Table of Contents Next Page »

[Page 8, Volume 1, Hebrew]

Chapter Two

The Expulsions and the Establishment
of the “Kahals”

5252 – 5335 (1492 – 1575)

Translated by Judy Montel

The Expulsion of the Spanish Jews

After King Ferdinand conquered Granada, the last city in Spain that was left in the hands of the Arabs, he gave the Jews a respite of three months in which to convert to Christianity or leave the country. Apparently, there were some Jews who did not wait for this time to pass and left earlier for other countries, and many came to Saloniki as well. Among these early wanderers were Rabbi Shemuel Franko and Don Yehuda Benbenishti.[1] The rest of the Spanish Jews, roughly three hundred thousand souls, left that country on the ninth day of Av, 5252 (1492). Bayazit II, Sultan of the Turks at the time, gave an order to the consuls of his countries to receive these Jews gracefully. Most of the wanderers who sailed towards European Turkey settled in Saloniki. About a year and a half after the Spanish Expulsion, King Ferdinand expelled the Jews of Sicily as well, thirty thousand in number. Of these, as well, many came to settle in Saloniki and enlarged the holy community of Sicily that the Spanish exiles had already found in the city upon their arrival.

The love of their places of origin was so strong in these wanderers that people from a certain city and those exiled from a specific district attempted to dwell in the same neighborhood or “Mahla”[2], built a synagogue named for their home town and kept to the traditions of their ancestors.

The number of the expelled who reach the city was very large, and the number of “Kahals”[3] they established was also great. At the end of the fifteenth century the following “Kahals” (congregations) were already well known in Saloniki: “Spanish Expulsion”, (or just, “Expulsion”), “Majorca” (or Baalei Teshuva), “Catalan,” “Aragon,” “Castilia,” not to mention the congregations of the Romaniotes, Italy, Sicily and Ashkenaz which existed there before hand.

Among the people of renown who settled then in Saloniki: Rabbi Shmu'el of the house of Franko, Rabbi Eliezer HaShimoni, Rabbi Shemu'el and Rabbi Baruch Almoshnino of Catalonia, Rabbi Shemu'el son of Rabbi Yo'el of Shu'eib and Rabbi Meir Ibn Arama of Aragon, Rabbi Yitzchak Bargaloni of Barcelona, Rabbi Yoseph Pasi of Toledo, Rabbi Yoseph Saragossi and Rabbi Avraham of the House of Chazan of Sicily, Rabbi Shlomo Atias, Rabbi Shlomo Cavaleiro or Cavalir, Rabbi Shem Tov Alchanati, Rabbi Yehuda Ibn Atar, Rabbi Avraham of the House of Franko, Rabbi Yehuda and Rabbi Shemu'el Uzi'el, Rabbi Chaim Ovadia, Rabbi Yoseph of Forna, Rabbi Elazar Formon, Rabbi Shemu'el Albocher, Rabbi Ya'akov Tzarfati, Rabbi Moshe Aruchim, and many more.

Among the aristocrats who succeeded in transferring their capital to Saloniki, or who were very successful within the first ten years after their arrival were: Don Shmu'el Benbenishti, Don Shmu'el Alvo, Don Yehuda Valinsi, Don Yitzchak Alaton, Don Suliman Alfandari, Don Moshe Sasson, Don Ya'akov son of Chasson, Don Yoseph son of Shu'eib, Don Shlomo son of Chayoun, Don Moshe Kalachori, Don Vidal di Narbona, Don Shlomo and Don Yehuda sons of Yakar, Don Shmu'el and Don David sons of Shushan, Don Avraham Shnei'ur, Don Yoseph Jico, Don Nissim Lindo, Don Yoseph Moshoro, Don Yona Shabul, Don Yehuda Shornaga, Don Avraham Shemu'el Tzarfati, and others.



Expulsion of the Jews of Portugal and Calabria

Fourteen years after the Expulsion from Spain, in 5257, Don Emmanuel, King of Portugal, also decreed that the Jews must accept the Christian faith or leave the country within ten months. Before the time in the decree had elapsed, the King ordered to kidnap young men and women between the ages of 13 –18 and to forcibly convert them to Christianity. Some of the parents were lost with them, unable to be parted from their children, however most withstood this test and left the country. Five years after this event Ferdinand expelled the Jews from Apulia and from Ottoranto, and simultaneously, the Jews of Calabria were also expelled. Many of these refugees escaped and came to Saloniki where they founded the following congregations: “Portugal,” “Lisbon,” “Apulia” (or “Pulia”), and “Calabria”.

In 5261 (1501) the Jews of Provence were expelled and emigrants who arrived at the city founded the holy congregation “Provincia.”

Among the renowned individuals from Portugal and Calabria who settled in Saloniki were: Rabbi Shlomo Taitatzak and his sons, Rabbi Yoseph, Rabbi Shmu'el and Rabbi Avraham, Rabbi Avraham son of Ya'ish, Rabbi David son of Yichye, Rabbi Aharon and Rabbi Yoseph of Trani (who moved to Andrianopol after 5265), Rabbi Yehuda Gedalia the Printer and his uncle, the aged wise man Rabbi Nissim Bivash, Rabbi Shemu'el of Trani, Rabbi Ya'akov son of Chaviv and his son Levi, Maestro Rabbi Shlomo of the House of Levi, the Doctor Rabbi Shmu'el HaCohen Italiani and his son Perachia, Rabbi Moshe HaLevi ben Alkabetz and his brother Yehoshua, Rabbi David son of Rabbi Yehuda Mesir Leon, Rabbi Yitzchak Amarilio, Don Shmu'el and Don Yehuda Abravanel, and others. Justifiably, Rabbi Shlomo of the house of Levi the elder wrote that the wanderers, who settled in Saloniki were “the creme de la creme of Spain”.

After the major expulsions, the seven congregations of Spanish and Portuguese extraction agreed to divide new emigrants from these countries between themselves by lottery, as well as the communal taxes and charitable gifts. The holy congregation Lisbon, for example was allotted 15 % of the total taxes. Four of these seven congregations were: Holy Congregations Shalom, Castilia, Portugal and Lisbon,[4] the three other congregations were apparently: Geirush [lit. Expulsion], Catalan and Aragon.


Organization of the Congregations


Every congregation was independent of the others. Every congregation had a yeshiva, a Torah “expert” and a “Chacham” – wise man, a Beit Din (court), appointees, Parnasim – financial pillars, beadles, appraisers, etc. “One wise man does not enter the territory of another wise man even if the first one was grandest of the grand and the second least of the least.” “The individuals” (thus the regular members of the congregation and those who prayed regularly in the synagogue were called) would choose the appointees “in such a way that the entire population of that congregation oversaw their affairs.” The Parnasim, on their side, would call all the individuals to a meeting once or twice a year, on the interim days of Passover and Succot, in order to debate the important matters that affected the congregation. They set up “rules” according to which the congregation was run. The burial society of the congregation, (Chevra Kadisha) was very important (in Saloniki it was called Holy Group – Chevra Kedosha). Its members were simple people who endangered themselves with their care of and business with the dead who died during epidemics, which erupted fairly often in Saloniki. Their status in the congregation was special and they had many privileges, and even the aristocracy would listen to them at times.

Individually, each congregation held on to the customs of their ancestors. They prayed in the style of their place of origin with special liturgical poems and dirges that they had brought with them. Some, in the first generation of their settling and some until this day, had a special prayer book [Machzor]; For example, the Romaniote prayer book of the holy congregations Etz HaChaim and Etz HaDa'at; the Italiani prayerbook, or the Sons of Romi prayer book, of the holy congregation Italia (there were three: Old, New and Shalom); the Ashkenaz prayer book of the holy congregation Ashkenaz; the Catalan prayer book, of the holy congregation Catalan (two: Old and New); Aragon prayer book of the holy congregation Aragon. According to Rabbi Shmu'el di Medina, also the congregations Pulia, Provincia, Sicilia and Calabria also had, at their inception, a special prayer book. Only after the early exiles passed on, did most of the congregations accept the general Sephardic prayer book (Sephardi custom). The holy congregation Sicilia had special Hosha'anot prayers that they customarily recited on Succot until the destruction of the community by the Nazis. Only the congregations of Ashkenaz, Italia, Aragon and Catalan kept their own prayer books until the last generation.

Sometimes members of a congregation followed their ancestors' traditions even in halachic matters. For example, the rabbis of the H”C (holy congregation) Aragon ruled according to the Ro”sh with regard to the possession of houses and yards, that they are ruled as a “Dvar Meitzra”, in opposition to the rabbis of the other congregations. They did not say the repeat of the “Amida” prayer in the additional (Mussaf) section of the Rosh Hashana prayers. Most of the individuals in this congregation would take a wife only on a Friday, and on Shabbat all the members of the congregation would go to the grooms house and repeat the “Seven Blessings”. On the first Shabbat of his marriage, they would, in honor of the groom, take out a special Torah scroll and would read from it “And Abraham was aged…” (Genesis 24, 1-7). Then they would return the scroll to the arc and continue with the portion of the day. On the 25th day of Elul, the members of the congregation would go to the cemetery to prostrate themselves upon the graves of holy ones accompanied by their rabbi.

The members of the H”C Ashkenaz would eat a kind of fat called “five fingers” which was forbidden to the Sephardim, and on the other hand, would not eat meat that was inflated, and they had a special slaughter house next to their synagogue. However, by the end of the life of Rabbi Baruch Angel (who died in 5430 – 1660), they had already accepted the custom of the city and would eat the inflated meat. “And thus to the matter of Passover,” wrote Rashda”m, “the Ashkenazim are accustomed to several strictures that the Sephardim do not follow… and the hold tight to strange customs… on the seventh day of Passover they would read the Song of Songs and say the blessing over the scroll.” In matters of returning the dowry, the Ashkenazi community would return the entire dowry to the family of a wife who died with no sons within the first year of her marriage, in contrast to the Sephardic custom which divided it evenly between the husband and the wife's family, even if she died after the first year of her marriage.

Members of the H”C Italia, in the Ashkenazi custom, would eat a baked egg during the Seder meal on Passover eve, each and every one of the family, in remembrance of the destruction of the Temple. The Sephardic custom was not thus, but to divide one egg among all of those gathered around the table.

The H”C Provincia had a special custom on the Ninth of Av that was kept until the fire that destroyed the community in 5677 (1917).[5]

The H”C Beit Aharon celebrated “Purim Saragossa” on the 18th of Shevat [mid-February] and read the scroll describing the event until 5672 (1912)[6], and perhaps up until the synagogue was burnt in 5677 (1917).

The custom of the H”C Mugrabis, known by the name “Il Kahal di la Siya”, was to recite the Rosh Hashana prayers at dawn and blow the shofar at first light, according to the method of Natan Ha'Azati.

There were those among the congregations whose custom it was to take out only two Torah scrolls on Simchat Torah; one for the reader of “VeZot HaBracha” (the last portion of Deuteronomy) and one for the Maftir section, but would not take out a Torah scroll for the reading from Genesis. In several congregations they would have the “Chatan Torah” (first person called up to the Torah for the reading from Deuteronomy) on Simchat Torah be read to from the section “And Abraham was aged” before the designated person (“Samuch”) comes up, just as they read to the genuine “Chatan” [bridegroom] on the Shabbat after his wedding (still in circa 5500-1730).

Still in the time of Rabbi Yoseph Molcho (author of the book “Shulchan Gavoha”) in approximately the year 5500 (1730), several congregations (for instance, Etz HaChaim, Italia-Old and Portugal) had special ovens for baking matza. The members would go there from immediately after Purim until the eve of Passover and bake their matzas. Usually, up until the fire of 5677 (1917), all the congregations baked mitzva-matza (“shemura” – kept) which were given to every member together with a portion of Charoset.[7] Several congregations had funds for the marriages of orphaned girls, like, for instance, H”C Italia-Old.

As we wrote above, due to disagreements among the members, several families broke off and founded separate congregations:

In ca. 5293 (ca. 1533) the H”C Avora was founded by members who left the H"C Lisbon.

Before the year 5319 (1559), and perhaps even before the great fire of 5305 (1545), the H”C Otranto was founded by members who broke off from the H”C Pulia, known also as “Great Pulia”. Some time afterwards, members from Otranto broke off and founded the “Astroc” congregation.

From the H”C Calabria several families broke off, apparently before 5305 (1545), and founded the “Kaina” congregation. A number of years later several members of this H”C broke off and founded the H”C “Ishma'el”, known as H”C “Calabrisis”. After some years the H”C “Neveh Tzedek” was founded by families who left the old Calabria congregations Ishma'el and Kaina. Due to this last separation the name of the old H”C Calabria was changed to H”C “Neveh Shalom”.

Before 5321 (1561) the Lisbon congregation divided in two again: H”C Old Lisbon and H”C New Lisbon. This congregation was also divided into several sects, among them the Nachmias sect, to which half the body of the congregation belonged since they spent half of the expenditures of the congregation; the other half was spent by the total remaining sects; and also the objects and property of the congregation were evenly divided, half to the Nachmias sect and half to the others. Before 5413 (1653) the other sects wanted to purchase the privilege of the Nachmias sect but were not successful.

The plot on which the H”C Catalan was built belonged to the family of Rabbi Moshe Almoshnino. This congregation was divided in two during the days of this rabbi, to H”C Old and New Catalan. It may be that the division was done around the year 5305 (1545).

H”C Sicilia also divided into two, Old and New Sicilia, before 5331 (1571).

H”C Italia divided in two, before 5343 (1583), to Old and New Italia. Apparently, H”C New Italia divided once again, and thus the H”C “Italia Shalom” was founded towards to end of the days of Rabbi Yoseph David, who died in 5497 (1737); this was the last congregation to divide.

Before 5391 the “Beit Aharon” congregation was founded, apparently by members who left the Sicilia congregations. By the year 5380 (1620) the number of congregations had risen to eighteen; they all burnt down that same year.

Before 5423 (1663) the holy congregation “Har Gavoha” was already in existence.

Most of the congregations were divided into sects. For example, the H”C Etz HaChaim split into three sects already in 5487 (1727); H”C Polia into two sects: the “Botoni” sect of the di Boton familiy and the “Angeli” sect of the Angel family; H”C Otranto – also into two sects: the “Catalani” sect and the “Yitzchaki” sect. The first sect was wealthier and had a greater population. As we have seen, H”C Lisbon was divided into the Nachmias sect and others: Abravanel, etc.[8]



Management of the Congregations

The emigration of several thousand Jews from various places brought with it major problems that each congregation on its own could not solve. Therefore, the newcomers agreed to appoint three famous and influential rabbis as “laboring in the holy work in this entire city,” to set out guidelines for the benefit of all the Jews. Apparently, these three rabbis were: Rabbi Shmu'el Franko, of “Abir Haro'im”, Rabbi Yehuda Benbenishti and Rabbi Me'ir Ibn Arama. After them the following were appointed: Rabbi Ya'akov ben Chaviv, Rabbi Shelomo Taitatzak, and Rabbi Eliezer HaShimoni.

The major problems were:
  1. Possession of property and real estate: The houses and yards belonged to the Turks, rulers of the land. They rented their buildings and property to the Jews. The newcomers were buying the buildings from the Turks at a higher price, which forced the Jew who already lived there to transfer the bought house to them. The Rabbis ruled already in 5253 (1493), that is, one year after the expulsion, that a Jew is forbidden to buy a building or property in which another Jew is already dwelling. However, in 5272 (1512) they changed this and “agreed” that a Jew can buy the building if he pays his co-religionist what the “holding” is worth (that is, the right to live in the aforementined house, a kind of “key money”), as well as all of the expenses that the tenant spent on the house. Once again they ruled that if the Jewish or Turkish landlord forced the Jew (via the authorities) to leave the house, no other Jew can buy the house or the tenancy, unless the house remains totally empty for three years. Afterwards, due to the numerous exiles who continued to arrive and the fires, they ruled that the house needs to remain empty for up to ten years in order for a Jew to lose the tenancy. In 5344 (1584) it was forbidden “to purchase a house or a yard or a store from a gentile or Tugar (Turk) of which another Jew has tenancy.”[9] A Jew who wanted to sell his tenancy would declare this in the synagogue 15 days before the sale, to know if there is anyone who would appeal the sale; a person renting a house out to his friend had to give him a year's notice before he requested that they leave the premises.
  2. Issues of Slaughter: The rabbis agreed to abide by the Sephardic custom and not according to those of the Romaniote and Ashkenazic communities then found in Saloniki.
  3. Problems of Conversos: At the start, six great rabbis (Rabbi Ya'akov son of Chaviv, Rabbi Shlomo of Taitatzak, Rabbi Me'ir Ibn Arama, Rabbi Yoseph Pasi, Rabbi Moseh Aruchim and Rabbi Eliezer HaShimoni) agreed “that every woman who married… while still under the Decree of Extinction (Gzeirat HaShmad), even though he betrothed her in front of Jews who were standing there who watched with the Extinction upon their heads, that betrothal is not to be taken into account and therefore she is allowed (to be betrothed) to any Jew…. And this is our custom in this city that every woman who comes from Portugal or Castilia, we do not worry at all regarding a betrothal that she was betrothed after the Extinction Decree… and if she remains needful of levirate marriage, there is not problem here and she does not need to be released from that at all.”[10] However, already in 5274 (1494) five of these rabbis retreated from this decision, (except for Rabbi Moshe Aruchim, who apparently was not in Saloniki at the time), and ruled that a bride in need of levirate marriage with a man who was converted or killed before the betrothal, needs to released. This guideline was signed by other rabbis as well: Rabbi Yehuda Benbensht, Rabbi Yoseph son of Rabbi Shlomo Taitatzak, Rabbi Levi son of Chaviv, Rabbi Shmu'el Uzi'el, and Rabbi Avraham Siralvo, who signed in 5316 (1556)[11]. However, the rabbis of Saloniki did not always take this last guideline into account. Rabbi Eliezer HaShimoni and Rabbi Yoseph Taitatzak retreated again and ruled that a woman in need of levirate marriage who marries on her own initiative does not need to be released by the one appointed to it.[12]
  4. Relations with the Authorities and Taxation: It was the custom of the Turks to assess all of the congregations, for tax purposes, as a single body. They would get lists of members from each congregation and the management of each congregation would assign the tax to the members. The assessment was done for three and at times ten years. The heads of the congregations would gather and elect a special committee to supervise the tax matters. A member of a congregation who appealed the assessment of his congregation and claimed that he was assigned too much, had the right to turn to this committee. If the committee also assessed him, in his opinion, too much, he had the right to swear that he had no more than the amount he assessed himself to have. In the beginning, the Jews had to pay the tax to the authorities in rams (carniros). From 5328 (1568) onwards they paid with textiles and fabrics, this was the “Clothing Tax”. Besides this tax the Turks forced the Jews to work on the building of the walls when necessary or in times of war, and in general they had to satisfy the “Pasha” and the rest of the Sultan's clerks in the city, who demanded great sums from them for various tariffs.


Merchants, Doctors and Industrialists

Not for nothing did the second Byzantine Sultan value the emigrants. He was not disappointed, for the exiles brought much blessing to his states. Among them were excellent doctors, pharmacists and expert artisans in various industries which they brought with them to Turkey. They operated the silver mines at Sidrokapsi next to Saloniki (Rashda”m, vol. 40, sec. 376), founded the silk industry, and developed the art of metal working and development and grinding of precious stones, the printing business, and especially the weaving and carpet industry, which became the chief industry of Saloniki, and employed thousands of craftsmen, from the tanner to the tailor.

The heads of the congregations would gather frequently and draft guidelines to protect this industry. They forbade, for example, a Jew to compete using the price of wool bought from a Muslim or Gentile, and also forbade to export from Saloniki wool to another kingdom, and in general to sell to Gentiles. They did not allow merchants to do business with material which was imported from outside of Saloniki and Jews were totally forbidden to buy such textiles. The rabbis, in their answers regarding disagreements among litigants, generally ruled in favor of the artisan. For example, the neighbor of the owner of a work-shop was not able to bring a complaint against him if a bad odor wafted out of the barrels they used for dying the wool, “for our livelihood is in this… and it is also the custom of this city to pursue the craft of cloth and the neighbors and partners suffer one another in one yard” (Rashda”m, vol 40, sec. 462). Since they would urinate into the vats in which they died the wool, the rabbis of Saloniki even permitted praying in a home from which a bad odor wafted from such vats.

In spite of these various rulings, by the beginning of the 16th century there are mentions of wealthy people who cheat the workers and the poor. The Turkish governor of Saloniki would buy these textiles directly from the artisans or via the rich, in order to clothe the soldiers of the Sultan. The rich would sometimes take weavers of their own and compete with the weaving production guild. At certain times, these latter sent delegates to Kushta (Constantinople) and made their complaints before the Doctor of the Sultan, Rabbi Moshe Hamon, and asked him to support them and be a spokesman for them before the ministers, “lest everyone be cheated and exhausted all of the time.” From their letter below it is possible to understand the great importance of this industry during that time in Saloniki:

“If God of Hosts had not left us the remnant of making these royal clothes we would have nearly been as Sodom, swallowing one another alive… to find prey for our daily bread… when God gave us an end and a hope… everything comes out of the cloth, from it comes the tent peg upon which everything depends… men, women and children… to enliven the heart of the oppressed… a voice is heard on the height saying... say to the clerk… do not take the clothing of the poor any more… [therefore] arise all this multitude of the poor and impoverished of our nation and go to the clerk… the poor of your city come before the wealthy of the land… they the clerk went to introduce the matter before the great judge… [the judge] called to the clerk and said to him thus… take the clothing of the wealthy… and the people heard this thing and mourned.”[13]
Historians, Christian and Muslim, generally praise this industry of the Jews of Saloniki. A Muslim traveller, Mustafa ben Abdullah Haji Chalfa, who visited the city in the 17th century, has special praise for the carpets made by the Jews of Saloniki, in these words: “The [the Jews of Saloniki] weave the famous carpets of the many colors… that in no other place are they made so beautifully, and they also weave cloth.”[14]

A few years after the expulsion from Portugal the emigrants founded the print and binding industry, and kept to this work until the destruction of the city by the Nazis. Also in this field there were no doubt rulings and agreements that have not reached us. One of them, from 5289 (1529), deals with the injunction against printing an entire manuscript without the permission of six scholars from among the “Torah experts” of the congregations.

Usually, the heads of the congregations met and arranged guidelines according to present needs, and coerced all of the members under threat of ex-communication, to obey their rabbis and their Parnasim. Thanks to this organization and the mutual commitment that existed then among all of the Jews with no exceptions – on the one hand – and thanks to the famous Yeshivas and Ulpenna study houses on the other hand, Saloniki became a major Jewish center and by the 16th century had earned the title “City and Mother in Israel,” an honorary designation given to few communities in the world.

Table of Contents Next Page »



Footnotes:
  1. See Decisions of the Rashdam, Khet-Alef, Section B. Return


  2. [The spelling is sometimes also “Machla” or “Magla”.] Return


  3. [In Saloniki they were called 'congregation' or 'community'. We will used the term 'congregation' – for a synagogue and the public organization along side of it; and the term 'community' – to the community at large, to the organization of all the Jews of the
    city.] Return


  4. Rabbi Yitzchak Adarbi, “Divrei Rivot”, p. 30 r.; Rashda”m, “Choshen Mishpat”, par. 402. Return


  5. [They would gather after the morning prayers all of the rabbis of the city and the cantors who were expert at it and they would sing special dirges in their heavy melodies until the hour for the afternoon prayer (Mincha) (described by Yoseph Chazan of blessed memory). The mention here is apparently of special funeral dirges which were arranged alphabetically in a pamphlet called “Yikra DeShechvi, Tziduk HaDin” {Readings for Laying to Rest, Justifying the Ruling}; A pamphlet like this which belong to Rabbi Yitzchak Beracha of blessed memory, was given to us to go over by his son, Avraham Beracha of blessed memory, and at the end it was written: “Brought to the printer the expert artisan the complete wise man David Ya'akov Chagu'il may God keep him and the complete wise man Avraham Yehuda Arditi may God keep him; printed, apparently, at the Etz HaChaim printers.] Return


  6. W. Reich, Beruemte Judengemeinden des Osmanischen Reiches, Frankfurt a.M., 1913, p. 47. Return


  7. The custom of giving Charoset to members was preserved in the Portuguese congregations of Curacao and Amsterdam; In Curacao up to about sixty years ago [note: this book was published in 1972, trans.] , and in Amsterdam, until this day. Return


  8. These are the names of the congregations in about 5480 (1720): (the nicknames used are those that were known to most people) Otranto – Galio (Rooster); Ivora – Aroz (Rice); New Italia, Old Italia, Italia Shalom – Raton (mouse); Istrug – Albadra (epaulets); Aragon – Gato (cat); Ashkenaz – Moshka (fly); Beit Aharon – Hasron (of tattered clothing, chatterbox); Girush – Miskita (Mosque tower); Har Gavoha – Vila (curtain, sail); Yichye – Mindigo (beggar); Ishma'el – Zinganos (gypsies); New Lisbon, Old Lisbon – Mangarana (pomegranate); Mayor – Ladron (thief); Mugrabiz – Silia (chair); Neveh Tzedek – Cuairno (horn); Neveh Shalom (Matalonim), New Sicilia – Madiro (beam); Old Sicilia – Piscadoris (fishermen); Etz HaChaim – Azho (garlic); Portugal – Calabasa (pumpkin); Provincia – Provis (impoverished ones); New Catalan – Figo Loco (wild fig); Old Catalan – Figo (fig); Castilia – ben Shushan; Kaina – Janaka (sink); Shalom – Gamilio (camel). I used the nicknames published by David A. Recanati, “Saloniki Machzor for Rosh HaShana,” Tel-Aviv, 5723 (1963, pp. 7-9, and I added nicknames for other congregations. See re the names of the families who belong to each congregatin, Emmanuel, “Saloniki Greats by Generation,” Tel-Aviv 5696 (1936) pp. 16-24. Return


  9. “Yerech Avraham” [literally, “Thigh of Abraham”], of Rabbi Avraham Istrosa, vol. II, pp. 49-55, six guidelines regarding houses and yards from 5309 (1549) to 5344 (1584); Avraham Danon, Revue des Etudes Juives, vol 40-41, 1899, No. 17-22. Return


  10. This agreement, was copied by Rabbi Moshe Almoshnino. Rabbi Yehuda Taitachak, “She'erit yehuda”, page 67, v; Ya'akov di Boton, “Edut BeYa'akov,” par. 73. Return


  11. Rabbi David Pipano, “Avnei Ephod”, p. 125, v. Return


  12. “She'erit Yehuda,” ibid.; Questions & Answers (Sh”ut) of Rashda”m, vol I, par. 56. Return


  13. Avraham Danon in the journal “Yoseph Da'at.” Return


  14. Compare Emmanuel, Histoire de l'industrie de tissus de Israelites de Salonique , Paris, 1935, p. 18 note 25 b. Return



This material is made available by JewishGen, Inc. and the Yizkor Book Project for the purpose of
fulfilling our mission of disseminating information about the Holocaust and destroyed Jewish communities.
This material may not be copied, sold or bartered without JewishGen, Inc.'s permission. Rights may be reserved by the copyright holder.


JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material for verification.
JewishGen is not responsible for inaccuracies or omissions in the original work and cannot rewrite or edit the text to correct inaccuracies and/or omissions.
Our mission is to produce a translation of the original work and we cannot verify the accuracy of statements or alter facts cited.

  Thessaloníki, Greece     Yizkor Book Project     JewishGen Home Page


Yizkor Book Project Manager, Lance Ackerfeld
This web page created by Osnat Ramaty

Copyright ©1999-2014 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 6 Apr 2006 by LA