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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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(p.88) Chapter Seven Resolution
Rescue the Surviving Souls

Adam Teller

Princeton University Press

This chapter assesses how the Polish–Lithuanian Jewry found some way of dealing with the refugee issue. The best solutions seem to have been found on the local level. In individual communities, Jewish refugees were taken into private homes and the communal monopoly over economic activity in the town was also relaxed to allow them to work. Jewish women seem to have played important roles in refugee society, both during their flight and on their return home. When it came to reconstituting their and their families' lives in the wake of the uprising, the refugee women were active not only in their economic activity but also in bringing non-Jewish murderers to justice. Meanwhile, efforts to bring back converts were only partially successful: a royal order was obtained permitting Jews who had converted to Orthodox Christianity to return, but it did not help converts to Catholicism, and the policy of welcoming back returning converts, particularly women, was not universally adopted.

Keywords:   Polish–Lithuanian Jewry, refugee issue, Jewish refugees, economic activity, Jewish women, refugee society, refugee women, Jewish converts, Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism

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