Polska / lubelskie
|Synagogen, Gebetshäuser und andere||Friedhöfe||Orte der Martyrologie||Jaudaica in Museen||Sonstiges|
|Woiwodschaft:||lubelskie / lubelskie (vor 1939)|
|Bezirk:||chełmski / chełmski (vor 1939)|
|Gemeinde:||/ (vor 1939)|
|Andere Namen:||Chelm [jidysz]|
Khelm [j. rosyjski]
Kholm [j. ukraiński]
yarek shalom /
Chełm – a city by the Uherka River (one of Bug River's left-bank tributaries) in eastern Poland, Lubelskie Province. The city has county rights and is the center of Chełm County. It lies 247 km southeast of Warsaw, 71 km east of Lublin and 29 km west of the border checkpoint with Ukraine at Dorohusk.
The earliest record of Jews appearing in Chełm dates back to c. 1205, when the town was not within Poland’s borders. At the start of the 15th century, Jews from Chelm who were within the country of Poland were first mentioned. Soon after, an independent Jewish district was created in the town.
In 1543, Jews constituted 25 out of 71 craftsmen in the town. In the middle of the 16th century, a yeshiva was established. Teachers of the yeshiva included among others, Symeon Auerbach and Zalomon Zalman. Meanwhile, Juda Aron (rabbi of Lublin, Chelm and Belzec) became popularly renowned in Chelm. His son Elijah Baal Szem was a famous cabbalist and also a progenitor of a famous European dynasty of rabbis – Aszkenazy. In 1520, Jehuda Aharon, was regarded as a “Doctor of Jewish law” and became a notablefigure in Chelm, He was appointed by King Sigismund I the Old to become a tax collector for the entire Chelm district. In 1550, 371 Jews lived in Chełm. In 1553, a Jewish man by the name of Joszko was tax collector in Chelm and Hrubieszow In 1556, king Sigismund II Augustus granted a privilege benefitting the Jewish population.
In 1606-1615, Samuel Eliezer ben Judah Edels served as rabbi. In 1629, there were 2,600 inhabitants, with c. 800 Jews (30. 7% of the total population). In 1648, Cossacks slaughtered a large number of Jews from Chelm. In this massacre, of the 400 people in the district, 75% of the members of the district died These events commemorate the prayer El mole rachamim (hebr. God, Full of Mercy) that originates from this time. After 1660, the Jewish district in Chelm was revived.
As of 1765, there were 1500 Jews in Chelm. In 1783, Chelm’s authorities and Jewish district concluded so called pacts, according to which the Jewish population was to pay 20 zl each year for the license of alcoholic beverage. However, Jews undermined the tax laws by simply not paying the duties. The municipal bank requested the payment of taxes which had accrued among the Jewish population. As Jews from Chelm were not able to pay in full, the synagogue’s supervisory committee issued a plea to the Government Committee of Justice and Home Affairs and requested that those arrears be paid in installments. In its final judgement, the Committee issued its consent.
In 1789, rabbi Hirsz ben Josef published in Polish a response t
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