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The unedited full-text of the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia
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JEWRY (Old French, "Juierie"):

Originally a designation for Judea and sometimes for the entire Holy Land. The term was afterward applied to any special district inhabited by Jews; hence the name of "Old Jewry" in London. The following reference to a Jewry occurs in Chaucer ("Prioress' Tale," lines 37-38):

"Ther was in Asye in a great citee Amonges cristene folk a Iewerye."

In Old and Middle English the term was used also to express the belief of the Jews. In more modern times it has been extended to include the Jewish people, nation, race, or community in a collective sense, as in the proem to Zangwill's "Children of the Ghetto" (1893): "That long cruel night in Jewry which coincides with the Christian era."

Bibliography:
  • Murray's Eng. Dict.
G. J.
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