¶ 1 Leave a comment on paragraph 1 0 Seats in the synagogue represented more than just bodily supports during spiritual pursuits. Their location in the sanctuary not only reflected social position in the congregation, but also represented capital assets that could be bought and sold like other goods:
Faistel Gugenheimb () representing Kayla Gugenheimb, wife of Mauschi Bloch (), sells Meyer Bloch () as representative of his son Mencke Bloch () the upper half of a house [situated] between Jonas () and Meyer Gugenheimb (), bordering at the rear to the garden and at the front to the common lane, plus a forecourt (Baulege) and a vegetable garden behind the house, and two mens’ and womens’ seats in the synagogue for fl 400 cash.
Marum Weyl junior the Fat (W1.3) a resident of here and Donaueschingen, declares that he had six years ago bought a man’s and a woman’s seat [Mann- und Weiberstuhl] in the synagogue from Daniel Bickert (B22.214.171.124.1.1) who had been under protection here but now lives in Wangen near Stein-am-Rhein, in the presence of three witnesses and the rabbi of Gailingen who issued a contract. Now Jonas Gugenheimb (G126.96.36.199) also claims this seat, explaining that he had bought it from the heirs of Daniel’s brother two years after. Plaintiff requests to cross-examine under oath said Daniel Bickert, whom he had unexpectedly met in the market yesterday. Jonas Gugenheimb refers to the Jewish ceremonies and claims that his title to this seat has priority and that Daniel Bickert was not authorized to sell it, because the younger brother always owned it [allzeiten in diesem Stuhl gestanden]. Daniel Bickert refers to Meyer Bloch (C188.8.131.52), Isaac Bickert (B184.108.40.206.2.1) and Reb Salmele (C220.127.116.11) who will say that this seat belonged to his father and that the older brother had the other, lower seat. Rabbi Salmele remembers well that old Schmuly (B18.104.22.168) stood in the upper and Daniel Bickert’s father in the lower seat. When Schmuly died, Hirtzel (B22.214.171.124.1.2) stood in the upper and Daniel in the lower seat. The matter will depend on both parties presenting the purchase documents, and these documents are to be compared [gegeneinander gehalten]. Lehmann Bickert (B126.96.36.199.3.1) says the same. Decision: As both brothers, Hirtzel and Daniel, have sold the upper seat, therefore plaintiff and defendant are to offer evidence as to which of the sellers has taken over which seat from their parents and present the ownership documents. They are to be translated and explained by an impartial rabbi. In the meantime, plaintiff and defendant are to alternate using the upper seat.