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Talavera de la Reina

TALAVERA DE LA REINA, city in central Spain. The importance of the Jewish community there lay mainly in its connections with nearby *Toledo, the capital of the kingdom of Castile. When the Jewish settlement was established in Toledo, Jews probably settled in Talavera also; its community was under the jurisdiction of Toledo Jewry until the 13th century, achieving independence in the 14th century when it prospered and increased in size. Of the Jews of Talavera during the 13th century, noteworthy was Don Çulema Pintadura, who was alfakim in the service of King Alfonso X. Don Joseph Pimetiela, the royal alfakim who signed the agreement with the town of Burgos in the king's name in 1279, came from Talavera. It was also the home of Abu Amar (Joseph) b. Abi Elhassan, a friend of Todros b. Judah ha-Levi *Abulafia, who invited R. Todros to settle in Talavera. After 1280 R. Todros settled in Talavera in order to live at a distance from politics and within proximity of the kabbalists. *Isaac b. Samuel of Acre, who arrived in Spain after 1291, encountered him there. In 1291 the community paid 24,771 maravedis in annual tax; it was then a medium-sized community.

The fate of the community during the persecutions of the Jews in Spain of 1391 is not known. However, *Conversos were living in Talavera whose descendants were tried by the *Inquisition when its tribunal was transferred to Toledo in 1485 (see below). Documents concerning the debts owed by Jews to Christians for the purchase of houses and grain bought from the archbishop of Toledo are extant from 1432. Apparently after 1449 Jews of Toledo settled in Talavera, whose community subsequently did much to assist the inhabitants of the capital. Between 1477 and 1487, 168 families lived there. A precise description of the community's economic structure during that period has been recorded: 13 of the "wealthy" Jews owned property valued at more than 30,000 maravedis, the majority of them earning their livelihood from basket weaving; three were goldsmiths; two were shopkeepers; some were physicians or contractors; most, however, were craftsmen and included a blacksmith, a shoemaker, a tailor, and a cobbler. Only 37 of those who paid taxes had capital of more than 10,000 maravedis; 70 disposed of 1,000–10,000 maravedis, and 60 disposed of 100–500 maravedis. The files of seven Conversos from Talavera who were tried by the Inquisition of Toledo are extant. Some were sentenced to expulsion, with Jews also being called upon to testify against them. The close relations between the Jews and the Conversos there are evident in all the trial proceedings. The Jews of Talavera left Spain when the Jews were expelled from the country in 1492.


Baer, Spain, index; idem, in: Tarbiz, 5 (1934), 236; idem, in: Zion, 2 (1937), 46; Newman, Spain, 2 (1942), 245; F. Cantera, Sinagogas españolas (1955), 309–10; L. Suárez Fernández, Documentos acerca de la expulsión de los Judiós (1969), index; Ashtor, Korot, 2 (1966), 144–5; idem, in: Zion, 28 (1963), 40–41; H. Beinart, in: PIASH, 2 (1967), 216–20.

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