By Mark Alan Epstein
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Extra info for The Ottoman Jewish Communities and their Role in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries
51-54. 9 KK 2411, p. 20 (misnumbered as p. 6). 10 p. 401. A. Ovadiah, " Rabbi Eliyahu Mizrahi, 1F (Hebrew), Sinai, III (1939), Chapter II: Muslim-Jewish relations in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries Images reverenced in Christian Churches bar the doors against both Turk and Jew; who count us worse than cannibals for eating our God as they say we do in the Eucharist: a scandal we owe to the Court of Rome. Francis Osborn, 1673 In the preceding chapter we took note of the fact that there were Jewish communities in the Balkans and in Constantinople before and during the rise of the Ottomans, and that among them were Rabbinite and Karaite Jews.
33 In other words, the theory of zimmi status, by which protected peoples were merly tolerated at best, was strictly applied to the Orthodox population of Istanbul. In the case of the Jews there was a considerable divergence between theory and practice. A few synagogues survived from the Byzantine period and were serving the Greek Rabbinite, Ashkenazi, Italian, and Karaite communities of the city at the time of the conquest. 34 However, they were insufficient to serve the needs of the new arrivals from the provinces whom the Ottomans sent to Istanbul to participate in the rebuilding of the capital after 1453.
3 This strictness, and the actual enforcement of such a stern policy, is one of the factors which Binswanger cites as an integral part of the Ottoman policy of suppressing Istanbul Christians in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. 44 In mentioning this rule, Heyd adds Jews and synagogues only paranthetically, suggesting that this addition may not be justified 32 by the text but only by analogy. 45 If that is indeed the case, it may constitute one more piece of evidence illustrating the lenient treatment accorded to the Jews in certain periods when compared with the strict enforcement of the law to which the Christians were subjected.
The Ottoman Jewish Communities and their Role in the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries by Mark Alan Epstein