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Chapter Summary

Polish-Lithuanian Jewry was the center of the early modern Jewish world, and the most outstanding symbol of its glory was the famous Jewish autonomy. The prominent Jewish historian Shmuel Ettinger begins his article about the Council of Four Lands with a quotation from the Babylonian Talmud. The external connections of the Council of Four Lands with the Polish political establishment and Jewish communities outside Poland have likewise been the focus of much study. The Council of Four Lands was created around 1580-1581 mainly for the purpose of collecting the Jewish poll tax. In 1995,14 the author begins to focus on the crucial connection between the Polish military and the Jewish poll tax, which from its genesis was intended mainly to benefit the army.

Keywords: Babylonian Talmud; Jewish autonomy; Poland



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