Rabbinical Perspectives on Money in Seventeenth Century Ottoman Egypt

50 Pages Posted: 24 Jun 2008 Last revised: 2 Mar 2011

Date Written: September 1, 2009


Episodes of monetary instability in Ottoman Egypt stimulated a discussion of monetary doctrine among Egyptian rabbis. A central issue was the valuation of debts following changes in the value of silver coins. While the leading rabbi of the 16th century advocated linkage to gold coins, the rabbis of the 17th century adopted valuation by purchasing power and rejected valuation by weight and linkage to gold coins. The rabbis of the 17th century differed from their predecessors in two essential respects: They were more critical of traditional Jewish monetary doctrine, and utilized a much more sophisticated form of economic analysis.

Keywords: Jewish economic thought, monetary doctrine, monetary history, Ottoman Empire, Egypt

JEL Classification: B19, E42

Suggested Citation

Schiffman, Daniel, Rabbinical Perspectives on Money in Seventeenth Century Ottoman Egypt (September 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1150335 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1150335

Daniel Schiffman (Contact Author)

Ariel University ( email )

Ariel, 40700

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