Jul. 17, 1744

“Paradise-Apple* Tax” issued by Maria Theresa [Present-day Austria, Czech Republic]: “[…] although We wish to leave it up to the Jews to purchase paradise apples* where and how they please/wish […] the Jews […] are to submit for this graciously permitted (purchasing) freedom 4,000 fl. [florin/guilder] annually to the royal treasury (‘Aerarialcasse’) of Vienna.  […] this prescribed amount is to be submitted at once, or otherwise/failing to do so, the Jewry will be forced to purchase their paradise apples* according to fixed prices and […] the directives of the government starting January 1, 1745.  […] The Jewry of Bohemia is to submit 7/12 of this amount, the Moravian [Jews] 4/12 and the Silesian [Jews] 1/12 of this prescribed amount. […]” [Researcher’s note: *This special taxation of Jews was established for the “etrog” – a specific kind of citron – used by Jews during the week-long holiday of Sukkot. A businessman by the name of David Heinrich Lehmann had originally suggested this tax to Charles “Karl” VI in 1739; and although Lehmann’s proposal was initially ignored, it was later picked up by Maria Theresa. The Jewry prepared a comprehensive appeal as to why it was impossible for them to submit such a large amount, which they submitted to the Royal Office in Brünn on April 9, 1745. This appeal received a quick and brief response: “One is unable to reconsider your appeal and this due/quota is to be submitted as soon as possible.”]
Müller, Willibald: Urkundliche Beiträge zur Geschichte der mähr. Judenschaft im 17. Und 18. Jahrhundert; (“[Legally] Documented Contributions of the History of the Moravian Jewry in the 17th and 18th Century”); (Olmütz; 1903); Researched and Translated by Ziba Shadjaani 2/2/2018