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RYMANOW, town in Rzeszow province, S.E. Poland. It is assumed that the town developed out of a colony of prisoners of war who settled there in the 15th century. The Jewish community was formed soon after the town was founded. Most of the Jews were merchants of wines imported from Hungary. About 1594 the Council of Four Lands (see *Councils of the Lands) debated the matter, and as a result, the community was warned by Meir b. Gedaliah of *Lublin to be careful about libation wine. At first the council intended to forbid the Jews entirely to deal in such wine, but since it was their main occupation a decision was made finally to issue just a warning. In connection with their commerce the Jews of Rymanow had to visit Krasno, a town in the same province, which had the privilege of excluding Jews (de non tolerandis Judaeis). This led to tensions between them and the townsmen of Krasno. In the 17th and 18th centuries the municipality of Krasno allowed its townsmen to rob and even put to death any Jew from Rymanow who attended the fair at Krasno. At the beginning of the 17th century, the Jews of Rymanow were prosecuted by the bishop of Przemysl for the alleged profaning of Christian festivals; the bishop won the suit. In 1765 there were 1,015 Jews in Rymanow (42.8% of the total population). At the beginning of the 19th century, as a result of the activity of R. Hirsch Mesharet, mentioned in 1838 by the head of the police in Lvov as having great influence on the Jews of Galicia, Rymanow became an important Ḥasidic center. It was the seat of the Ẓaddikim Menahem Mendel *Rymanower and his disciple Ẓevi Hirsch *Rymanower. The dwelling of the Ḥasidic rabbi, and the synagogue, erected in the 16th or 17th century, were the finest buildings in the town. At the end of the 19th century, Jewish communal life in Rymanow expanded.

This continued when Rymanow reverted to independent Poland after World War I. Controversies arose, however, especially between *Agudat Israel and the Zionists. In the 1930s Agudat Israel gained the majority within the community council, whereas in the elections to the municipal council in early 1939 the Zionists won three out of the five places reserved for Jews. Because of the anti-Jewish *boycott in the 1930s, the Jews suffered economically; in 1938 Jews were not permitted to deal in tobacco, a state-owned monopoly in Poland. The Jewish population numbered 1,391 (42.8% of the total) in 1865, and 1,412 (39.9%) in 1921.


Yad Vashem Archives.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2007 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.