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MANRESA:

Town in Spain, in the province of Barcelona. In the twelfth century it is said to have contained 500 Jewish families, most of which lived in a narrow lane named "Grau dels Jueus," near the town hall; their cemetery, still called "Fossana dels Jueus," was outside the city. In the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries the Jews there were engaged in manufacturing, in trading (including that in slaves), in money-lending (at the rate of 20 per cent, the usual interest at that time), and in the cultivation of their vineyards and estates. The hostility of the Christians toward the Jews which prevailed throughout Catalonia was manifested in Manresa also. In 1325 the Christian inhabitants of the town endeavored to prevent the Jews from baking their Passover bread, so that the latter were obliged to appeal to the king for protection. The Jews in Manresa did not escape the general persecution of 1391, and many of them professed to accept Christianity. After 1414 comparatively few Jews remained in the town, and in 1492 they sold their property for whatever they could get for it and left the country. At the beginning of the fifteenth century Manresa had 30,000 inhabitants; three centuries later it contained barely one-fifth of that number. Several members of the Zabarra (Sabara) family lived in Manresa. The town is not mentioned in the "Shebeṭ Yehudah."

Bibliography:
  • J. M. de Mas y Casas, Memoria Historica de los Hebreos y de los Arabes en Manresa, Manresa, 1837 (2d ed. 1882);
  • Ed. Tamaro, Los Judios de Manresa, in Jacobs, Sources, pp. 154 et seq.;
  • R. E. J. v. 286 et seq., vi. 297;
  • Rios, Hist. ii. 155, 402; iii. 310.
G. M. K.
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