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Intercommunal frameworks

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Chapter Summary

The pinkassim examined in this chapter reveal something of the position their four communities - The Hague, Middelburg, Leeuwarden, and Oisterwijk - occupied within the Ashkenazi world of eighteenth-century Europe. Little direct evidence is found since pinkassim do not contain records of correspondence with other Jewish communities. Clues can be found in records that mention other communities in the context of official contacts involving both secular and religious leaders. The issue of migration also sheds light on this subject since migrants naturally settled in communities they knew by reputation. This reflects unofficial ties between individuals in different communities. Another aspect of this subject is the varying importance of official bnei mediene (regional organisations) for the four communities discussed here. This phenomenon, which was widespread in Germany and Poland, was rare in the Dutch Republic.

Keywords: Dutch Republic; eighteenth-century Europe; Jewish communities; Leeuwarden; Middelburg; Oisterwijk; pinkassim; regional organisations; The Hague



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