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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

Return and Reconstruction

Return and Reconstruction

(p.76) Chapter Six Return and Reconstruction
Rescue the Surviving Souls

Adam Teller

Princeton University Press

This chapter explores the complex process of returning home after spending time as a Jewish refugee. The chaos of wartime conditions meant that there was a constant stream of Jewish refugees, often in the thousands, moving from place to place within the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. In such conditions, the idea of returning home at the earliest opportunity must have seemed an attractive option. Once they had decided to go back, however, the returnees faced the problem of actually gaining entrance into town. Once the Jews were back in town, they then had to reconstitute Jewish society. The third challenge facing the returning refugees was resuming their economic life. Ultimately, in social, economic, religious, legal, and possibly even psychological terms, the Jewish survivors, rebuilding their shattered lives, helped create a very solid foundation for the future growth of their communities. This was a process not without tensions and difficulties, and there was much suffering along the way. Still, as the 1650s progressed and made way for the 1660s, the Jews of Poland–Lithuania were able to position themselves for future growth and development.

Keywords:   Jewish refugees, Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Jews, Jewish society, Jewish economy, Jewish survivors, Jewish communities, Polish–Lithuanian Jews

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