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The Small Assembly 163

by David Joshua Malkiel
The Small Assembly 163 received from the state firefighting office. It would function in keeping with the known rules, and serve until the election of a new Small Assembly [ 85r- v]. III. Communal Order Civic order meant keeping the peace. In December 1617 the shop of Abraham the butcher was vandalized. He complained to the Small Assembly, which responded by threatening the offenders with excommunication unless they came forward within three days, and then carried out acts of restitution  and contrition to be prescribed by the communitys leaders. 74  The Small Assembly urged the offenders to reveal the identities of their accomplices, promising absolution from the excommunication and a five- ducat reward. The statute ends with a threat to prosecute the offenders  through the states judicial system if they failed to come forward. 75 In February 1621 the Large Assembly accepted a Small Assembly initiative to negotiate with the states chief of police, the  Capitano Grande, for an increase in the policing of the ghetto. 76  This was deemed necessary  in light of the great scandals and unseemly behavior that occur in the two ghettos every day, to the extent that it is barely safe to stay at home, and some measure must be taken [ 237r]. The Small Assembly was to ask the police chief to visit or send men to the ghetto at least twice a week, by night as well as by day,  for the ghettos safety  and to prevent the many scandals that can take place every day. 77 74 The statute leaves open the questions of whether the Small Assembly or the rabbis of Venice would prescribe the penitential action,  and of whether the action would involve a financial and/ or a ritual act. 75 Ff. 202v- 203r. The statute is headed by two lists of names:  those of the Small Assembly, and those of the  Parnassim, the ethnic substratum of Venetian Jewish self- government. 76 Roth states that, periodically,  the Jewish community had to raise sixty ducats for the Capitano Grandes ceremonial visits to the ghetto. Roths source, however, is unknown. See his Venice, p. 123, including the picture of the meeting between the Capitano Grande and the communitys representatives. 77 On violence in the ghetto, see the Libro Grande statute against forcing a hazakah holder, by threat of violence, to take in a new tenant [ 45v- 46v]. Threats of violence against Moisè de Iacopin Sacerdote, by means of Christian thugs, represent the same pattern [ 155v]. Some other sources are: the story of the murder of Leone Modenas son, Zevulun [ Modena, Autobiography, pp. 118- 120]; the archival series of judicial sentences passed by the Venetian Avogadori Chapter Home  | TOC  | Index t t t

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The Small Assembly 163 received from the state firefighting office. It would function in keeping with the known rules, and serve until the election of a new Small Assembly [ 85r- v]. III. Communal Order Civic order meant keeping the peace. In December 1617 the shop of Abraham the butcher was vandalized. He complained to the Small Assembly, which responded by threatening the offenders with excommunication unless they came forward within three days, and then carried out acts of restitution and contrition to be prescribed by the community's leaders. 74 The Small Assembly urged the offenders to reveal the identities of their accomplices, promising absolution from the excommunication and a five- ducat reward. The statute ends with a threat to prosecute the offenders through the state's judicial system if they failed to come forward. 75 In February 1621 the Large Assembly accepted a Small Assembly initiative to negotiate with the state's chief of police, the Capitano Grande, for an increase in the policing of the ghetto. 76 This was deemed necessary \\" in light of the great scandals and unseemly behavior that occur in the two ghettos every day, to the extent that it is barely safe to stay at home, and some measure must be taken\\" [ 237r]. The Small Assembly was to ask the police chief to visit or send men to the ghetto at least twice a week, by night as well as by day, \\" for the ghettos' safety and to prevent the many scandals that can take place every day.\\" 77 74 The statute leaves open the questions of whether the Small Assembly or the rabbis of Venice would prescribe the penitential action, and of whether the action would involve a financial and/ or a ritual act. 75 Ff. 202v- 203r. The statute is headed by two lists of names: those of the Small Assembly, and those of the Parnassim, the ethnic substratum of Venetian Jewish self- government. 76 Roth states that, periodically, the Jewish community had to raise sixty ducats for the Capitano Grande's ceremonial visits to the ghetto. Roth's source, however, is unknown. See his Venice, p. 123, including the picture of the meeting between the Capitano Grande and the community's representatives. 77 On violence in the ghetto, see the Libro Grande statute against forcing a hazakah holder, by threat of violence, to take in a new tenant [ 45v- 46v]. Threats of violence against Moisè de Iacopin Sacerdote, by means of Christian thugs, represent the same pattern [ 155v]. Some other sources are: the story of the murder of Leone Modena's son, Zevulun [ Modena, Autobiography, pp. 118- 120]; the archival series of judicial sentences passed by the Venetian Avogadori << Chapter >> Home | TOC | Index t t t
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