CHAPTER 6

From Farmers to Merchants, 750–1150

The current situation in which most Jewish people do not own land explains why the Geonim of the two academies of Sura and Pumbedita in 787 abrogated a Talmudic law and decreed that debts from orphans and women’s dowries could also be exacted from movable property, whereas before that time creditors could claim only landed property.

R. Moses b. Jacob, Gaon of Sura, c. 832

Parents everywhere were bound by religious injunctions and pressure of society to send their children to school, at least for a number of years. The community made strenuous efforts to provide education for orphans and the children of the poor.

Shelomo Dov Goitein, 1971

BY 650, THE LAND OF ISRAEL, SYRIA, LEBANON, ASIA MINOR, AND ...

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