AJS Review (The Journal of the Association for Jewish by Norman A. editor Stillman

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By Norman A. editor Stillman

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In the much more extensive materialwe have for traditionalMorocco,there is hardly any indication of friction over matchmaking(Deshen 1989:107-108). '" Social Institutions,Positions,and Stereotypes Amongthe new institutionsthatdevelopedin nineteenth-century Baghdad were talmudicacademies,benevolentfunds for the benefitof cities in the Holy Land, and funds for the sick (Hayim 2:66, 1:111; 1973:223). "The community"(ha-kolel)is reportedto havepaidsalariesto thejudges,stipends to scholars,money for the education(andmeals)of students,andthe salaries of their teachers (Hayim 2:17b, 4:21).

An illuminatingsermonfrom 1913 adds to this. But now wealthy men do not devote themselves much to public affairs,but concentrateon commerce,"andsince the richarenoteffective,neitherarethe sageseffective (ve-kevanshe-cashirim'en k'an, hakhamim. . gamnken 'en k'an)"(Agassi 1968:208-209). He is notablymild. The religiosocialdisintegrationthat is reflectedin the sermonis not far-reaching. In late Ottomantimes secularizationwas slow in comingto Baghdadand reactionto it mild. Abandonmentof religiouspracticesin Baghdadwas not rabbinical attitude toward change in Europe in the early stages of secularization; it changes as the movement for innovation is bolstered by ideology.

This suggests that the role of matchmaker was not as institutionalized in Baghdad as it was in Ashkenazi Jewry, perhaps because the size and heterogeneity of the population were only recent developments in Baghdad. It distributedfundsfor the operationof talmudicacademiesthathadoriginally been established by private initiative. The "beadle"and "beadle of the court-of-law"(shamashbet din) (Hayim1:74b,2:84b)andritualslaughterers were appointedby the community(Somekh2:221). 14 In anothercase a sage who servedas a judge was maintainedpartlyfroma fund for the sick (quppatbiqqurholim) thatwas supportedby ten wealthymen.

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