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Alba De Tormes, Spain

ALBA DE TORMES, city in the province of Salamanca, Spain. A charter, granted by Alfonso VII of Castile in 1140, takes into detailed consideration the relation of Jews to Christians. Both population groups were made equal in civil juridical matters; litigation between Christians and Jews was to take place in the synagogue; less indemnity was to be paid for the murder of a Jew, while a Jewish murderer of a Christian was to be put to death and his goods confiscated. The charter of Alba is one of the oldest Spanish fueros to fix the rate of interest on Jewish loans. A Hebrew chronicle records persecutions in the kingdom of Leon in 1230 in which Alba Jewry also suffered. The testament of Don Judah, a wealthy Jew of Alba (1410), indicates the existence of local usages governing the laws of inheritance, in addition to the Jewish laws. A satirical play in verse was written in the 15th century by the bachilmer Juan de Trasmiera about the members of the Jewish community in Alba, who brought a suit against a dog which bit them. It mentions the names of various Jews and their occupations, as well as of Conversos who were called as witnesses to the dog's attacks, and employs vivacious expressions which were in current use. The dog was sentenced to be hanged, but freed itself from the gallows and bit the onlookers, while the Jews stayed away from Alba until the dog had died. The satire reflects the popular prejudices of the period. The community existed until 1492.


Baer, Urkunden, 2 (1936), index; A. Castro and F. de Onis (eds.), Fueros Leoneses (1916), 297, 308 ff.; M. Gaibrois de Ballesteros, Historia del reinado de Sancho IV (1922), 115, 151, 168, 177; Revista de archivos, bibliotecas y museos, Madrid, 30 (1926), 409–16; J. Amador de los Ríos, Historia… de los Judios de España (19602), 549, 963–5.

Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.