Persistent identifier:
MS137_AJ95_150_5
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73
TENTH ANNUAL REPORT.
Jews labour under oppression, nor are they subject to restrictive laws. Enjoying complete liberty, they are admissible to public offices and can acquire landed property. The Grand Rabbi, who is appointed by an Imperial Firman, represents the Jews at the Sublime Porte. Since the last fifteen years the Constantinople Jews have, owing to a false economy, contented themselves to appoint a Substitute (a Caimakan) instead of a Grand Rabbi, who holds no firman, and is therefore not vested with the same authority as an actual Grand Rabbi. At public ceremonies, when the authorities are convened to appear at an audience before the Sultan, the Caimakan occupies an inferior rank, and, in consequence, the people represented by him are placed at a disadvantage. All this is done for the mere purpose of avoiding the expenses which would result from the appointment of a Grand Rabbi. In Turkey there is no Minister of Public Worship; the Sheik-ul-Islam represents the religious authority of the Mussulmans; the other denominations are placed under the control of the Minister of Justice. In cases where a Jew has to submit a complaint to the authorities, the Caimakan intercedes by letter or at a personal interview. The Government allows him a salary of 460 francs per month. The Caimakan is called by the Jews of the country the Rabbi of the ISTishan, that is, the holder of a decoration. By virtue of this title the Government accords to him the Medjidie of the second, or even of the first class. In addition, there is a Communal Grand Rabbi, who discharges spiritual functions, and is assisted by a secretary and four subordinate Rabbis; these, together with the principal Rabbi, constitute the Beth-Din, or civil and religious tribunal. The affairs of the Community are administered by a lay consistory, and the Grand Rabbi (Caimakan) is the honorary president. The Consistory in many instances is a mere cypher, and the business devolves solely on the Grand Rabbi. He is surrounded by persons who are not always prepared to vouch for the bcma-ficle management of the Communal funds. Tlie income of the Community is as follows:—
Impost on Meat, Wine and Cheese ... fT2,020 Fees for Marriages, Passports and Contracts 480 Charges on Passover Cakes ... ... 280
Allowance from Government to a Hospital
(inpetto) ... ... ... ... ... 160
Personal Taxes ... ... ... ... 750
dT 3,690
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