Capital of Spain. Jews lived there as early as the twelfth century. By the old municipal law ("Fuero de Madrid") they were given the same privileges as the other inhabitants, with the one exception that Christian butchers were forbidden to sell "carne trefa" (meat which the ritual laws forbid Jews to eat), or any other flesh of animals slaughtered by Jews, under penalty of a fine of 10 maravedis or of imprisonment. A certain Yuçaf de Don Salomon Aben Çahal (Sahal) in Madrid, in the year 1336, sold a vineyard belonging to him situated in Ensiniella, near Madrid, to Garcia de Canillas; the deed, bearing the date of March 21, 1336, signed by Leon Çag(Isaac) Çaragoçias witness, is printed in the "Boletin de la Real Academia de la Historia" (x. 160). In the years 1343 and 1369 Jews were living in villages in the neighborhood of Madrid—Parla, Torrejon de Vedasco, Polvoranca, Alcavendas, Barajas, and Coveña. Undoubtedly they were numerically insignificant, for in the year 1474 the taxes of the Jews in Madrid, Ciempozuelos, Pinto, Barajas, and Torrejon de Vedasco amounted to only 1,200 maravedis. In the year 1384 the monastery of S. Domingo in Madrid received from King John I. an annuity of 3,000 maravedis, payable from the taxes of the Jews.
As was the case with the Jews in the remainder of Castile in 1391, of those in Madrid some were plundered and murdered and others were forcibly baptized. The city council, as in Valencia, demanded the punishment of the rioters and their leaders; some were captured, and others, among them Ruy Sanchez de Urosco, Lope Fernandez and Diego de Vargas, and Ruy Garcia de la Torre, took to flight; the government empowered the council to confiscate the property of those found guilty. The destruction of the Jewry in Madrid inflicted great loss upon the monastery of S. Domingo. The Jewry was situated in the Calle de la Fé, in the immediate vicinity of Las Damas street and next to the S. Laurencia Church; this street contained the synagogue, and until 1492 was known as "Synagogue street." After 1391 the Jewry was rebuilt. By an order of Ferdinand and Isabella of May 28, 1480, it was surrounded by a wall, the gates of which were locked at dusk.
Several Jewish physicians lived in Madrid. One of them, Rabbi Jacob, was privileged (Nov. 9, 1481) to live outside the Jewry, so that he might visit his patients at night unhindered. As physicians or surgeonsthere were appointed by the council, in 1481 and 1489, Don Juda and his son Maestre Zulema (Salomon) and Rabbi Jacob (probably the one already mentioned) and his son Rabbi Joseph. The Jews were compelled to take part in the public church festivals. At one of these festivals, held on June 22, 1480, both the Jews and the Moors in Madrid were compelled to give an exhibition of the dancing peculiar to their respective races.
Since 1869 Jews have again begun to live in Madrid, going there from Tunis, Mogador, Lisbon, Alexandria, and from various cities in France and elsewhere—about twenty families in all. They have not formed a congregation nor consecrated a cemetery; but they hold services on New-Year and on the Day of Atonement in a private house.
- Rios, Hist. i. 195, iii. 568, 591;
- Fidel Fida, Estudios Historicos, v. 77 et seq.;
- R. E. J. xiii. 245 et seq.