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40 Chapter Two Barbarigo

by David Joshua Malkiel
40 Chapter Two Barbarigo articulated the legal problem which lay at the heart of the Libro Grande affair thirteen years later, and his phrase  new republic anticipated a phrase which  Lonigo would use:  a republic separate from any dominion. 3 1  However, Lonigos harsh recommendations surpass Barbarigos, who merely suggested that the coming charter be formulated with greater precision. Similarly, in 1625 the Cattaveri objected to the fact that the Jewish community forced  its members to submit internal litigation to bindingarbitration. 3 2  They ordered the community henceforth to obtain prior government approval for four types of excommunications. The fourth of these was excommunications intended to force Jews to submit to arbitration,  so that they  shall not be able to seek out the civil and criminal magistracies. 33 Objections to Jewish self- government were not unique to Venice. Numerous earlier sources document government sensitivity to the question of the limits of Jewish autonomy in many places and times. In 1420, for example, the Sicilian government took action against its Jewish functionary for seeking to extend his jurisdiction by reinforcing ordinances with the threat of excommunication. In 1559, in Ferrara, Jewish juridical power was seen as a  diminution of the jurisdiction of the most distinguished duke, and was abrogated. The Jews were ordered to refrain from passing a law of any kind autonomy. This contrasts rather sharply with the charter granted the Levantine and Ponentine communities, beginning in 1589, which  defined the boundaries of their jurisdiction. See Ravid,  The First, p. 206. 31 The Jewish community of Florence  referred to itself as a  republic in 1608. See Cassutto,  I Più, p. 38. 32 Bonfil has argued that the Jewish  judicial process in Venice, as in Renaissance Italy generally, was limited to arbitration, which had a basis in medieval law. See his Rabbis, pp. 207- 251. The terms  courts and  judges, therefore, should be understood to refer to courts of arbitration. This rule is applicable to the Libro Grande statute that mentions the judicial function of rabbis ( pratichar nelle corti: 18lv). It is also applicable to the testimony on Venetian Jewish jurisprudence taken in a 1579 court case in Mantua. A local witness testified that in Venice the Jews appoint three men, called in Hebrew beit din, who deal primarily with matters of personal status. R. Jacob b. Abraham ( Barukh Kohen), a Venetian rabbi, testified that the Jewish courts had no need of confirmation by a Christian magistrate. The first statement indicates that the term bet din was used in reference to courts of arbitration. These, of course, were recognized by the state,  as the second statement declares. See Simonsohn, History, p. 356, n. 130. 33 ASV, Inquisitorato  aglEbrei, b. 19, f. 123v [ CAHJP  # HM5376]: siche non possono ricercar alli magistrati Civili et Criminalj).   Chapter Home  | TOC  | Index t t t t

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40 Chapter Two Barbarigo articulated the legal problem which lay at the heart of the Libro Grande affair thirteen years later, and his phrase \\" new republic\\" anticipated a phrase which Lonigo would use: \\" a republic separate from any dominion.\\" 3 1 However, Lonigo's harsh recommendations surpass Barbarigo's, who merely suggested that the coming charter be formulated with greater precision. Similarly, in 1625 the Cattaveri objected to the fact that the Jewish community forced its members to submit internal litigation to binding arbitration. 3 2 They ordered the community henceforth to obtain prior government approval for four types of excommunications. The fourth of these was excommunications intended to force Jews to submit to arbitration, \\" so that they shall not be able to seek out the civil and criminal magistracies.\\" 33 Objections to Jewish self- government were not unique to Venice. Numerous earlier sources document government sensitivity to the question of the limits of Jewish autonomy in many places and times. In 1420, for example, the Sicilian government took action against its Jewish functionary for seeking to extend his jurisdiction by reinforcing ordinances with the threat of excommunication. In 1559, in Ferrara, Jewish juridical power was seen as a \\" diminution of the jurisdiction of the most distinguished duke,\\" and was abrogated. The Jews were ordered to refrain from passing a law of any kind autonomy. This contrasts rather sharply with the charter granted the Levantine and Ponentine communities, beginning in 1589, which defined the boundaries of their jurisdiction. See Ravid, \\" The First,\\" p. 206. 31 The Jewish community of Florence referred to itself as a republic in 1608. See Cassutto, \\" I Più,\\" p. 38. 32 Bonfil has argued that the Jewish judicial process in Venice, as in Renaissance Italy generally, was limited to arbitration, which had a basis in medieval law. See his Rabbis, pp. 207- 251. The terms \\" courts\\" and \\" judges,\\" therefore, should be understood to refer to courts of arbitration. This rule is applicable to the Libro Grande statute that mentions the judicial function of rabbis ( pratichar nelle corti: 18lv). It is also applicable to the testimony on Venetian Jewish jurisprudence taken in a 1579 court case in Mantua. A local witness testified that in Venice the Jews appoint three men, called in Hebrew beit din, who deal primarily with matters of personal status. R. Jacob b. Abraham ( Barukh Kohen), a Venetian rabbi, testified that the Jewish courts had no need of confirmation by a Christian magistrate. The first statement indicates that the term bet din was used in reference to courts of arbitration. These, of course, were recognized by the state, as the second statement declares. See Simonsohn, History, p. 356, n. 130. 33 ASV, Inquisitorato agl'Ebrei, b. 19, f. 123v [ CAHJP # HM5376]: siche non possono ricercar alli magistrati Civili et Criminalj). << Chapter >> Home | TOC | Index t t t t
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