Sephardim has done this even when a new moon fell on a Saturday, and the Romaniots responded that mourning on Saturday was strictly forbidden. The Romaniots published in 1510 the Romaniot maḥzor and in 1557 a Pentateuch was published with translations into Spanish and Greek, in Hebrew characters. In the beginning of the 16th century the Romaniots and the Sephardim disputed the Ashkenzi and Romaniot custom of giving the rabbis ordination ("semikhah"). There was also a disagreement between the Romaniot and the Iberian Jews over the question of whether it was permitted to eat a ritually slaughtered animal in which there was a sirkha or adhesion of the lobes of the lung. During the 16th and 17th centuries many congregations fought against individuals or groups that joined other congregations, or established new ones, and regulations forbidding this act were issued by many congregations and communities. In Istanbul the policy of the congregations in the 16th century permitted the individuals to join other congregations, but not before tax payment time. In many Ottoman Jewish communities instability was a widespread phenomenon. Even the Romaniot community of Ioannina split into two in the second half of the 16th century, and each congregation established two different burial societies. There were many struggles between congregations in Greek and Turkish communities, such as Salonika, Izmir, Cairo, Arta, Ioannina, Patras, Navpaktos (Lepanto), Bursa, and Safed. There were conflicts between congregations over new, wealthy members. Many disputes resulted from the form of tax collection. In the majority of the communities in the 16th–19th centuries the Sephardim were dominant and dictated communal life. On the other hand, there were communities such as Arta and Ioannina where the Romaniots were dominant. Generally the Italian and Sicilian congregations cooperated with the Spanish ones, and in the middle of the 16th century the Spanish prayer book was accepted by a majority of the communities. The Musta'rab congregations in Ereẓ Israel, Syria, and Egypt were autonomous throughout the Ottoman period. During all the Ottoman period there was strife between the rich, middle class, and the poor in the communities and the congregations. Most of these were the result of the unwillingness of the poor and the middle-class members to pay taxes to the Ottoman authorities or to the Jewish community in the amount requested by the community leaders. Such disagreements increased during the 19th century and caused tension in communities such as Istanbul, Izmir, Salonika, Damascus, and others. These tensions often erupted into disputes and quarrels. For instance, in Izmir in 1840–42, 1847, and the 1860s the leadership of the community was in the hands of the rich, many of whom were francos. The poor hoped that the communal taxes would be reduced, but on the contrary, the indirect tax paid on the meat "gabela" was increased. The document "Shav'at 'Aniyim" ("Cry of the Poor"), written by the poor in 1847, and other documents tell the story of these disagreements, and show that all efforts of spiritual leaders, including the local ḥakham bashi, Ḥayyim Palagi, to improve the situation of the poor failed. These struggles led to the temporary removal of Rabbi Palagi and a turning of poor people to the missionaries. It was characteristic of the Ottoman authorities and most of the religious communal hierarchy to support the rich, and the oppression of the poor in the community continued for many years. Similar controversies broke out in Salonika in 1872 and in Istanbul during 1880–84. The Ottoman reforms influenced the internal life of the communities and especially diminished the authority of the traditional spiritual leaders. From the 1860s more rabbis joined the poor, and local leadership was transferred to the hands of modern leaders, most of whom did not have personal economic interests involved in leading the community. The flourishing of the Jewish press also influenced this process. THE ḤAKHAM BASHI The Armenian and Greek Orthodox communities (millets) in the capital had patriarchs – acknowledged and confirmed by the Ottoman authorities – who supervised all the congregations. Only the Jewish millet had no confirmed rabbis. A total of 347 years had passed since the death of the chief rabbi of Istanbul Moses Capsali. In January 1835 the sultan Mahmud II (1808–39) confirmed R. Abraham ha-Levi as ḥakham bashi in Istanbul, a gesture made at the request of the Jewish subjects of the sultan in Istanbul. They had no Christian European powers behind them and were jealous of the honor of official confirmation accorded by the government to the Greek and Armenian patriarchs. This was in fact a turning point in the policy of the Ottoman authorities, which hitherto had not interfered in the internal affairs of the Jewish community and for centuries past had given no official status to its representatives. It was also an Ottoman interest to promote the principle and image of a pluralistic Ottoman society, so that it became a matter of state interest to advance the position of the Jewish community and grant it greater prominence. The new position meant that the ḥakham bashi was now regarded as the civil and religious head of the Jewish community, as well as its official representative to the authorities. The original copies or authentic texts of the berāt hümayun (imperial confirmation of appointments; occurring from 1835 onward), which were also granted to chief rabbis in Edirne, Salonika, Izmir, Bursa, Jerusalem, and Damascus, show that the significance and consequences of this policy went beyond mere confirmation of appointments. It contained an official recognition of the Jewish millet. As mentioned above, Abraham ha-Levi became ḥakham bashi of Istanbul in 1836. He appeared at the sultan's court in official garb, accompanied by ten of the community notables and thousands of other Jews, swore loyalty to the sultan and the monarchy, and paid his tax. The sultan handed him the berāt of his appointment. This ḥakham bashi, however, was not suitable for office, and after one and a half years R. Samuel Ḥayyim was appointed in his stead. The latter was an erudite rabbi who headed a yeshivah in Balat (a suburb of Istanbul). At the end of a year of service, he was relieved of office by the government because he was an Austrian national. He remained, however, as a chief dayyan. Moses Prisco (1839–41) was elected in his place, being called "the old rabbi" because of his advanced age. Ḥakham bashis were also appointed in the provinces of the empire: in Ereẓ Israel, Cairo, Alexandria, Baghdad, Yemen, Libya, Sarajevo, and elsewhere. In fact, the rav ha-kolel continued to be regarded by the Jews of Istanbul as their religious and spiritual leader, while the office of the ḥakham bashi was seen as an external imposition and as far as the community was concerned it was only ceremonial and representative. In time, this office gained great prestige and importance and came to be held by renowned scholars, such as Jacob Avigdor (1860–63) and Yakir Geron (1863–72) in Istanbul and by 1864, the office of ḥakham bashi appears to have completely supplanted in Istanbul the older office of rav ha-kolel. In other cities the office of ḥakham bashi was held by famous decisors, such as Ḥayyim Palagi from Izmir. Between the years 1863 and 1908/9 the title of the chief rabbi was kaymakam ḥakham bashi, and from 1909 the last ḥakham bashi in the Ottoman Empire, Ḥayyim Nahoum, again held the title ḥakham bashi. -CULTURAL LIFE The Spiritual Revival in the 16th Century With the growing influx of refugees and immigrants, the Ottoman Empire became a center of Torah study. The yeshivot of Salonika, Istanbul, Safed, and Jerusalem took the places of the splendid and well-known yeshivot of Castilia. Istanbul, called by scholars "a large city of scholars and scribes," maintained Torah institutions and magnificent yeshivot, such as the yeshivah of Elijah Mizraḥi, where both sacred and secular studies were pursued; the yeshivah of Joseph Ibn Lev, in which great talmudic scholars studied and which was supported financially by Doña Gracia Mendes; the yeshivah of Elijah ha-Levi, the pupil of Elijah Mizraḥi, who headed his teacher's yeshivah; and in the beginning of the 17th century the yeshivot headed by Rabbi Joseph Mitrani (of Trani; "Maharit"), supported by the wealthy philanthropist Abraham ibn Yaish and his sons and by the wealthy Jacob Ancawa (Elnekave). Pupils of Joseph Trani served as rabbis in towns of the empire. Yeshivot also existed in Izmir, Bursa, Angora, Nikopol, Tirya, and those in Adrianople after the expulsion from Spain included the magnificent yeshivah of Joseph Fasi. Salonika became a center of Jewish learning. The poet samuel usque called it "a metropolis of Israel, city of righteousness, loyal town, mother of the Jewish nation like Jerusalem in its time." Talmud torahs and yeshivot flourished there whose names were famous throughout the Jewish world and brought scholars together from all parts of the empire, such as the yeshivah of Jacob ibn Ḥabib and his son Levi b. Ḥabib and those of Joseph Taitaẓak, Samuel de Medina, Joseph Ibn Lev (before he went to Istanbul), isaac adarbi , and others. Similarly well known was the Great Talmud Torah of Salonika, which contained many hundreds of pupils whom it also clothed and fed. The heads of the aforementioned yeshivot and their scholars left a ramified responsa literature which served as a foundation for the studies of posekim and dayyanim, as well as an important, and sometimes the sole, source for the history of their times. With the expulsion from Spain, and even before it, Safed became a great center for immigration of Spanish refugees. The town grew and its economic development brought spiritual growth in its wake. Safed attracted scholars from many countries. It developed into a great center of Torah, Kabbalah, ethics (musar), and piyyut, becoming an important spiritual center in Ereẓ Israel, as well as for the Diaspora. Important and well-known Yeshivot were founded there, among them the Yeshivah of Jacob Berab; Berab taught a generation of outstanding pupils, among whom were four ordained pupils (see semikhah ) who also headed well-known yeshivot: Joseph Caro, the author of the Shulḥan Arukh, Moses Mitrani ( of Trani; "Mabit"), abraham shalom , and Israel di curiel . Other famous yeshivot were headed by Moses Galante, Elisha Galiko, Yom Tov Zahalon, Samuel de Uzeda, and Solomon Sages. Not only local students but also scholars who came from other regions of the empire studied in their yeshivot. The yeshivot obtained their economic support from the wealthy and from charities in all parts of the empire. (For further information see safed .) In Jerusalem there existed before the Ottoman conquest two yeshivot founded by the nagid Isaac ha-Cohen Sulal and, after the expulsion, in 1521 one yeshivah was headed by R. David Ibn Shushan who was helped by the kabbalist Abraham ben Eliezer ha-Levi, and the other yeshivah by R. Israel Ashkenazi. Other yeshivot in Jerusalem during the 16th century were headed by R. Levi Ibn Habib, R. Joseph Korkos, and R. Bezalel Ashkenazi. The Sephardi yeshivot taught according to the learning system of "iyyun" which was developed in Spain's yeshivot. Aside from these, yeshivot and places of study in which esoteric lore, kabbalah , and the Zohar were the main subjects of study were established in Safed during this period. The students prostrated themselves at the graves of the pious in the fields of Safed and its vicinity. Among its outstanding scholars were Solomon ha-Levi Alkabeẓ, moses cordovero , the heads of the pre-Lurianic Kabbalah and the well-known Isaac Luria Ashkenazi (Ha-Ari), the founder of the Lurianic Kabbalah and teacher of many disciples, among them Ḥayyim Vital . There were also kabbalists and heads of yeshivot in Safed from North Africa, such as Joseph Magrabi (ha-Ma'aravi), Joseph b. Tabul, Masyud Azulai, Solomon ha-Ma'aravi (Abunaha), and others. The yeshivah of Moses ibn Machir was located at ein zeitim , near Safed. Jerusalem's development after the Ottoman conquest in 1516 was slow compared to that of Safed. The economic situation was unstable, but the heads of the yeshivot and the rabbis of the town strove to prevent the town from being deserted. After the conquest, the spiritual hegemony passed from the Mustaʿrabs to the Sephardim. Doña Gracia Mendes founded a yeshivah of scholars in Tiberias, most of whom came from Safed. They were maintained by her appropriations and were thus able to devote all their time to Torah study. In addition to her contributions, there was a society in Istanbul for the benefit of the yeshivah. At the end of the 16th century, when Tiberias was abandoned, this yeshivah was also closed. A major development in the standing of the yeshivot and the study of Torah occurred in Egypt. The Spanish refugees who settled there developed the Torah institutions which had long served the dwellers in Egypt itself, now attracting to them pupils from other places. Among the well-known yeshivot were those of David ibn Abi Zimra (Radbaz), Isaac Berab, Bezalel Ashkenazi, Jacob Castro, and Abraham Monzon. In the 16th and 17th centuries numerous and renowned sages concentrated in the Ottoman Jewish communities. The broad intellectual class in the 16th century, as described in many sources, was an alert and lively one, and its needs dictated to the rabbis the style, form, and frequently the content of their literary work. This activity produced dozens of halakhic books, especially responsa literature, and primarily works of an exegetic and homiletic nature. Prominent sages such as the rabbis Meir Arama (d. c. 1545), Joseph Taitaẓak, Solomon le-Bet ha-Levi, Moses Almosnino, and many others prepared numerous anthologies and collections of commentaries. While the literature of the 16th century had a propensity for dealing with philosophical issues, by the end of the century and during the 17th a more central role was claimed by talmudic midrash and legend and their interpretation. The leading codifier of Jewish law was Rabbi Joseph Caro (1488–1575), whose magnum opus, Beit Yosef, a codification of all Jewish law, organized as a commentary on the Arba'ah Turim, was published in 1535 and the digest of this work, the Shulhḥan Arukh, was printed for the first time in Venice in 1564–65. The scholars in the 16th century outside Ereẓ Israel devoted themselves mainly to philosophy and the sciences. Kabbalah was limited to a small group in communities such as those of Istanbul, Salonika, Edirne, Bursa, and others. This trend changed in the 17th and 18th centuries as a result of the popularization of the Zohar in the Jewish communities and the profound influence of the kabbalists and kabbalistic minhagim among the communities of the empire. Between 1750 and 1900 intellectual life existed primarily in the great communities of the empire. In a majority of the small communities only low-ranking rabbis, "kelei kodesh," served as ritual slaughterers and cantors, and frequently also as teachers (melamdim). In this period 275 scholars in Greece, Turkey, and the Balkans wrote 450 books, the majority in Izmir, Istanbul, and Salonika, and others in Edirne, Rhodes, Bursa, and other communities in Greece, Turkey, and the Balkans. Dozens of books were also written in Egypt, Ereẓ Israel, and Syria. During this period the number of the yeshivot were rapidly reduced and most were in the homes of well-to-do Jews. Most of those yeshivot were small and their students devoted themselves only to Torah learning, and did not learn philosophy and the sciences. Heterodox Spiritual Trends among Ottoman Jewry The study of the Lurianic Kabbalah spread during the first half of the 17th century throughout the Ottoman Empire, and among its heterodox outgrowths was the shabbatean movement. The persecutions and pogroms in the ukraine and poland , on the one hand, and a decline in the study of halakhah accompanied by the spread of the study of esoteric lore and Kabbalah, on the other, led to the rise of messianic hopes, which were given a strong stimulus with the appearance of Shabbetai Ẓevi . At the time it was believed that the advent of the messiah and the coming of the redemption would take place in 1666. After his meeting with nathan of gaza in 1665, on his way back to Jerusalem after fulfilling the office of a Jerusalem emissary, Shabbetai Ẓevi proclaimed himself the messiah who would redeem his people on 5 Sivan 5426 (June 18, 1666) and announced his intention to depose the sultan. He traveled from Jerusalem to other communities such as Aleppo and Izmir, and on December 30, 1665, sailed to Istanbul, taking special advantage of the fact that the royal court had then been transferred to Edirne. Nathan became Shabbetai Ẓevi's foremost pupil and adherent and aroused messianic expectations in Jewish communities throughout Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Many Jews made preparations to dispose of their property, rent ships, and travel to the Holy Land. Shabbetai Ẓevi himself was excommunicated in Jerusalem in 1665. In Izmir he appeared with his secretary, samuel primo , and was supported by the majority of the community leaders and Jewish residents. His appearance in Istanbul and his royal behavior aroused the anger of the sultan. Shabbetai Zevi was brought before the council (divan) of the Grand Vizier Ahmed Köprülü, who decided to imprison him in Gallipoli, in a comfortable prison, including visitors. In September 1666, Shabbetai was transferred to Edirne, where he was brought again before the divan and, in order to save his life, converted to Islam with a group of his followers who imitated him. The descendants of those apostates numbered hundreds of families and formed a separate sect, called doenmeh (Turk. "apostate"). Members of the sect lived in Edirne, Istanbul, Salonika, and Izmir. They continued to believe in Shabbetai Ẓevi as the messiah. The appearance of Shabbetai Ẓevi and his companions humiliated the Jews of the empire, whose status had in any case declined in comparison with that of previous times. The movement gave rise to apostasy, disappointment, and despair, undermining the important economic positions held by the Jews. The remaining Shabbateans did not cease their activities. The Shabbatean emissary Abraham Miguel cardozo went to Istanbul in order to influence its rabbis to adhere to Shabbateanism. In Izmir, nehemiah hayon and his friends were excommunicated. jacob frank , a pseudo-messiah, a late adherent of the Shabbatean movement and founder of the Frankist movement, traveled from Poland to Volhynia and then to Turkey, where he lived in Izmir and Salonika, becoming friendly with the Doenmeh. Not finding Salonika favorable, he returned, however, to Poland. The Shabbateans and their adherents also penetrated into Egypt, Persia, Iraq, kurdistan , and North Africa. Various customs were introduced in these places under the influence of this movement, and they added to the prayers in Kurdistan the following words: "As instituted by our messiah, exalted be his majesty." The Shabbetai Ẓevi affair affected the status of rabbinic authority, and both rabbis and lay leaders were impelled to strengthen and consolidate the community's central institutions. Social and Family Life The Jewish males carried out extensive religious and social activities in the synagogues. Many well-to-do and middle-class Jews were active in the charity institutions of the community. The Jews spent most of their social life among their Jewish friends, participating in wedding, bar-mitzvah ceremonies, funerals, and memorial gatherings. It was not common to have social relationships with Muslims and Christians; such relations were generally limited to business contacts. Family life in the communities were influenced by the realities of Ottoman urban life, especially crowded living conditions, poor public sanitation, endemic diseases, and traditional Jewish family norms. In the 16th century the breakup of the Spanish Jewish family, stemming from the expulsion, had a traumatic influence on family life. The main goal of family life among all Jewish groups was to rebuild strong families and to produce many live children and descendants. Every group like the Romaniots, Ashkenazim, Sephardim, and Musta'rabim had special family manners and customs, but the normal behavior of all groups followed the halakhah in all Jewish communities. The families were patriarchal at all levels of society. In spite of the fact that some women did earn a livelihood from various professions and crafts, interest-bearing loans or real estate, the majority stayed at home. Even those women who were economically active had the outlook of women in general and found their personal satisfaction in the sphere of the home. At the same time women were cognizant of their ability to protect their rights and to limit any infringement of them. The accepted woman's destiny, which was endorsed by male society, was to find total fulfillment in home and family life. In no community until the 19th century was higher education a part of a woman's life. She freed her husband to go about his business, principally to earn a livelihood. Most women invested their personal funds with close relatives, usually a husband, son, or brother. They seldom left their houses, and when they did, veiled faces and garments covering them from head to toe was the order of the day. Women from all Jewish groups were raised to expect arranged marriage at an early age, generally when 13–16 years old. Even divorcees and widows, especially young ones, hoped to remarry and invested much effort to achieve this. The men also married very young, at around 16–18. There were also cases of child marriage among girls, especially orphans. Polygamy was usual among the Musta'rabim; this phenomenon existed to a small extent in Spanish and Italian society as well. In spite of the legal agreement that the Sephardi husband not take a second wife during the life of his first, the Jewish courts frequently permitted the man to do so, particularly in cases where the couple was childless after 10 years of marriage. In the majority of these cases the Sephardi woman preferred divorce. There were also cases of polygamy among the Romaniots. The Musta'rabic woman was also less afraid of yibbum, whereas her Sephardi counterpart generally preferred ḥaliẓah. It was a common phenomenon in communities for a woman to marry her sister's widower. In neither community did divorce carry a stigma; many women demanded divorce on their own initiative. A woman depended on her family to protect her rights at marriage, and most women knew how to guard their rights and possessions. The families took charge of the young couples, and usually the new couple lived in the first years after marriage with the husband's family. The Jewish courts of law dealt with many cases of abandoned women (agunot). Generally the agunah was lacking all basic necessities, and the Jewish courts of law made efforts to release the woman from this miserable status, in order to enable her to remarry. The ketubbah of every woman had a few special clauses depending on ethnic origin, such as forbidding polygamy in the Spanish ketubbah, inheritance regulations, such as the Toledo ones in the Spanish ketubbah, the inheritance regulations in the Romaniot ketubbah and the regulations in Ashkenazi marriage contracts. The Musta'rabim also wrote their own inheritance regulations. Jewish society coped with many problems of parenthood and child bearing, because of the prevalence of divorce, widowhood, and the phenomenon of men and women marrying a second or third time. Generally an average-sized Jewish family numbered three children. There was a high rate of miscarriages and stillborn babies. Marriages of cousins were very common. The first marriage was arranged by the family, and most men after divorce or widowhood found new mates. Women also chose to marry again. Sometimes Jews turned in family matters to the Muslim courts of law, especially in order to force divorce, or in matters of inheritance. Jewish boys and girls were usually given traditional and the more common names of heads of households that were found among the Jews of Sephardi and Portuguese origin. Other names were of Romaniot, Italian, Arabic, and Turkish origin. The process of the Europeanization among the Ottoman Jews during the second half of the 19th century had a direct effect on the secularization of Jewish society, so that many French and other European names entered the local nomenclature. Nevertheless, most of the Jewish babies were still given traditional names. Most of the men's names were Hebrew, and approximately 30 percent of the women's names were Hebrew. Jewish society insisted on high standards of personal and public morals and kept the traditional halakhah and minhagim. A majority of the communities' members behaved according to these obligations. Even so, there were cases of moral transgression, and the communal regulations point out cases of Jews who loved music, festivities, luxury, gambling, and an extravagant life. There were cases of men and women who had intimate relations with Christians and Muslims. The Jews in the cities of the empire had a tendency of their own choice to group together in Jewish quarters, but there were also Jews who dwelt with non-Jews. Generally, Jewish quarters were very crowded. The majority of houses were built of wood and brick, and every century there broke out fires in which hundreds of Jewish houses and their possessions were burned. The well-to-do Jews lived in large houses in the Jewish quarter, and sometimes built palaces among those of the Muslims and Christians, but a majority of the Jewish residents lived in densely populated residential areas. Many buildings had three floors or more. Most houses had an open courtyard in the center and a cellar for storing wine, cheese, wheat, and other foodstuffs. Very poor families lived in only one room. Ladino Literature Some books in Judeo-Spanish (or Ladino) written in Hebrew script were published in the cities of the empire soon after the arrival of the expellees. One of the books was the translation of the Pentateuch in Istanbul in 1547 at the press of Eliezer Gershon Soncino. Other famous Ladino works published in Istanbul were an account of the city of Istanbul by Rabbi Moses Almosnino, Regimiento de la Vida, which was published in 1564. In spite of the scarcity of such works during the 16th and 17th centuries, a revival of Ladino literature occurred in the 18th century, although a serious decline occurred in the cultural condition of the Jews in the empire. The situation had so deteriorated that a majority could not read the sacred literature. As a consequence books began to be published in the Spanish vernacular spoken by the Jews who came from Spain, the ladino . For a long period it was the only language spoken by them, because they never mastered Turkish. Religious literature was printed in Hebrew, however, and the presses in Salonika, Istanbul, and Izmir were renowned for the Hebrew books they published. The spiritual leaders waged a fierce struggle for the preservation of Judaism. This effort was expressed in the popular anthology Me-'Am Lo'ez ("From a Foreign Nation") by R. jacob b. meir culi (1689–1732), the most eminent Ladino author. Original books on ethics in Ladino, or translations of books from Hebrew to Ladino, became a favorite genre during the 18th and 19th centuries. Published works in Ladino deal with mahzorim, siddurim, kinot, kabbalistic works, midrashim, ethical works, biblical commentaries written by Sephardi commentators, and a poem for Purim. Among the published works were Abraham de Toledo's popular Judeo-Spanish poem "La Coplas de Joseph ha-Ẓaddik" (1732), which had some 400 quatrains with its own peculiar melody; "Meshivat Nefesh" (1743) – a translation and commentary by Shabbetai Vitas of the poems of solomon ibn gabirol , and numerous works and translations of historical, scientific, and religious studies, including Sulkhan Arukh, and the compositions of the great poet Rabbi Moshe Faro (d. 1776) Suzikar Peshrevi and Shadarban. During various periods between the middle of the 18th century and the end of the 19th century, pamphlets of folk songs, poems on historical subjects connected with Jewish festivals and on secular subjects, works on Jewish and general history, as well as Shevilei Olam ("Paths of the World"), a compilation of wisdom and knowledge, were published. History textbooks were translated from Hebrew into Ladino, the translators preserving the original Hebrew titles. Novels and stories, such as Ahavat Ẓiyyon by mapu , and works by M. Mendelssohn and others were also translated from Hebrew. The education of the Jewish population in the Balkan countries and in the Turkish-speaking provinces of the empire (Anatolia) was rooted in newspapers, literary periodicals, and original and translated works published in Ladino. According to the bibliography of Moses Gaon and Avner Levi, over 300 newspapers and magazines were published in that language during a period of 100 years. The publishing of literature and periodicals in Ladino was mainly concentrated in Salonika, Istanbul, and Izmir, the last of which was the cradle of Ladino literature. The first attempts to publish Ladino newspapers in Izmir were made during the middle of the 18th century, but these were short-lived. The first weekly to be published in Izmir in 1842 was called La Buena Esperanza, edited by Raphael Uziel, but it ceased to appear after a few issues. In 1846 a second attempt was made by the same editor; this time his publication lasted half a year. In 1874 a new weekly under the same title began to appear and its publication continued for 40 years. Its editor was Aaron Joseph Hazzan. In 1889 a newspaper named La Nouvelliste, which remained in existence 30 years, was founded. Another weekly, El-Messeret, which exhibited a Turkish nationalistic tendency, began to appear in 1897 in Ladino and Turkish. The continuation of Me-'Am Lo'ez by Isaac Magriso (from the end of Exodus) and a translation of Esther appeared in Izmir (1864). In Istanbul from the 19th century most books, pamphlets, and literary magazines were published in Ladino. The most important publisher was Benjamin Raphael b. Joseph, who between 1889 and 1928 produced at least 30 books. Among the many periodicals that appeared in Istanbul the oldest were Journal Israélite (1841–60), by Ezekiel Gabbai; La Luz de Israel ("The Light of Israel"), by Leon Ḥayyim Castro, published from 1853; El Tiempo, whose first editor (1871) was isaac r. camondo and last (from 1889), david fresco , the greatest of the Ladino writers. The Al-Sharkiyah ("The Eastern") appeared from 1869 in four languages: Ladino, Turkish, Greek, and Bulgarian (all in Rashi script). The following newspapers and weeklies should also be mentioned: El Nacional (1871), El-Telegrafo (1872), and El Amigo de la Familia (1881). The pioneer of the Ladino press in Salonika was Judah Nehamah (1826–1899), who published in 1865 the first scientific monthly in Ladino, El Lunar ("The Month"). It contained articles on history, philosophy, astronomy, law, commerce, and art. It published biographies of Jewish personalities and a translation of a history of the universe (as a serial). La Epoca (from 1875) was a periodical devoted to political, commercial, and literary subjects. In 1910 it became a daily and the elite of the Jewish authors in Salonika contributed to it. The newspapers Selanik appeared (1869) as an official organ of the Ottoman government in four languages (but in Hebrew characters): Turkish, Greek, Bulgarian, and Ladino. It was issued by the order of Midhat Pasha, called the father of the Revolution of the Young Turks. He was appointed governor of Salonika in 1873. Among the periodicals which appeared in other towns, one that is important as a source for Jewish history is the Yosef Da'at ("The Progress") edited by Abraham Danon in Edirne (1888). Many other periodicals and newsletters in Ladino, Greek, Turkish, French, and Italian, which began to appear at the end of the 19th century and later, belong to contemporary history. In 1899 Avram Leyon and Avram Ibrahim Naon edited in Istanbul a new journal, Ceride-i Lisan, in Turkish with the purpose of making Turkish a living language among the Jews; however it met with only limited success. In Sofia, El Amigo del Puevlo was published in Ladino from 1890 to 1899. Baruch Mitrani published the monthly Hebrew-Ladino Be-Mishol ha-Keramim in the 1890s. La Boz de Israel was put out in Bulgarian and Ladino by Yehoshua Kalev after 1896. El Progreso appeared twice weekly, starting in 1897. La Verdad was published by Abraham Tajir from 1898 to 1910. Ladino journals were published also in Jerusalem and Egypt. -POWERFUL JEWS, PHYSICIANS, COUNSELORS, LORDS, AND MEDIATORS IN THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE Jewish physicians and state councilors were active in the sultan's court throughout the Ottoman period, especially in the 15th and 16th centuries. Among the important ones was Jacob Pasha (Hekim Yakub, the physician to the sultan Murad II and his son Mehmed II). He was granted tax exemptions for himself and his descendants in perpetuity. Jacob converted to Islam at an advanced age and was appointed vizier before his death in the early 1480s. At the same time (c. 1481) the Portuguese physicians Ephraim ben Nissim Ibn Sanchi and his son Abraham also served at the court. During the 16th century the most significant physicians at the court were the members of the hamon family, Joseph and his son Moses of Granada (who served the sultans Beyazid II, selim i , and suleiman i , the Magnificent) and the grandson and great grandson, Joseph and Isaac Hamon. joseph hamon accompanied Selim I in 1516 to Egypt and Ereẓ Israel during his conquests. moshe hamon brought benefits to Jews in the empire such as his activity to prevent blood libels (see above). There were also prominent Jewish businessmen and bankers who held focal positions in the financial centers of the empire – the treasury and lease of taxes. During the reign of Suleiman I, Don Joseph Nasi was influential at court. Nasi was a principal spokesman in foreign affairs and exerted himself on behalf of Jews. He was involved in the efforts to free the anusim imprisoned in ancona , the Papal state, and to organize a Jewish economic ban on the city. Selim II made him ruler of the island of Naxos and of the other Cyclade islands, and elevated him to the rank of duke. Nasi built a luxurious palace for his family at Belvedere, on the shores of the Bosporus. He helped the poor and supported the Portuguese anusim who settled at the time in the Ottoman Empire. He also assisted his mother-in-law, Gracia Mendes, in her philanthropic activities. Don Solomon ibn Yaish, a Crypto-Jew who reached Turkey in 1585, was also close to the sultanate and received the rank of duke of the isle of Mytilene. He helped the poor of Safed and Turkey, and assisted the jabez family, printers in Istanbul. R. Moses Almosnino enumerates a list of court Jews in Istanbul who helped him obtain the Writ of Freedem (mu'afname) from the sultan for the Jewish community of Salonika: Joseph Nasi, Judah Di Sigura, Abraham Salma, Meir Ibn Sanji, and Joseph Hamon. Other royal physicians at Suleiman's court included Don Gedaliah Ibn Yaḥya , Abraham ha-Levi Migas and Moses Bataril. Generally, these court Jews were very wealthy and tried to help their brethren in Istanbul and in other Ottoman Jewish communities by using their political connections. From 1564 Solomon Ashkenazi served as the personal physician of the sultan and was sent by Sultan Selim II to arrange the peace treaty between the Ottoman Empire and Venice in 1573; thanks to his activity, the order of Venice to expel its Jewish residents was rescinded. The female physician Boula Eksati, wife of the solomon ashkenazi , was an expert in pox diseases and healed Sultan Ahmed I (1603–17). Solomon Ashkenazi was the close adviser of the vizier Mehmed Sokolli during the reign of Selim II, and maintained his position during the reign of the sultan Murad III. Three known Jewish women holding the title kiera (kira) achieved great influence at the courts of the sultans in the 16th century: Strongila (Fatima), esther handal , and esperanza malchi . Another active Jewish diplomat at the court was Don Solomon Ibn Ya'ish, who had previously been called Alvaro Mendes (1520–1603). He settled in Istanbul in 1580 and served the sultans Murad III (1574–95) and Mehmed III (1595–1603). He became duke of the island of Mytelene (Midilli). With agents throughout Europe, he gained substantial wealth for himself and acquired valuable information about international developments for the Sublime Porte. One of his diplomatic achievements was establishing close diplomatic relations between the Ottoman Empire and England. Another famous person serving at the court of Murad III was the physician Moses Benveniste, who dealt also with diplomacy until he was exiled to Rhodes in 1584. At the end of the 16th century David Passi also served at the court. It seems that he converted and was appointed grand vizier under the name Halil Pasha. At the beginning of the 17th century the palace medical staff had consisted of 41 Jewish physicians, but by the mid-17th the Jewish medical staff was reduced to only four Jews. Still, Jews served at court until the second half of the 18th century and even in the beginning of the 19th. Sultan Ibrahim I (1630–48) sent his Jewish diplomat Samuell Markus to Madrid. Moses ibn Judah Bikhri and his son Judah, born in Amsterdam, were envoys of Turkey in the time of Sultan Mehmed IV (1648–87). The Italian Israel Conegliano (Conian; c. 1650–c. 1717) settled in Istanbul in 1675 and became the physician of Grand Vizier Kara Mustafa Pasha, but was also consulted by Sultan Mehmed IV (1648–87). Despite the economic and political decline of the Jews in the 18th century, the sultans continued to employ persons from the Jewish community as physicians and advisers. The physician tobias b. moses cohn was the physician of the vizier Mehmet Rami, the grand vizier of Mustafa II (1695–1703), as well as of Ahmed III (1703–30).Tobias retired in 1714; Naphtali b. Mansur was the close adviser of Baltaji Ahmed Pasha. A physician named Benveniste attended the vizier Sivas Pasha; he had great influence upon the policies of the realm. daniel de fonseca , of Portuguese origin (c. 1668–c. 1740), settled in Istanbul in 1702 and served as a physician and diplomat to the French Embassy, and in 1714 became the physician of Ahmed III until 1730. Other Jewish court physicians during the reigns of Mahmud I (1730–54) and Osman III (1754–57) were Isaac Ḉelebi, Joseph Rofeh, David Halevi Ashkenazi, and Judah Handali. Eliezer Iskandari was physician to Sinan Pasha, the Egyptian viceroy and one of the grand viziers in the time of the sultan Murad IV (1623–40) and of his son Mehmed IV (1648–87). He was also adviser on Jewish affairs. Judah Baruch served as sarraf bashi to Sultan Mahmud I (1730–54), using his position to dissuade Maria Theresa from her plan to deport all the Jews of Austria. meir adjiman was appointed banker of the Sublime Porte by Selim III (1789–1807) and had great influence in the government. Adjiman was murdered by the Janissaries and the office was given to his two nephews Baruch and jacob adjiman who were active on behalf of their fellow-Jews. These two were killed by the sultans Selim III and Mustafa IV. The son of one of them, isaiah adjiman , was appointed in their place, but he too was put to death by Mahmud II. The high-ranking Ḉelebi Siman Tov Shaki was one of those who came and went in the royal court. He and Solomon Camondo, of the well-known family, purchased the concession for the sale of gum from the government. Ezekiel Gabbai was the royal banker and manager of the sultan's affairs (sarrāf bashi). His grandson, Ezekiel Gabbai, also served in the highest offices during the reign of the sultans Abdul-Aziz and Abdul-Hamid. He brought great benefits to his coreligionists and was the head of the community of Istanbul. There were wealthy and influential Jews not only in the capital city but also in the offices of chancellor of the pasha's exchequer, master of the mint, and the offices of bankers in other countries of the empire. As already stated, a large number of prominent physicians, specialists in different branches of medicine, served at the courts of the sultans, the viziers, and the valis. This important office furnished them with a high personal status and also with the ability to exercise influence at the royal court on behalf of Jews throughout the empire. The Jewish physicians wore different clothes from other Jews, and instead of the yellow hat wore a tall pointed scarlet one. Some of them were freed from burdensome taxes. Many Jewish translators served the Ottoman authorities and European ambassadors and consuls, while others served European agencies as diplomats, such as Taragano family members who served Britain as translators and as vice consuls in Çanakkale. Some members of the Piccioto family also served during the 18th and 19th centuries as consuls of certain European states in Aleppo. -REIGN OF ABDUL-HAMID AND THE LAST YEARS OF THE EMPIRE During the reign of the sultan Abdul-Hamid II (1876–1909) the attitude of the Sublime Porte toward the Jews was positive and there were four Jewish representatives in the first short-lived (1877–78) parliament, the mejlis mabʿuthān, in which minority groups also participated. However, the authoritarian regime of the sultan led him to disregard the constitution which he had proclaimed, so that it never became truly effective. Abdul-Hamid attempted to buttress his power by imposing a strongly centralized rule. Free intellectual and national impulses in his empire were hampered. The Ḥibbat Zion movement, the bilu aliyah , and Zionist aspirations met with not only local opposition from the Arabs in Ereẓ Israel, but even more with opposition from the Ottoman government in Istanbul. The attempts of theodor herzl to change the attitude of Abdul-Hamid and his viziers were of no avail. Aliyah to Ereẓ Israel was severely restricted and could only be maintained due to the corruption of the bureaucracy. In spite of this, many schools in the Ottoman Jewish communities were established by the Alliance Israélite Universelle, which spread secular culture among the students. The majority of the 403 teachers who were trained in Paris between 1868 and 1925 were born in the Ottoman Empire. Seventy percent of the female teachers were Ottoman residents. Many retired teachers who had served the Alliance for decades became notables, journalists, heads of communities, and politicians. Most mass education in the majority of the communities continued to take place in the Alliance schools or in Alliance-run or -influenced talmudei torah until the end of World War I. Many Jews adopted the French language as their medium of cultural and intellectual life. During the latter half of the 19th century some maskilim acted in the communities, such as Rabbi Abraham Danon from Edirne, who composed and published a number of works in Hebrew. In 1879 he founded the society for the Friends of Enlightenment (Dorshei Haskalah). The society sought to bring to Ottoman Jewry the Enlightenment movement from Western Europe. Among the new maskilim in the communities were Salomon Rozanes from Bulgaria, Abraham Galanté from Turkey, and Joseph Nehama from Salonika. Some members of the Doenmeh sect took an active part in the formation of the ideology of the Ottoman Society of Union and Progress, which was the mother of the constitutional revolution against Abdul-Hamid and his government (1908). It is known that some prominent Jews were also members of the society, e.g., R. Ḥayyim Bejerano (c. 1846–1931). However, the story that the revolution of 1908 was a "Jewish-Masonic plot" received wide circulation. Originating among various clerics and nationalists, the false tale about the Jewish origin of the revolution was taken up by some British circles and during World War I seized upon by Allied propaganda as a means of discrediting their Turkish enemies. As the Young Turks had been very successful in their propaganda among non-Ottoman Muslims, it seemed a good idea to demonstrate that they themselves were neither Turks nor Muslims. A characteristic statement is found in a book by an English author published in 1917: "… David belongs to the Jewish sect of Dunmehs. Carasso is a Sephardini Jew from Salonika…." Professor bernard lewis says that no doubt Turkish-speaking Ottoman Muslims of Balkan and other origins played a part in the movement. "There seems, however, to be no evidence at all, in the voluminous Turkish literature on the Young Turks, that Jews ever played a part of any significance in their councils, either before, during or after the Revolution.… The Salonika lawyer Carasso … was a minor figure. Javid … was a doenmeh … and not a real Jew; he seems in any case to have been the only member of his community to reach front rank …" (B. Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey, 207–8). In any case, later developments in the Republic of Turkey indicate that the attitude of the Young Turks toward the Jews as a nation was not influenced by the part supposedly played by Jews in the origins of the society. At the end of the 19th century, Ottoman Jewry constituted the fifth largest Jewish community in the world, after those of Russia, Austria-Hungary, the United-States, and Germany. It numbered in 1895, according to the Ottoman census, 184,139 persons, and increased to 256,003 in 1906, before the loss of territories in Macedonia and Thrace in consequence of the Balkan Wars in 1912–13. The great majority of the Jewish population was poor and little educated. They were a single group, but there were controversies between traditionalists and modernists in the communities. Most of the rabbis and scholars made efforts to accept modern trends and to solve social and family problems affected by modernism and secularism. Such a trend can be seen in the responsa literature of the period and in lectures by well-known rabbis. In 1892 the Sephardim celebrated 400 years of settlement in the Ottoman Empire. The Young Turk Revolution and the Constitutional Period that followed the Hamidan absolutism in 1908 and 1909 guaranteed associative rights to Ottoman subjects despite some restrictions. This caused an awakening of the Jewish communities which reorganized their associations and created new ones. These associations included also sports and several Zionist organizations whose activities until World War I focused in particular on the revival of the Hebrew language. Within the community of Istanbul the Zionists tried to act against the ḥakham bashi and the Alliance Israélite Universelle. Zionist associations occupied a middle ground between tradition and modernity. During the last two decades of the empire, the handful of Jews who were involved in general state politics, usually at the side of Turkish nationalists, acted on a strictly individual basis. Most of the Jews in the empire, excluding the Jewish community in Ereẓ Israel, remained largely indifferent to any direct political involvement. Jews served actively in the Ottoman army during the Balkan Wars and during World War I, and they also strove to demonstrate their loyalty to the government by getting young non-Ottoman Jewish volunteers to enlist in the military in order to demonstrate the community's determination to join the war effort. Jewish bankers in and out of the empire and Jewish charitable organizations provided money for wartime expenditure. Following the Ottoman entry into the war on the side of Germany and Austria on November 11, 1914, Jewish subjects of enemy countries were required to close their stores and shops and leave the empire, with some 2,000 colonists from Ereẓ Israel going overland from Jaffa and Tel Aviv to northern Ereẓ Israel and Damascus, while 11,277 went by ship to Alexandria. The Ottoman government allowed Jews to remain as long as they adopted Ottoman citizenship. The government also allowed Jewish foreign educational and charitable institutions operating to continue as long as they were managed by Ottoman Jews. In 1915–16 the Jewish population of Ereẓ Israel suffered starvation, the plague, and other diseases, such as typhus, and cholera. American Jews, via the American ambassador to the Porte, henry morgenthau , and German Jewish organizations sent food and money to the Jewish residents of Ereẓ Israel during these years. Jews throughout the empire suffered, along with other elements of the population from various developments during the war, including deportation of Jewish populations from the war zones of Eastern Anatolia, Thrace, gallipoli , and later Ereẓ Israel, But since most Jews lived outside the war zones and were helped by food shipments from American Jews, few Jews died in comparison with other groups of the population. (Yaacov Geller and Haïm Z'ew Hirschberg / Leah Bornstein-Makovetsky (2nd ed.) -OTTOMAN JEWRY AND ZIONISM For generations, Ottoman Jews nurtured deep feelings about the idea of the Return to Zion, which were manifested in Jewish tradition and religious beliefs. By contrast, their attitude toward political Zionism was conditioned by the policy of the Ottoman government. Ottoman Jewry was noted for its loyalty and was in no position to dissent. Thus throughout his negotiations with the Turkish government, Herzl could not expect the assistance of any Ottoman Jew. In fact Moses Halevi, the chief rabbi in Constantinople, warned the chief rabbi in Jerusalem, Jacob Saul Elyashar, not to become involved with a movement to which the sultan objected. Elyashar, determined not to incur the government's displeasure, avoided meeting Herzl. It was not until after the Young Turk Revolution of July 24, 1908, that the climate of opinion became more favorable. Early in September both Ahmed Riza, a prominent Young Turk leader (later president of the Chamber) and editor of Meḥveret, and Tewfik Pasha, the foreign minister, made exceptionally friendly statements about Zionism and were willing to lift former restrictions on Jewish immigration to Palestine. Ḥayyim Nahoum, the chief rabbi of Turkey, confirmed to Victor Jacobson, head of the Zionist Agency in Constantinople, that the new régime viewed Jewish settlement in Palestine with favor, although they would not allow Palestine to become politically autonomous. Jacobson, on his part, took great pains to dispel the notion that Zionism entertained separatist aspirations or ran counter to Ottoman interests. His efforts, as well as those of jabotinsky , who assisted him, bore fruit, since there was much latent sentiment for the idea of settlement in the Holy Land; the Jewish community of Salonika in particular proved a tower of strength. The Salonika Community There were approximately 80,000 Jews in Salonika, out of a total population of 173,000. Jacob Meir, their chief rabbi (later Sephardi chief rabbi of Palestine), was very sympathetic to Zionism; so was Saadiah Levi, the editor of L'Epoca, the local Jewish paper, and Joseph Na'or, the respected mayor of Salonika. But the greatest asset was Emmanuel Carasso, a prominent figure in the Young Turk movement and a deputy for Salonika in the Ottoman parliament. He thought that the leadership of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) was not as hostile to Zionism as was generally assumed, although Zionist aims should be made more palatable to it. Of equal importance was the conversion to Zionism of Nissim Matzliah and Nissim Russo, both of whom were deputies to the Ottoman parliament. They were members of the small group that founded the CUP and despite their youth were very influential. Matzliah was secretary of the CUP and later also of the parliament. Like Carasso, Russo and Matzliah saw no incompatibility between patriotism and interest in Palestine. They were eager to convince Turkish politicians that opposition to Zionism was based on a misconception. In a meeting which took place on December 31, 1908, in the presence of Jacobson and Jabotinsky, they declared that they had decided to join the Zionist Organization and found an Ottoman branch, provided it would disclaim any separatist political aims. They suggested that the CUP should first be won over and, through it, the parliament and consequently also the government. Hilmi Pasha was singled out in particular. As the most influential statesman in the parliament and minister of the interior, he was the "man of the future." Russo was his former secretary and hoped to sway him. Jointly with Matzliah he considered submitting a memorandum to the CUP and the Ministry of the Interior and, in order to keep the public in Istanbul better informed, they thought it absolutely essential that the Zionists publish a paper. Turkish Support for Zionism Behor Effendi, who in 1908 was elected senator (the only Jew to attain that eminence), became appreciably friendlier. This was also true of Faradji, who thought that the development of an intellectual center in Palestine was of crucial importance to world Jewry; the absence of antisemitism in Turkey made the idea realizable. This coincided with the proposal made by Carasso early in February 1909 to found an Ottoman Immigration Company for Palestine and Turkey in general. Russo and Matzliah soon approached a number of prominent CUP leaders, such as Ahmed Riza, Enver Bey, and Talaat Bey, and found them quite sympathetic; the most explicit statement was made by Nâzim Bey, a leading member of the Unionist Central Committee. He would have liked to see six to eight million Jews in Turkey; they were the "most reliable element." He approved of Carasso's plan and was willing to join the board of the proposed Immigration Company, but with regard to Palestine he would allow no more than two to four million Jews to come; settlement in excess of this number would constitute "a danger." Voltre-Face Russo and Matzliah had hardly taken stock of the situation when the Young Turks staged their second coup in April 1909, which brought in its wake a radical change in direction. Promises of equality for all Ottoman subjects without distinction of religion and race became invalid and slogans like Freedom and Liberty were discarded. Ottomanism gave way to Turkism, and the dream of a free association of people in a multinational and multi-denominational empire vanished forever. Turkey became a centralized state, and for the non-Turkish nationalities this was a crippling blow. Attitudes toward Zionism also hardened. In consequence Ottoman-Jewish leaders became reserved, and even Carasso, Matzliah, and Russo remained aloof. David Fresco, the editor of El Tiempo, the Judeo-Spanish periodical, with whom Jacobson had planned in 1908 to co-edit a paper, turned against the Zionists and in a series of articles – from December 1910 to February 1911 – accused them of disloyalty to Turkey. In 1912–14, Turkish policy toward Jewish settlement in Palestine changed markedly and pari passu Ottoman Jewry adopted a friendlier tone. But it was not until 1918 that they were able to come out openly in favor of Zionism. Diplomatic Overtures Publication of the Balfour Declaration, coupled with the conquest of Jerusalem by the British, made restoration of Palestine to Turkey unlikely. To Talaat Pasha, the grand vizier, the only option that remained open was diplomacy. On January 5, 1918, he met German-Jewish leaders in Berlin and agreed to resuscitate the defunct Ottoman-Israelite Union for Immigration and Settlement in Palestine. Thereafter, he delegated to Emmanuel Carasso, his confidant, the task of negotiating with the German-Jewish leaders on the creation of the Jewish Center in Palestine under Ottoman sovereignty. Carasso considered the plan advantageous to Turkey. It also had a strong personal appeal for him; he had no difficulty in reconciling his duty as a Turkish patriot with that of a nationalist Jew. Talaat invited the German-Jewish delegation (VJOD), which included the Zionists, to come to Constantinople in order to bring the negotiations to a successful conclusion. Once again, Carasso had to work out the details. Accordingly, the Settlement Company was to be given the right to acquire land, administer concessions, regulate Jewish immigration and settlement, and grant local autonomy to individual settlements, so that in due course, the Jews would become a majority in the country. In Carasso's opinion – and so he had told the grand vizier – the fear that the Jews would ultimately go their own way had little substance. Should Turkey remain weak she would lose Palestine to the Arabs anyhow, whereas Jewish help in making Turkey a viable state was worthy of consideration. Once Turco-Jewish cooperation was established, a relationship of trust was likely to develop, and separatist tendencies would die out. Nahoum also acted as one of the chief intermediaries between the Turkish government and a German-Jewish delegation. The negotiations proved abortive but indicative of the new spirit that prevailed among Ottoman Jews was Nahoum's statement, made a few years after the war, though under changed conditions: Jewish aspirations in Turkey center on the restoration of Palestine. This back-to–the-land movement was the most important factor in the awakening of the desire for the repopulation of Palestine; it was proved that the regeneration of Palestine was possible. The Balfour Declaration became the basis for the settlement of the Jewish question, and today the Jews of Turkey do not fail to cooperate with all their might with the rest of the Jews in the intellectual, economic, and commercial restoration of Palestine/Israel. (Isaiah Friedman (2nd ed.) -BIBLIOGRAPHY: Rosanes, Togarmah; I.S. Emmanuel, Histoire des Israélites de Salonique (1936); A. Galanté, Documents officiels turcs concernant les Juifs de Turquie (1931); idem, Histoire des Juifs d'Istanbul, 2 vols. (1941–42); J. 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