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Jews as Europeans in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries
John Edwards

bathhouse. In a narrower sense, the cahal was the council of elders and rabbis, who provided administration and justice. They ran their own courts, they apportioned the state poll-tax and levied their own dues and taxes. They decided whether or not to confer the chazaka , citizenship, on newcomers, essential if they were to be accepted into the community

in The Jews in western Europe 1400–1600