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Charles V°


CHARLES V ° (1500–1558), Holy Roman Emperor (1519–58) and king of Spain (as Charles i; 1516–56). Although maintaining the exclusion of the Jews from Spain, and upholding the Inquisition there, he continued to afford the Jews protection in the domains of the Holy Roman Empire. He refrained in 1520 from exacting the coronation tax customarily levied on the Jews, and in 1530 reconfirmed the privileges he had granted them at his coronation. The first public religious *disputation between Jews and Christians to be held in the presence of an emperor in Germany was conducted between the convert Antonius *Margarita and *Joseph (Joselmann) b. Gershom of Rosheim. After the debate Charles extended to the Jews throughout the empire the privileges which had been granted a century earlier to the Jews in Alsace. He reacted benevolently to the complaints presented to him by Joseph of Rosheim concerning Jews oppressed in various towns of the Empire. At the Diet of *Regensburg (1532) Charles was approached by the pseudo-messiahs Solomon *Molcho and David *Reuveni, but had them arrested and given up to their fate. In 1544, at the Diet of *Speyer, Charles granted the Jews liberal privileges in return for 3,000 Rhenish florins. He continued to utilize Jewish financial aid and to afford the Jews protection. Joseph of Rosheim regarded Charles as "a defending angel" of the Jews against the hostility of Martin *Luther and his supporters.


Graetz, in: mgwj, 5 (1856), 257–67; H.H. Ben-Sasson, Ha-Yehudim mul ha-Reformaẓyah (1969), 94–6; S. Stern, Josel of Rosheim… (1965); Baron, Social2, 13 (1969), 274–9.

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