AJS REVIEW. VOL. 6. 1981. VI ASSOCIATION FOR JEWISH STUDIES by FRANK TALMAGE

By FRANK TALMAGE

AJS evaluate. VOL. 6. 1981. VI [ASSOCIATION FOR JEWISH reports]

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43 On the other hand, Jacob Katz has come to the opposite conclusion. "44 This issue is as yet unresolved. Religious teachings may or may not have contributed to the commercial success of the Jews in more or less the same way that they did or did not contribute to the success of the Calvinist Scots in Poland. And the cultural heritage of the Catholic Italian merchants in Poland certainly included a long history of positive evaluation of commercial activity. In the area of communal organization as well, the Jews were not to be distinguished from the Scots, Italians or Armenians.

59. Morgensztern, "Wiadomo'ci," p. 31. 60. Hilla Jeruchomowicz, an arendator and merchant who dealt in mead, beer, hops and herring; Juda Herslowicz, a qahal elder in 1680 and arendator of Beliyce, 1674-1691; and Icek Salamonowicz, a qahal elder in 1680-his house on the marketplace cost 1,000 Polish zloties in 1673. WAPL, Ks. m. Beliyce 5, 479; 531; Ks. m. Belzyce 7, 561, 631-32, 666, 677-78, 680, 697, 706-7, 712-13; Ks. m. Belzyce 8, 49, 64, 73, 136-37. (CAHJP,HM8233, HM8326, HM8237). 61. WAPL,Ks.

The urban social landscape in the Polish Commonwealth, then, presented a multifarious picture. True, among the artisans and the poor, ethnic Poles may well have been predominant, but among the commercial classes no single group was in control. Indeed, what was distinctive was the relative nonparticipation of Poles in the urban commercial life of the Commonwealth. Clearly then, use of terms like "middleman minority" with reference to the Jews in Poland during the period under consideration is mistaken on two counts: they were neither a minority nor were they middlemen-at the least, they were not the only middlemen.

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