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Carmona

CARMONA

CARMONA , city in Andalusia, S.W. Spain. Like Cádiz, Carmona has been identified by some historians with the biblical *Tarshish. A Jewish quarter near the southern wall of the city existed during the period of Muslim rule. It was located west of rúa Postego. The name Judería is still retained by a street in the district. The community, which never exceeded some 200 in number, flourished in particular during the 11th century when Carmona was the capital of a Berber principality: in this period it is apparently referred to in a responsum (279) of Isaac *Alfasi. The fuero ("municipal charter") granted by Ferdinand iii to the city after the Christian Reconquest in 1246 defined the rights of the Jews. However, as settlement began in the region of Seville, the restrictive ordinances imposed in Castile, in *Toledo in 1118, were also applied to the Carmona community. The clause which most affected the Jews of Carmona prohibited a Jew, or a recent convert, from holding any office giving him authority over Christians; however, as regards Carmona there was a proviso exempting the almoxarife ("collector of revenues") appointed by the seigniorial owner from this regulation. On the death of Don Çulema (Solomon *Ibn Zadok of Toledo), the chief almoxarife of the kingdom, his estates in Carmona, including vineyards and olive groves, were confiscated.

The Carmona community was destroyed during the anti-Jewish riots in Spain in 1391. Accused by the crown in 1395 of destroying and plundering the synagogue, the municipal council defended itself by arguing that it had been unable to control the situation while violence was raging in Seville. Jews were subsequently forbidden to live in Carmona. The community of Conversos living there was subsequently destroyed in the wave of attacks in 1473–74. The aged Converso poet Anton de *Montoro addressed a lengthy poem on the calamity to the king: "Had you seen the sack of the town of Carmona your heart would have welled with tears of great pity." The last evidence of the presence of Jews in Carmona dates from 1489 when Queen Isabella permitted ten Jews from Castile, including Meir *Melammed and Don Abraham *Senior, to visit Carmona, despite the regulation which prohibited Jews from living there, in order to ransom Jews taken captive during the conquest of Málaga who had been sent to Carmona as prisoners. Descendants of the Spanish exiles with the family name *Carmona are found in Turkey.

bibliography:

Baer, Urkunden, 2 (1936), 9, 51, 241, 393; Garcia y Bellido, in: Sefarad, 2 (1942), 89ff., 229ff.; idem, in: Ars Hispaniae, 1 (1947), 164; F. Cantera, Sinagogas españolas (1955), 189–90; Suárez Fernández, Documentos, 329; Ashtor, Korot, 132.

[Haim Beinart]

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