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¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Business ethics of the Jews likely spanned the entire spectrum between honesty and outright fraud and theft, although acts of rectitude are unlikely to be found in court proceedings and municipal records. The worst case probably involved organized cattle rustling:
Veit Weihl (U1.2) Jew, who has lived in Stühlingen dominion for a while and most recently in Donaueschingen dominion, is sued for payment of 69, 51, and 64 fl. for horses. His protection in Donaueschingen was annulled, and he is on the run. The stables of Jews Jäckle (C2.1.4), Joseph (G1.3.3), Marumb’s son, and Judele (U1.1), Veit’s brother, were inspected, and the horses were found. Plaintiffs can get their horses back if they present evidence that they are the owners. The wife of Veit Weil had arrived with a little child last night, heading for Lenglau [Lengnau] as he [Veit] had ordered her to go [R1356].
¶ 3 Leave a comment on paragraph 3 0 The purchase and sale of stolen goods was not uncommon. The records for the period of 1604 to 1743 show thirteen accusations or convictions for trading in stolen goods. These crimes contravene not only the laws of the land, but knowingly trading in stolen goods is also clearly forbidden by the Halacha.40
¶ 4 Leave a comment on paragraph 4 0 In 1629 “Davidt Jew of Eberfingen (Z1) is fined for buying stolen items” [R1689]. Later on “Lew (G1.4.1) Jew at Stühlingen is fined 6 fl. for buying stolen cloth from some soldiers” [R54], and the same “Lew of Stühlingen is fined 10 pounds for buying stolen property” [R4690]. Stolen goods were also taken as security on loans: “Jäcklein Lehman’s son-in-law in Horheim (M1.1) has taken stolen clothes as a pawn and is fined 10 pounds” [R4785].
¶ 5 Leave a comment on paragraph 5 0 In the beginning, Jews could easily buy and sell land and buildings, particularly in the villages and surrounding country. At times, they made a good profit. Things changed in the 1670s due to restrictions imposed on holding land. For example, in 1677 Sandel (S1.2) bought a meadow for 100 fl. and had to resell it for 60 fl. [R4926]. From about 1730 on, most real-estate transactions required a gentile resident to represent the Jewish buyer or seller [R4975]; the reasons for this practice are not apparent. Jews were allowed to own houses in Stühlingen, and often family members shared a building [R804]. Occasionally, a Jew did share a building with a gentile neighbour [R716], but each purchase of a Jewish residence had to be approved by the authorities [R2322].
¶ 6 Leave a comment on paragraph 6 0
40 Cf. Lev. 19:11.
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