Rzeszow supports its merchants in poverty and riches Its days roll by with honorable business Its fairs provide profit in winter or summer There is trade in textiles, fuel and foodstuffs Household implements, grain, and salt stone And the farmers set their eyes on everything(Berish Weinstein: Rzeszow, a poem translated into Hebrew by Tzvi Shtok, page 47)
We do not know the exact beginning of the Jewish settlement in Rzeszow. We know from documents that in the 16th century, when the city was owned by members of the Ligenza family, there were only seven Jewish homes in the city that were located on church property. If we estimate that in every home – according to the accepted statistics of Polish historiography – two or three families would dwell with five or six members each, we can estimate that during that time the Jewish population of Rzeszow was 80-90 people. There were homeowners among the Jews, however since they did not possess citizenship of the city, they were registered in the civic documents as residents (incolae). The total Jewish population was known as the Jewish Community (Tota comunitas Judaeorum civitatis Rzeszoviensis). By the end of the 16th century the Jews already filled an important role in the city, and several of them had already amassed large sums of money, so that they were able to conduct all sorts of financial business, and were able to lend money to the farmers and citizens in return for surety.
The civic council, acting in the name of the Jewish residents, headed by Yitzchak Marczides and Yosef, obligated themselves on June 26, 1592 in the presence of the owner of the city Mikolaj Spytek Ligenza to pay the following sums for the following homeowners in lieu of the szarwark (tax for road, bridge and fence improvement): Zusman Bebenk – 1 mark, David and Itzko Marczides – 1 florin, Yaakov Joachimides – 1 florin, Yosef – 24 groszy, Yisrael – 1 florin, the yearly residents and the rest of the Jews – 20 groszy per year. However, they were required to pay all other taxes as well as royal, general and personal fees just as the rest of the residents of the city, as well as the royal and civic payments from the non-moveable property.
In 1592 the following Jewish homeowners lived in Rzeszow: Yitzchak Marczides, Zusman Bebenk, David, Yaakov Joachimides, Yosef, and Yisrael. Two parnassim (communal leaders) stood at the helm of the community: Yitzchak Marczides and Yosef.
On December 7, 1592, the citizen Marysin Gajdziak issued a strong protest against Yitzchak and the tax collector Yaakov Joachimides and his wife Bluma who had accused him of stealing chests of the Jews during the fire that had broken out in the city. He requested that they be punished on account of issuing a false accusation that harmed his good name.
Gajdziak was apparently a troublemaker, as can be deduced from the transcripts of several court cases in which he accused various citizens of slandering him.
It is interesting to present several facts about the above-mentioned Jews, as can be deduced from the minutes of the council.
Yaakov was the tax collector of the city and he also loaned out money, as can be deduced from one document in which he certified the receipt of 24 guilder on January 3, 1592, paid to him by the priest Andrzej Zak, who was the guarantor for Andrzej Fielesz to Andrzej Karzel in return for the loan which he gave him.  He conducted business dealings with the noblemen (such as Yaakov Borowski).In 1598, he had a dispute with Marysin Caniat about the rental of an anvil. The council issued a decree on October 7 that Caniat is required to rent him the anvil.
Religious opposition and even conflict fueled the struggle between the Jews and the citizens already from the time of the beginning of Jewish settlement in Rzeszow. An expression of this can be found in the privilege that Ligenza granted in 1599. That privilege established that only Jews who owned property would be permitted to build houses, and only seven Jewish homes would be allowed in the city. The area of the Jewish residents was restricted to the grounds near the synagogue that used to belong to the church.
The Jews were required to pay a specific amount in tax that was imposed on them according the quota of seven residential homes. However, they attempted to evade this tax.
Ligenza forbade them to conduct any business with products produced by the local artisans. He granted them the right to appeal any civic judgement to the palace offices. The legal and judicial status of the Jews was tied to the owner of the city and his will, and they were subordinate to him along with the rest of the residents of the city.
Any Jew who would arrive in Rzeszow and wish to settle there was required to obtain a special permit from the owner of the city, that is to say that he would have to be accepted as a subject of the owner of the city. Furthermore, he was required to obtain a permit for the purchase of a house or lot so that he would be registered as a taxpayer. If he was in arrears in his tax payments or if he abandoned his house, the house would be confiscated by the owner of the city. The owner of the city would be authorized to sell it or to grant it to somebody else.
No Jew was allowed to move to another city, or to travel out of the city for business purposes without a permit from the owner of the city. If he left for a foreign country on business he was required to bring a pledge guaranteed by four acquaintances. A permit from the owner of the city was also required if the daughter of a Jew married a boy from a different city. In such a case he was required to give an additional pledge to guarantee that his daughter would return (according to the “Universal” of August 8, 1723). A special oath was administered to a Jew when he was accepted as a subject. When the community wished to accept a loan, or even if individual Jews wished to put their homes up as a guarantee against a lo, they were required to request permission from the owner of the city, and only with his permission would the document acquire legal validity.
The owner of the city had full jurisdiction over all the affairs of the Jews, just as he had over the affairs of the Christians. With regard to civic matters, the Jews presented themselves as a single unified group – as the second half of the city. A bitter struggle took place between the Jews and Christians about rights and duties, and the leadership of each community was very vigilant that nobody from the other community would encroach on their rights. On several occasions they turned to the palace for mediation, and thus the palace had no choice but to enter into the dispute.
The mutual relationship between the two communities was built on the fact that all of them, without any exception at all, were required to protect the city in the event of a fire or enemy invasion. In the event of a fire everyone was required to be present and to assist in the putting out of the fire; and in the event of an invasion, everyone was required to concern himself with the defense of the walls and fences in the proximity of his home. During a time of war the Jews had their own Hetman. (In 1627, Moshko Haftarz was appointed as the Hetman). The Jews were required to defend the area of the city that was controlled by them under the command of the Hetman.
In all legal matters, such as inheritance, contracts and mortgages, the Jews were subject to the civic judicial authority. According to the “Universal” of Jerzy Lubomirski, from 1742 any document on such matters would not be valid unless it was registered in the civic registers.
Every Jew who acquired chattels from a Christian was required to accept the civic law and to become bound by it. All taxes and payments that were connected with such an ownership became binding.
The community was required to pay half of the civic payments, such as: the improvement of roads and bridges, the construction of ramparts for defense and fire protection, as well as the civic dikes.
The community was given responsibility for the roads of Baldaczowka, through the center of the new city until the civic brick kiln, as well as the fences of the new city from the center of the city to the gate of the Wislok.
The responsibility for maintaining of the bridge near the Pierrian monastery as well as the bridge near the palace was placed upon both the Jews and the Christians, half-and-half. The Jews also paid half of the salary of the civic officials, which included: the civic scribe, the executioner, the instigator, envoys, and several officials of the palace, who were exempt from taxes set by the magistrate. The cemetery and hospital for indigents were also exempt from taxes.
In the 16th century, the Jews were engaged in a difficult struggle for their livelihood in an atmosphere of hatred. They fought to be accepted in the guilds, and for the possibility to engage in commerce. In spite of the difficulties and even persecution, with the passage of time they succeeded in obtaining a significant standing in the economic life of the city. Some of them filled recognizable roles by expanding business, establishing workshops and amassing fortunes. Jews served as tax collectors: in 1592 the tax collector was Yaakov, and in 1607 the tax collector was Bendiket. In 1613 Sobielowski, the tax collector of the Przemysl region, gave the right to collect the liquor tax to Yitzchak Markowicz, and in 1612 to Yoachim. Several people rented out taverns and mills. Markowicz rented out the rights to the liquor still, and Avraham was a soap maker. In the city there were moneylenders, as well as wholesale and retail businessmen. For the lease of the mills and the right of tax collection, the Jews paid 25 guilder quarterly toward the sum of 1,500 guilder that Ligenza gave in 1619 for the Rzeszow Hospital. This money was paid according to the ‘wiederkoif’ law. (Footnote 11 states that this is an old Polish law that permits the purchase of property on the condition that the seller retains the right to repurchase. Wiederkoif in German means repurchase.)
After a short time the Jews controlled an entire road in Rzeszow, which was called Area Judaica in 1610, and in 1627 Platea Judaica. They rented stores in the center of the city despite the opposition and disputes with their competitors. In 1617, the Jew Yoachim MiYaakov established a store for the sale of merchandise during the time of the fairs. The Jews had an old synagogue with a sexton and a cantor (in 1615 Wolfe is mentioned). This synagogue was built of brick in the baroque style. It was already functioning in 1617 and was destroyed by the Nazis during the Second World War.
On March 20, 1606 Ligenza imposed new payments on the Jews. He proclaimed in the documents: “I command that the Jewish homeowners should each pay six groszy and the residents three groszy toward the security of the fairs. This is in addition to the annual security fee that is paid by the Christian citizens, homeowners and renters. The mayor and his advisors are responsible for acting upon this command.” It is possible to surmise that the Christians were responsible for this demand.
In 1627 , special instructions in the “Universal” were made regarding the Jews in relation to the protection of the city. These instructions were not more stringent toward the Jews than they were toward the rest of the citizens. Every Jew was required to own a fire-rod (Rusznica). Only women and children of age 10 and below were exempt. The Jews were required to answer each draft call, and to participate in training exercises and parades. Refusing to participate in training exercises and refusing to answer the call of a draft during the time of an enemy invasion was punishable by a monetary fine and even imprisonment.
Ligenza also exploited the synagogue for defense purposes. He turned it into a building with a cylindrical wing, with the understanding that it would be included in the fortifications with the objective of protection against a fire from the flank. This was in accordance with the fortification style common in France and Belgium during the 16th and 17th centuries.
Ligenza ordered that a ditch be dug around the Bernardine monastery for defensive purposes. This ditch was filled with water that flowed to the palace. When the water overflowed a large area, it became necessary to erect a bridge from the gate of the palace to the Pierrian monastery. Ligenza commanded that both the Jews and the Christians erect the bridge, and disputes broke out between the two groups with regard to this matter.
Ligenza arranged security watches for the city, and he even established a curfew, at which time it was necessary to close the taverns and restaurants, and at that time it was forbidden to play instruments and songs. The Jews were freed from the watch duty. In lieu of that duty, they were required to pay for two guards of the Yadamks  for an entire month each year.
The Jews were required to maintain three cannons in the fortifications that were in the Jewish quarter. A Jewish Hetman was appointed over the warriors. There was also a Hetman over the citizens, as well as one over the suburbs. The Jewish Hetman was responsible for the fences, embankments, fortification, and weapons. The Jewish Hetman had a flag as a symbol of his authority, as well as a drum.
Footnote 16 – In the days of Ligenza, the Jews were not permitted to reside in the city itself, but rather in the Jewish quarter which was like a suburb surrounding the old synagogue. Before 1914, this area was the northern area of Mickeiwicz Street and Boznica Wegalozowski Street. The Jewish Street (Ulica Zydowska) was in the area of Yoselowicz and Blum Streets before 1914.  Only at the end of the 17th century, during the time of Lubomirski, were the Jews allowed to reside within the borders of the city in return for payment of money.
Ligenza himself set the economic bounds of the Jews. Already in the privilege of 1594, there was a paragraph that stated “The Jewcannot build more houses, aside from those in the lots already in their possession. Their merchants cannot sell their merchandise at lower prices than the Christian merchants, and they cannot do business with products produced by the artisans”.
Over and above the opposition that was rooted in the economic competition, during the era of Ligenza there was also an atmosphere of hatred toward the Jews. We learn from the documents of the city council that on June 23, 1622, the offices of the council issued a special decree with regard to Christian maids in Jewish homes. According to this decree it was forbidden for the Christian women to serve in Jewish homes. The reason given was that the high salaries and the luxury would corrupt them.
The Jews were forbidden to hire helpers and maids from amongst the Christian, with the exception of those who would come from other towns and villages. The Jews were warned, with the agreement of the local priest Jan Rubakowski, that they must let their maids go to church on Sundays and holidays, and that they should not work them on those days. The maids were permitted to terminate their contract with their employers, and to leave their houses with all of their belongings.
The Jews were forbidden to open their stores on Sundays, and even to display their wares in their display windows. The Jews were required to close the doors of their residences and remain inside their homes during the times of church services. The heads of the community were personally responsible to carry out this decree, which was made with the agreement of the priest Rubakowski, however they did not want to agree to it. On August 17th 1627, the heads of the community Yitzchak Markowski, Yona Bieniasz, and Moshe Krakowski appeared before the council offices and presented a protest against Krzysztof Konisz, Jakob Robel, Lukasz Gajdziak, Sczenini Gwozdz, Adam Karzona, as well as against the clerk Woijciech Szlebicki.
Despite the restrictions that Ligenza imposed upon the Jews, it was not forbidden to do business in financial matters with the Jews, to borrow money from them, and if the Christians could not meet their financial obligations, it was obligatory to give them land. In 1617, a plot of land on the other side of the Wislok River was given to the Jew Yitzchak Markowicz in return for a loan made by his wife for the sum of 300 guilder. In 1618 Ligenza, permitted the Jew Yona Gorzalnik (a distiller of spirits) to purchase the rural home of Polta. However he made it clear that this permit was issued only for that particular Jew, and was not transferable to others, in order to prevent the spreading out of the Jews to the detriment of the city.
Nevertheless, in the middle of the 17th century the Jews began to dwell in the new city, and built forty homes there.
In 1648 Prince Wladislaw Ostrowski, the owner of the city after Ligenza, renewed the prohibition of selling homes and fields to the Jews in the old city.
The first Jewish tailor who settled in Rzeszow in 1647 with the permission of Ostrowski was permitted to work only for Jews.
Photo on top of page 28 – Prince Lubomirski’s castle before its restoration.
The situation changed during the time of Prince Lubomirski. In exceptional circumstances, he permitted Jews to take ownership of lots and houses in the old city, with a permit from the owner of the city and with agreement of the residents of the city.
In 1680 Izik Abrahamowicz purchased a home in the plaza (Rynek) of the old city from the citizen Lubocki, after the agreement of the people’s council (pospolstwo). This was agreed to under the condition that Abrahamowicz would fulfil all of the obligations that were required of a homeowner in the old city.
In fact, Rzeszow had more than forty Jewish families. Homeowners and Christians rented dwellings to several families as yearly tenants. However, officially, the Jewish population of Rzeszow was approximately forty families.
The first privilege granted to the Jews of Rzeszow that is known to us is the one granted by Hieronim Lubomirski in 1657. From it, we learn that the Jews evaded the fulfillment of their civic guard duty as well as the payment of taxes, and they attempted to pay only the general amount which they were required to pay according to the privilege which had been granted to them by Ligenza, when the number of their homes was only seven.
According to this privilege, all of the edicts affecting their business and commerce remained in effect. The Jews were occupied in businesses that were forbidden to them according to the agreements, both inside the city and outside of it. These activities had an adverse affect upon the artisans. The Jews produced mead, and conducted trade with various fishes. In contravention of the laws of the city, they sold mead and wines, purchased large quantities of wheat and other agricultural products from the villages and brought them to the city. These activities were only permitted to the artisans.
According to the order of Lubomirski, the Jews were only permitted to produce mead in quantities necessary for them for the Passover holiday, and they were forbidden to produce mead for weddings and other occasions. If they went against this, they were threatened with fines to the treasury (not to the coffers of Christian religious organizations).
All of the rest of the old enactments in the area of commerce remained in force. They were required to fulfil all of their national and civic responsibilities and payments, according to the number of residents. In legal affairs, related to civic judgements, they were subject to the civic court in the first instance, and to the palace court in the final instance. This law had not been changed up until this time.
On April 4, 1674, the Christian citizens presented a written request to the prince, complaining that the Jews were not fulfilling the conditions of their privilege. They complained that the Jewish lessees imported mead from other places, thereby damaging the local production; and that the Jews do not fulfil their proportional obligations to the civic expenditures, given that the number of Jews in the city was increasing against the number of Christians.
In that era at the end of the 17th century, in 1686, the directors of the hospital purchased lands from the head of the civic council Pawel Zaglobinski for the new cemetery, for the sum of 3,200 guilder. In 1691, they bought a second section from Woijciech Nawrocki for the purpose of the new synagogue, which was constructed during the years of 1700-1708.
During the time of Lubomirski, the new city was constructed with its plaza and streets. Along with the Poles, Jews who were merchants and peddlers settled there. Slowly, Jews purchased lots and houses that had been in the possession of Christians. They started to build a new synagogue, and received a permit for that purpose from Hieronim August Lubomirski on January 6, 1686.
In 1674, the number of Jews in Rzeszow exceeded the number of Poles, and reached 1,400 souls. In 1656, when Jews were allowed to acquire homes in the old city, the immediately began to purchase houses, and signed contracts agreeing to “protect the holy cross”. This type of clause was not included in the contracts during the days of Ligenza, but was introduced by Lubomirski at the urging of the monks. In 1728, there were already sixteen Jewish houses in the old city, however they were not used for residential purposes but rather for communal needs: such as the rabbinical court and the synagogue.
There were still difficulties involved in obtaining ownership of private homes in the old city even after the edit forbidding Jews from residing there was repealed in 1696. The difficulties involved the parades of Boze Cialo  that took place in the city plaza, and the requirement that Jews who bought homes would be obligated with all the same obligations of the Christian homeowners, such as: guard duty, civic taxes, as well as church taxes which were to be paid to the bishop.
The business and work of the Jewwas centered in the new city, and at the end of the 18th century the Jewish quarter was annexed to it. The Jewish quarter was previously associated with the old city, not from an administrative point of view but rather due to its topographical situation.
According to the directives of the palace, the roads between the old city and the new city were paved in order to facilitate communication. The improvements to these roads were the responsibility of both the Jews and the Christians, however controversy broke out between them with regard to which roads each side was responsible for. Lubomirski had to intervene in the debate.
In 1724, Lubomirski issued a “Universal” in which the allocation of the roads was set as follows: the Christians were responsible for the upkeep of the road which runs from the house of the honorable Pasakowicz, now owned by Yaakov Baldorf, which runs through the plaza of the old city in the direction of the rectory (fara), and from there to Rozanka Street, and continues from there to the plaza near the gate in the wall, and from that gate to the gate of the Bernardines, and from the Wola to the end of the suburb. The Jews were required to maintain the roads that run from Baldorf’s house in the direction of the plaza of the new city, and from the plaza to the civic brick kiln on one side, and on the other side to the bridge of the new city. From there continuing to the Wola until the gate that is on the Wislok River.
Despite the intervention of Prince Lubomirski, the controversy continued between the Christians, who saw themselves as the rulers of the old city, and between the Jews who were becoming more numerous in the new city. The root of the dispute was about whom was obligated to cover the costs of the new gate that was erected in those days in the new city. The Christians claimed that this was the responsibility of the Jews, whose population in the new city was greater than that of the Christians, and since the new city was the seat of their community (Synagogowi Starsi).
The Jews claimed that the gate led out to the fields, and therefore was required by the Christians. Lubomirski determined that both the Jews and the Christians were required to build the new gate. In order to put an end to these disputes, he forcefully decreed the arrangements for these gates: “since the city has eight gates for entry and exit, four should be the responsibility of the Christians, and four the responsibility of the Jews.
For the Christians: the first gate by his Holiness Jan Nepomocen, the second by the garden of the palace, the third by the gate in the city wall, and the fourth by the Bernardine monastery in the direction of Przeworsk.
For the Jews: The gate in the new city near Wola-Jaroslawska, the second in the new city near the brick kiln owned by the owner of the city, the third is the new gate, and the fourth by the Podzamcz pool.
The Christians and the Jews are responsible to arrange for necessary repairs.”
Lubomirski maintained his own palace army. When he built a stable for the horses of his army, he imposed upon the Christians and the Jews to cover the building expenses.
As the years went on, an improvement took place with regard to the ability of the Jews to take ownership of houses in the old city. Previously, the Jewish purchasers were required to give payment on the condition of ‘wiederkauf’, a condition that the Jews refused to accept. After the ‘wiederkauf’ was repealed, it was possible to take possession of property by incurring a personal debt.
During those years, the community was not able to have its concerns taken into account in this matter by the civic governing authorities and the palace. The number of houses in the old city diminished, and many of the citizens abandoned their houses. These conditions enabled Jews to take possession of homes and to draw nearer to the tower that was in the plaza. By the middle of the 18th century, the Jews possessed 26 houses. During the 18th century, the commerce in the old city was almost completely in the hands of the Jews.
Based on the agreement of the owner of the city as well as the privilege which has already been quoted several times, the Jews in the new city were considered to be a separate community.
Just as in all of the cities of Poland, the relations between the Jews and the Christians were shaky, due to the economic competition as well as the religious hatred.
The situation of the Jews was made worse by the law preventing them from doing business on Sundays and Christian holidays. Most of the Jews were merchants and artisans, so this affected them substantially.
In 1674, the ruler of the palace issued a strong edict which forbade the Jews from opening their stores on Sundays, with the exception of those that sold wheat, bread, meat, foul, fuel and other foodstuffs and related items. The sale and production of spirits was absolutely forbidden.
The Jews of Rzeszow were affected even more by the edict of the bishop Sierakowski in 1746: According to edict the following rules were imposed upon the Jews a) they must conduct the prayers in their synagogues and other religious observances without shouting; b) they must obtain permission from the church rulers before they could build any new synagogue; c) it was forbidden to request Christians to put out candles on Yom Kippur ; d) according to the law of King Zygmunt August of 1562, it was forbidden to employ Christian maids and domestic helpers; e) it was forbidden to open stores, workshops and to conduct any public work on Christian holidays; f) the Jews were required to remain in their homes and not to appear on the streets during the Boze Cialo and Good Friday processions; g) it was only permitted to arrange a wedding on days that were known to the Christians; h) it was forbidden to employ a Christian in the Jewish cemetery; i) due to the large areas that the Jews owned in the cities and towns, they were required to give annually to the local church two wax stones and one milk stone .
As can be understood, in this tense situation, there were attacks upon the Jews, primarily in the 17th century when it was forbidden for them to live in the old city. The appearance of Jews in the plaza would arouse the youth, who would then instigate fights. Attacks on the Jews also took place in other parts of the city as well. In 1679 there was a fight with students, who fell upon a group of Jews and injured them. There were also incidents of Jews striking other Jews. In 1685, Lewko Moszkowicz, the director of the Jewish hospital announced that he was struck and injured. His staff members Walenti Litwinowicz and Netanel Andrizen found him lying on a bed in the hospital and they saw the wounds that were caused by the blows. When the civic administrator asked him three times who was guilty, he answered: “Moshko and his wife”. They attacked him during the night and struck him several times.
The relation of the palace rulers with the Jews was not always fair, and in many cases it was even cruel. This can be seen from several events during the course of the 1840s.
The rulers Ticzinski and Ulmiczer persecuted the Jews cruelly. They extorted merchandise and money from them, and imposed special duties upon the community in an arbitrary fashion. They confiscated sheets, blankets and pillows from Jewish homes.
When difficult inspections were imposed on the merchants, the merchants had no choice but to hide merchandise in villages, behind the back of the palace inspectors, and to bring the merchandise to the city secretly.
In 1741 a Jewish merchant Meir Doktorowicz was forced by the palace court to work for three months upon the fortification of the palace while bound in fetters to a wagon.
The cruel behavior of the rulers also affected the gentiles. In order to appease the residents of the city in regard to these matters, in 1740 Lubomirski repealed all of the impositions of the rulers and established that the residents were only required to supply two wagonloads of wood for fuel once a week during the winter months. At that time, thepalace took control the export of grain as a monopoly. This seriously harmed the business of the Jews.
At the beginning of the 18th century, a judgement was passed in Rzeszow accusing a Jew of profaning and cursing the Christian faith. The tavern owned by Shmuel Dubinski was well known in the city as a place where the citizens of the city would gather and discuss the matters of the day. Thus, one of the days in 1726, prior to the elections to the council, an interesting discussion was held there about the merits of the candidates. One citizen said to his friend: “Whom can we elect as the mayor of the city? One instigates a dirty controversy, another is a ‘zatut’, another is stupid, and the other would first have to convert to Christianity.” Apparently, the owner of the tavern himself enjoyed participating in these discussions, and even to enter into debate with his customers. However, one such conversation tripped him up and caused him to be brought before the court. The event was as follows:
One time, over a cup of beer, a debate was held about the elections to the council, and the relations of the Jews to the Catholics, as well as the need of the Jews for Christian blood , and other such matters. The disputant turned his attention to the Jewish faith. The Jew, Shmuel Dubinski claimed: Our god is older than your Catholic god is. The accuser claimed in the courthouse that in order to defend his claim, Shmuel arose, opened the window, pointed to the statue and the cross, the work of a potter and said: “You believe in this? Szteksziper the potter made it out of tin.”. To the response that it was only a statue, Shmuel pointed out: “Why would god have permitted himself to be crucified if he was so strong, and why is your god bent over?”. They answered him: “Shmuel, don’t debate, for god is god, even if the wood bends over and collapses. Don’t debate why he permitted himself to be crucified, for he is merciful, and he agreed to be tortured to forgive our sins.” This matter was brought to the court and Shmuel was imprisoned. A theologian in Rzeszow as well as a professor of theology in Przemysl saw this as blasphemous against Christianity, and had him brought to justice.
Due to the testimony of the witnesses that were brought in, the court was convinced of the guilt of Shmuel and issued a judgement that in accordance with the Magdeburg law, paragraph 65, chapter 106, the tongue of Shmuel should be cut out and he should afterward be hung and burned in a wood pyre.
There were also criminal cases brought against the Jews. At the end of the 17th century, David and Yaakov Jakobowicz – David from Rovno in Volhynia and Yaakov of Chmielnik – Mark Leizerowicz of Dubno, Mark Itzkowicz of Brest-Litovsk, were all accused of stealing merchandise from the merchant Piotrow Sorbes of Krakow in an inn not far from Rzeszow. In another case in Rzeszow, 24 people were sentenced to death by hanging. A second criminal case was brought against the Jew Moshe Jozefowicz of the village of Krupnik. The merchant Shachna from Rzeszow was sitting with him in the wagon on the way to Zawanice. Jozefowicz strangled him near Kamenice-Podolsk and plundered all of his belongings.
In accordance with paragraph 31 of the criminal code, they sentenced him to be torn into four pieces beneath the hanging post, and the four pieces of his body were hung from posts.
There were a number of people who became apostates, gave up on their people and religion and sought refuge in the Catholic Church. The first Jew who converted to Christianity was Moshko in 1611. He changed his name to Adam Torowinski.
The number of apostate Jews grew during the years 1758-1762, and reached 15. (It is quite possible that this was due to the influence of the Frankists .
The following Christian families in Rzeszow were of Jewish extraction: Majowski, Dobrowolski, Wrzeszniowski, Czerwiecki, Nowicki, and Jakobowski of the Koppel family. We should add that these names were Frankists (according to the Liber baptisatorum of the church of Rzeszow).
The surnames of the Jews were listed in full in the registry of Starozakonny Infidelis, or in short as a resident of Rzeszow. The names were for the most part based on their places of origin, such as : Pinczowski, Dubinski, Krakowski, Przemiski, and the like. At first these names indicated the place of origin of the bearer himself, but with the passage of time these names were transferred to their children. There were also names based on their profession, such a merchant (socher), cloth maker (Plucienik), Tabachnik, and Koracnik. They also took names based on the local area, such as: Bieniasz, Nowotni, and Nowak.
The relation of the Jews to the owner of the city was no different than the relation of the Christians to him. The owner of the city supported the citizens to the extent that it brought him personal benefit. The Jews as well as the Christians were subjects who were under the authority of the owner of the city.
A Jew who arrived in Rzeszow was required to request that the owner of the city grant him right of residency in the city, and that he be accepted as a subject. He was required to obtain a similar permit in order to be able to purchase a house or a lot. He was required to pay taxes in return for these permits, and if he did not pay he would lose all of his rights, and the owner of the city would sell his house.
A Jew was not permitted to move from Rzeszow to another city without the permission of the owner of the city, and without the knowledge of the palace judges. A Jew was only permitted to travel a distance of six miles outside of the city for his own personal business. He was obligated to obtain a note of security from four friends in order to be able to make a business trip, and he was required to obtain a permit for his daughter to marry in a different city. A Jew was required to take an oath as a subject of the owner of the city.
If the Jews wished to obtain a loan with the communal property as surety, they were required to ask permission from the owner of the city, and only with such permission could a legal document be drawn up.
The owner of the city had the supreme rights of approval over the affairs of the Jews, just as he had over the affairs of the Christians. The Jews appeared as one faction in matters of civic affairs, as the second half of the city. Two authorities – the city and the Jewish community – were in conflict over the rights and duties of their members. Matters were conducted with each side watching that no laws were broken, and no duties were neglected, and on numerous occasions, the governing authorities of the palace had to intervene in order to adjudicate on duties and privileges. In the middle of the 18th century, 140 of the total of 250 houses in the city were under Jewish ownership. The Jews suffered greatly from fires, and several houses were vacant, such that in 1732 there were nine Jewish homes . The value of an ordinary house along with its lot was 600 guilder in the 17th century.
In the middle of the 17th century, in 1623, ten Jewish homes in the center of the city belonged to: Wolf Moszkowicz, Berko Eizikowicz, Rabinowicz, Koppel, David Moszkowicz, Zitman, Kolman, the Jewish courthouse, the home of the Rabbi, and the Yeshiva building.
By the end of the 18th century, when the city was already under Austrian rule, there were 330 houses in the city.
In the event of a fire or an enemy invasion all of the residents of the city, without exception, were required to protect the city. In the event of a fire, every resident was required to present himself for the salvation effort. In the event of an invasion, every resident was required to protect the walls and courtyards in proximity to his home. During the time of war, the Jews had their own Hetman who allocated the sections of the city for which they would be responsible for defending.
In all legal and military documents, contracts, and property taxes, the Jews were subject to the civic laws. According to the 1724 of Jerzy Lubomirski, any matter that was not recorded in the books of the city was lacking legal authority. Any Jew who obtained property from a Catholic was required to accept the civic law and to pay any taxes associated with the purchase. The Jewish community was required to participate with the Catholic community in all civic duties, including the guarding of the streets and bridges, courtyards, ramparts, and participation in fire fighting duties.
The Jewish community was responsible for the maintenance of the roads of Baldaczowka, through the marketplace until the civic brick kiln, as well as the road from the marketplace to the city gate of the Wislok. They had responsibility as well for all of the gates in the new city. The Jews were required to maintain together with the Catholic community the gate near the Pierrian monastery, as well as the gate and ramparts of the palace.
Together with the Catholic community, the community was required to cover half of the expenses of the civic officials, as well as the expenses of some of the palace officials. In return for this, they were freed from taxes imposed by the city. They were also freed from paying taxes for the cemetery and the hospital for the poor.
Even though the Jews were recognized as an independent religious community, they were to some extent subject to the jurisdiction of the Catholic spiritual authorities. The following edicts are found in the Universal of Bishop Sierakowski of 1746:
During the 17th century, the private relations between the Christians and the Jews were shaky, but the relations improved slightly in the 18th century.
In the 17th century, when it was forbidden for Jews to live in old Rzeszow, the appearance of a Jew in the marketplace would cause attacks and beatings. Events such as this took place almost daily.
On only one occasion, in 1679, a very important event that made a great impression on the population was recorded in the annals of the city. There was a clash in which several Jews were injured. Students were involved in this event, and Mozdanski, the civic advisor, quieted them down. Events were also recorded where the Jews related, so to speak, in an “ill-mannered” fashion toward the Christians.
The Jews of Rzeszow received loans from the church organizations, priests, citizens, and the church funds. According to the documents, the Jews of Rzeszow received loans in the sum of 100,000 guilder and more during the 18th century. This sum is accounted for by the money received by the communal leaders in 1700-1710 for the purposes of building a new synagogue, for the payment of taxes, and to cover deficits in the communal coffers. These loans were “perpetual”, guaranteed by the property of the Jews and they brought benefit to the debtors.
From the enactments of the guilds of blacksmiths, medics, butchers and bakers we learn that Jews were accepted as members of these guilds, enabling them to work in their professions in a legal fashion. In order not to be dependent on the rights and duties of the Christian members, they only paid dues sufficient to obtain an agreement that they would be permitted to work in their trades.
During fairs, the Jews were stationed together with the merchants from outside the city in places set aside for them by the guilds.
The Jews were subject to the same limitations as the outside merchants with regard to the purchase of merchandise. They were permitted to purchase merchandise only with the permission of the guild, and only in limited amounts. The purpose of these restrictions was to protect the members of the guilds from competition, since – according to the regulations of the barrel makers – “the Jews purchase merchandise and sell it to them, thereby doing great damage”.
The Jewish medics, bakers, and butchers were members of guilds. The number of butcher shops that could be owned by Jews was specified in the regulations of these guilds. The butchers could have six stores and the bakers could have eight. The number of trainees and apprentices that the artisans were permitted to retain was set (in any event at least one trainee was allowed). In the regulations of the butchers’ guild, it was stated that the head of the guild could be only a Christian. The bakers’ guild maintained a separate list of Jews and of Jewish trainees. The guild examinations were conducted separately for them. Four Jews were accepted as members of the guild between1747 and 1769.
There were 10 Jewish members of the butchers’ guild in the years 1734-1754. The Jewish butchers were permitted to run six butcher shops (the Christians had fourteen), and they were required to post a price list in their shops. In order to prevent controversy with the guilds, the palace issued a “Universal” in 1760 that set up the regulations for the kosher butcher shops. The butchers were under the supervision of an overseer who was appointed by the palace, as well as the ritual slaughterer (shochet). The shochet was only permitted to slaughter with the permission of the chief overseer. Hides from the slaughter of kosher animals were to be given to the supervisor for no payment, while hides from non-kosher slaughter were to be given over at half price. The Christian butchers protested against giving over the hides of non-kosher slaughter at half price. The citizens registered a complaint that the giving over of the hides raises the price of meat. Due to these complaints, Lubomirski issued an edict that the hides should no longer be given to the overseer.
The Jewish furriers who lived in the new city had a guild of their own. According to the privilege of 1686, they had to have their own flag, and had to own guns, gunpowder and bullets. All disputes had to be adjudicated by the palace vice-director. The situation changed in the 18th century when Jerzy Ignace Lubomirski repealed the edict from the days of Ligenza and Prince Wladislaw Ostrowski of 1640, which forbade the Jews from taking possession of houses and lots in the old city. In 1647 there was not one Jewish tailor in the old city. By the beginning of the 18th century there already were disputes between the Christian and Jewish tailors with regard to purchasing cloth and tailoring implements from the merchants of Danzig and the east. According to the population records (lustracia) of 1757, there were in the old and new cities 77 Jewish artisans, including 26 smiths, 19 tailors, 6 hat makers, 4 butchers, 4 doctors (medics), 4 belt and ribbon makers, 4 furriers, 3 cord makers, 2 polishers, and 1 engraver.
The Christian merchants saw the Jews as fierce competitors, and they used all means at their disposal in their struggles, especially accusing them of counterfeiting their merchandise – a thing which even the historian of Rzeszow Pincekowski records as a historical fact without being able to prove it from the documents which were in his possession. He did not even quote one case against the Jews that accused them of counterfeiting merchandise.
At first, the Jews of Rzeszow were merchants of cattle, which they purchased primarily from the noblemen that were in the area of Jaroslawand Rzeszow. The Christians and Jewish merchants formed agreements with the artisans, as they would sell their wares. The merchandise was spread out beyond the borders of the city, especially in the direction of Breslau (Wroclaw). In the 17th century, the Jewish merchant Eizikowicz stood out in particular. He used to frequent the fairs of Breslau. In 1674, during the Breslau fair, he made a contract with the merchant Jan Klins of Waszow to provide him with 100 large quartz stones. It was agreed that Klins would come to the fair of Sandomierz in 1675 with his merchandise, and there he would acquire the quartz. He would pay Eizikowicz 6,000 guilder in cash or merchandise after examining the wares. The situation between them had to be adjudicated. Klins requested the stones according to the weights used in Waszow, and Eizikowicz provided them according the weights used in Sandomierz. The difference was 1,000 stones. In addition, Eizikowicz was late by three weeks. Klins refused to accept the stones, since according to his claim he lost 2,000 guilder. Eizikowicz claimed that he traveled to him in Pinczow to find him, and the sum of his expenses was 800-900 guilder. The matter was brought to court, but we do not know how it was adjudicated.
photo on top of page 33 – Business on market day.
Eizikowicz supplied the merchants of Rzeszow with textiles for many years during the second half of the 17th century. During those years, Eizikowicz was a Jew who was well known in mercantile circles outside of Rzeszow. Merchants from outside the city made arrangements with him to provide them with merchandise for fairs outside of Rzeszow. In 1633, the city was permitted to maintain a warehouse for wine and fish in accordance with the regulations in effect for other such warehouses. In 1677 all of the privileges of the kings of Poland were endorsed, and an additional fair was allowed over and above the existing fairs. This fair was to take place on the holiday of Saint Jan Cziszial, and was to be on par with the fair of Jaroslaw. The Jewish merchant Josefowicz became prominent in 1678, as he exported wagons laden with lead to Hungary. In 1674 Jan Klins of Waszow ordered from him 200 hides for the fair of Moszcziska. Marczin Grodka of Waszow ordered textiles from Rzeszow for the fair of Moszcziska, and Melchior Lambrecht ordered textiles and hides. In 1675, the Jewish merchant Markowicz imported 1,200 cubits of lace and ribbons of various colors from Danzig in return for the grain that he sold there. In 1718 a Jew from Rzeszow sold wax to the merchant Malochoczki of Krakow in return for pepper, golden and silver lacework and other fabrics.
Jews imported various merchandise from Posen (Poznan) in return for agricultural products, cattle, horses, cream, and mead. Imported merchandise from Hungary included wine, hides, metal, English and French fabrics, and smooth stones. Silk and other fancy goods were imported from Breslau and Leipzig. They also imported merchandise from Wallachia, Turkey and Transylvania, including: wine, carpets, silk, tobacco, and colonial merchandise. A few of the local Jewish merchants were representatives of firms from outside of Rzeszow. In 1718, the Jews of Rzeszow signed a contract with the merchant Malochoczki of Krakow to provide them with 551 wax stones.
The Jewish inn of Yosef Leizerowicz and six Christian inns were located in the old city. Jews owned most of the inns of the new city. The most important of these were those of Mrs. Zalmanowicz, Shaul Leviczowa, Lochmonowicz, and Lewko Zelichowicz.
Jewesses were involved food retail business. They would pay eighteen groszy a month for a booth. The retail stores were owned mainly by Jewesses.
In 1730 there were 91 stores. Of these, 31 were large (6 of these were owned by Christians). The number of stores decreased to 41 in 1761.
In the 17th century, almost all of the stores were owned by Jews, however there was a special restriction on the sale of baked goods. Only 8 of these type of stores were permitted to Jews, while the Christians had 30.
The list of merchants from 1730 included 85 Jewish names, and only 6 Catholic names. There was only one Catholic store in the center of the city in 1762.
The German geographer Bardotzki called Rzeszow “Jerusalem of Galicia” at the beginning of the 18th century. In the middle of the 18th century the population of the Jews equaled that of the Christians, and they then began to become the majority.
Photo on top of page 34: Jewish peddlers on Mateyko Street.
A number of Jews were in the business of providing loans in return for surety. In 1757, Barak, the Rabbi of Rzeszow, and Kelia Moszkowicz Rafaelowicz who was a lessee along with her daughter Tzvia, were all involved in the providing of loans.
There was tension between the Christians and the Jews. The Jews lived peaceably together in the new city, but very few of them lived in the villages. In 1790 there was one Jewish family of five people living in Staroniwa; in Zwieczyce there were four families with a total of sixteen people; In Przybyszowka – two families with a total of seven people; In Krasna – seven families with 34 people; in Malawy – three families with fifteen people. Thus, in 1790, these towns had seventeen families with a total of 77 people. In Drabinianka, Staromiescie, Pobitno, and Ruskawies there were no Jews at all. The Jews in the villages were owners of taverns and lessees. The palace related to the Jews according to their ability to pay.
From 1725 to 1734 the palace governor in Rzeszow was Jan Ticzinski. He was a cruel man who beat the residents, demanded gifts from them, and did not pay the artisans and palace workers. When it became known that he hid payments that were due to the palace, Lubomirski demanded that all of the residents, Jews included, present to him their complaints about Ticzinski.
However, the second governor, Timoteus Ulmiczer, behaved in the same manner of Ticzinski from 1744 to 1747. He was accused in 1747. It is no wonder that on April 29, 1740, Lubomirski turned to the mayor and head of the Jewish community with a request to provide one wagon weekly in the summer, and two weekly in the winter, full of firewood for the residence of the palace captain.
The edict of the owner of the city in 1723 that imposed many payments upon the Jewish merchants did great damage to the livelihood of the residents. From that time on, the number of non-local merchants who came to the fairs of Rzeszow diminished. The local business shrank due to the various payments known as “Krupka”. The palace inspectors would confiscate merchandise that was not registered in the books of the merchants. Thus was trapped the Jewish merchant Doktorowicz in 1741, who was sentenced by the palace court to twelve weeks of labor in the palace citadel while bound in chains. There were cases where stores were closed and the money in them was confiscated.
The decline of the city began already at the beginning of the 18th century. The great fires of 1709 and 1729 destroyed the city, and it was rebuilt with great difficulty. Aside from the fires, epidemics affected the city, which affected the economic life. A severe epidemic spread in the city between 1707 and 1713, and again in 1735.
Aside from these situations, wars and national unrest affected the city. In the first half of the 18th century, great damage was inflicted on the city and its residents in the form of plunder, and pillage of merchandise and food by the armies of the Swedes, Russians, and Poles. An internal emigration began in 1730. The Christian merchants move from “Nowo Miasto” (the new city) to Stara Miasto” (the old city). The owner of the city Jerzy Lubomirski attempted to stem this emigration, which was resulting in an evacuation of “Nowo Miasto” of its residents. He issued an edict in 1740 that anyone who would reside in the new city would be freed from palace taxes for seven years, and would be permitted to engage in commerce and the serving of liquor in a free fashion. However, these new conditions did not apply tothe original residents. The debts on houses give evidence of the impoverishment of the residents of Rzeszow, and it is no wonder that in 1730, 1740, and 1750 we hear of the flight of citizens from the city, and of abandoned houses which were confiscated by the palace. In those years, some individual Jews began to purchase homes, and Yona Izraelowicz purchased the house of Yaakov Pokolowski for 2050 guilder. Yaakov Pokolowski left his home on Zatilna Street in the old city together with his family. From the moment that the new city began to organize, Jews began to purchase homes of the citizens. Therefore, there arose the need for the establishment of a new synagogue, which was erected with the permission given by Hieronim August Lubomirski to the Jews on January 26, 1681. In 1724, Lubomirski issued an edict about matters affecting the Catholics and Jews. It was commanded that Jews maintain the following roads and areas: “from the house of Yaakov Baldorf in the direction of the market of the new city, through the market to the civic brick kiln on one side, and on the other side from the gate of the new city through the Wola to the bridge over the Wislok. The Jews lived in “Nowo Miasto” (the new city), and that became their center of activity. In order to put an end to the disputes between the Catholics and the Jews, Lubomirski issued a judgement that the Catholics and the Jews were required together to build the new gate of the city. Of the eight entry and exit gates of the city, the maintenance of four was the responsibility of the Catholics, and the maintenance of the other four was the responsibility of the Jews. The Jews were responsible for: the “Nowo Mieski” gate near the “Wola Yaroslawska”; the “Nowo Mieski” gate near the brick kiln; the new gate; and the “Podzamcza Pool”. All of the gates were to be kept in good repair, and they had to pay for any repairs.
We know from the “Universal” of Lubomirski that the Jews were also required to pay for the new stable. However, there were also some Jews who were not even able to maintain their own homes, and therefore, for example, in 1764, the lessee Moszkowicz gave over his home in the new city to the palace. This home was already in ruins, without ovens, windows, or doors, and the roof was shaky. He was not able to maintain the house due to his poverty.
The economic decline of the city also caused emigration from the city. The calls of Lubomirski that those that left should return to their homes were of no avail, and the threats of Lubomirski that the abandoned homes would be transferred to the palace property also were to of no avail. In 1735, the palace forbade the merchants to leave the city, and issued a series of commands that the head of the city and members of the council were responsible to insure that the residents did not leave the city. In 1740 all of the homeowners were commanded to fix the old houses and to build new houses.
Similar conditions existed at this time in other cities. For example, in Krakow, there were 70 abandoned houses; in Czanow – also 70 abandoned houses; and in Biecz in 1717 only 18 occupied houses.
A period of decline overtook Rzeszow in the 18th century. Documents of the Rusin Wojewodztwo from the 18th century repeatedly referred to Rzeszow as a “poor city”.
A new period only began in 1750, which brought Rzeszow toward the 18th century, thanks to new conditions.
A special court used to operate during the fairs of Rzeszow. The members of the court during the Rzeszow fair of 1688 is known to us, as follows: David Rzeszowski, Yehuda Lewkowicz of Lubartow, Menachem Manes Levita of Rzeszow, and Aharon Markowicz of Rzeszow.
A police force operated during the time of the fair, which used to issue on-the-spot judgements. The Krakow court also operated during the fairs of Rzeszow. In 1688, the administrator from Krakow Ber Yaakovowicz was sent to the fair of Rzeszow.
Theft of merchandise would occur during fairs, and in 1681 the merchandise of Yaakov Wales of Krakow was stolen. In 1725, Baruch Naftalowicz, who was the Jewish commissioner from Rzeszow, requested that the activist of the Krakow community Hirsch Manischewicz issue a judgement regarding a situation where he was overpowered and mocked on Groczka Street in Krakow.
The free permit allowed the distilling of liquor. In practice, no limits were imposed on the production and serving of liquor. Special beer did not have to be made for the benefit of the city or the owner of the city, and the beer brewers did not receive an exclusive permit for the brewing of beer.
There were taverns that sold only beer that was brewed under the authority of the owner of the city or the Bernardines, and these taverns were exempt from taxes. With the passage of years, some beer breweries disappeared, and others were transferred to the owner of the city. Wolf Mendelowicz paid 9,000 guilder in 1764 for the license for all of the taverns and breweries for three years. There were 29 taverns in 1730. These included: 4 owned by producers of mead, 6 by brewers of beer, 11 hotels, and 8 beer halls. The brewing of beer was in Christian hands until the beginning of the 18th century.
Avraham Chaimowicz produced and sold all types of drinks in his house with a license from the owner of the city. Wolf Mendelowicz leased all of the taverns for three years from Lubomirski for 90,000 guilder , and he leased the right to sell only three taverns in the city. By the beginning of the 19th century, the production of liquor was already in the hands of the Jews. Weinberg leased the civic beer brewery in 1803-1804, and produced 1,021 casks of beer per year. Berel Leinder produced 11,340 jugs of mead in his brewery.
At the same time, the Jews took over a greater portion of the trade to the north. Jews of Rzeszow traveled to Danzig and Torun on business. Yitzchak Eizekowicz and Yisrael of Rzeszow were prominent in this trade in the 17th century. Some of the Jews of Rzeszow participated in the Leipzig fair. In 1678, five Jews of Rzeszow took part; in 1681 – one; in 1699 – three. In 1778-1779 the city of Danzig issued a concession to the Rzeszow Jew Hirsch Yisrael, in order to induce him to stay in Danzig.
Jews took part in the fairs of Breslau during the 17th century. In 1684, the Krakow Jew Wolf Yaakov participated, and in 1697 Shamir of Rzeszow participated. In 1674 and 1678 the Jews of Rzeszow were required by the city of Breslau to pay a debt which they owed to the heads of Polish Jewry. The owner of the city, Prince Alexander Lubomirski requested on December 11, 1678 that the city of Breslau not force his Jews from Rzeszow to pay the debts of the Jewish leaders that were under the auspices of the King of Poland. He requested that they not oppress the Jews who come to Breslau. The heads of Polish Jewry did not find any other way to demand their debts from the Jews, other than to present themselves on the market day in Breslau, and with the assistance of the council to force the Jews to pay their debts, and to arrest those who refuse. Many Jews of Rzeszow came to Breslau for the Elizabeth fair, and in 1696, the administrator  of the Rzeszow Jews was there. In 1697, the administrators of Poland included one administrator from Rzeszow. With the passage of time the situation of the administrators improved, in that they made money and their numbers were limited. In 1722, there were eleven administrators, and the eight from Poland included one from Rzeszow.
Disputes broke out regarding this matter. The administrator was the spokesman of the Jews of his region. Even though his appointment was connected to, and required a permit from the Council of Four Lands, the actual appointment was made by the leaders of the province or region. In 1722, there were 159 Jews from Poland in Breslau, including 11 from Rzeszow.
Rzeszow had approximately 40 Jewish homes during the 17th century, and in each home lived several families. In one source it is stated that the number of Jews exceeded the number of Christians. However, we only have exact numbers from 1. In that year there were in Rzeszow: 140 Jewish citizens (obywatele), 172 residents, and 49 artisans. Of these, the numbers in the old city of Rzeszow were as follows: 26 citizens, 45 residents, and 27 artisans.
In the new city there were 78 citizens, 127 residents, and 27 artisans. With an estimate of 5 people per family, we come to a number of 1,429 for the Jewish population of Rzeszow.
In 1765 there were 1202 Jews in Rzeszow, however this is not an exact figure, since the community did not register the children who were exempt from the head-tax.
The population by profession is as follows: 94 whose profession was unspecified, 29 tailors, 27 goldsmiths, 26 taverners, 31 merchants and store owners, 12 money-changers, 10 hat-makers, 10 teachers, 10 clergymen, 6 cord-makers, 6 bowl-makers, 5 furriers, 5 doctors, 4 musicians, 4 draznicy (porters), 3 bakers, 3 butchers, 2 textile-makers, 1 glass-blower, 1 soap-maker, 1 tile-maker, 1 plasterer, 25 who received support, and 8 servants.
The ones with unspecified professions were for the most part merchants, middlemen, brokers, and agents who conducted business on behalf of themselves or others.
In 1723, the prince who was the owner of the city issued an edict that only an agent who possessed a special privilege was permitted to fill his duty. In 1757, the number of these privileges as limited to four, with the condition that it was possible to revoke the privilege if they were causing damage to the merchants.
With respect to the size of the tax base as an indicator of economic power, the first place went to the merchants (excluding the store owners), the second place went to the tailors, and the rest – to the smiths, cord-makers, medics and bakers. Families worked in the smith business for many years, and in the event that a son was not born to the family, a son-in-law or brother-in-law would conduct the business. The business of the smiths reached as far as Vienna, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, and St. Petersburg. In St. Petersburg and Copenhagen they also filled the role of royal engravers. Entire families, fathers together with children, also worked in the tailoring profession.
JewishGen, Inc. makes no representations regarding the accuracy of
the translation. The reader may wish to refer to the original material
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.
Rzeszow, Poland Yizkor Book Project JewishGen Home Page
Copyright © 1999-2013 by JewishGen, Inc.
Updated 22 Jul 2008 by LA