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Sasov

SASOV (Pol. Sasów), town in Lvov district, Ukraine; within Poland until 1772, under Austrian rule until 1919, reverted to Poland until 1945. Founded in 1615, the town was granted autonomy by King Sigismund III, who also bestowed many privileges on its merchants and instituted market days. In 1726 the Jews of Sasov were granted a privilege by the owner of the town, Jacob Sobieski, son of King John III Sobieski. Accordingly all Jewish communal institutions were exempted from taxes, Jews were permitted to trade without hindrance and to deal in alcoholic liquor, and the amount of taxes the Jews had to pay was made equal to that paid by the other townsmen. In 1764 there were 223 Jews living in Sasov. Sasov was celebrated among Ḥasidim as the residence of *Moses Leib of Sasov, also called Moses Leib of Brody (d. 1807). The community numbered 1,906 (58% of the total population) in 1880; 1,761 (52.1% of the total) in 1912; and 1,096 (35.4%) in 1921. Jews were occupied mainly with making candles and ornamental strips (atarot) for prayer-shawls, for the production of which Sasov was a world center. After World War I the Jews of Sasov suffered from unemployment. Their economic position deteriorated at the end of the 1920s and the beginning of the 1930s. Many starved and had to be helped by Jewish relief societies: Jewish communal life also suffered because of the poverty.