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Rescue the Surviving SoulsThe Great Jewish Refugee Crisis of the Seventeenth Century$
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Adam Teller

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691161747

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691161747.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 28 June 2022

Starting New Lives

Starting New Lives

(p.272) Chapter Twenty-Five Starting New Lives
Rescue the Surviving Souls

Adam Teller

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores how Jewish refugees dealt with the problems involved in starting their lives afresh in the Holy Roman Empire—a dynamic and creative process whose effects were felt well beyond their immediate circle. A key issue the refugees faced in the empire was their feelings of strangeness and sometimes even alienation. Many retained warm feelings toward their previous home, and the foreign environment in which they found themselves was hard to come to terms with. The refugees' feeling of strangeness was also a result of cultural and religious difference within Jewish society. Even when they did find a place to settle down in, the refugees did not always feel at home. However, there may have been deeper issues at work. There were those who ascribed their difficulties directly to their refugee experiences. The chapter then focuses on Jewish economic activity. Most refugees seem to have found themselves in one of two professions: trade, often just peddling, or some form of religious occupation, from the lowly jobs of teachers or slaughterers to highly prestigious rabbinical posts.

Keywords:   Jewish refugees, Holy Roman Empire, alienation, religious difference, Jewish society, refugee experiences, Jewish economic activity, trade, religious occupation

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