Economic activities

There were many different ways of earning a living in the Middle Ages. Both Jews and Christians worked in a wide range of professions. There were Jewish craftsmen of all kinds, for example card and dice makers, mill design model makers, moneyers, cobblers, brewers, window makers, sword makers and many others. There are records of Jewish household servants, middlemen, doctors and other professionals in Regensburg.

Jews in Regensburg also worked as moneylenders, pawnbrokers and traders. This promissory note is just one example of such business. Christians and Jews were also business partners. Regensburg's Jews had the same options and avenues open to them as Christian businesspeople in the conduct of their transactions. For example, they could pursue clients in default in the courts or secure payment of debts using standard mechanisms such as Einlager (conditional hostageship) or guarantors.

As the seal of Dislaba already showed, it was not just men who were active in business. Many Jewish women ran their own businesses and some had their own seals. There are also records of female doctors and midwives, even if the latter probably had less contact with Christian women than with their fellow believers.

Alongside these professional roles, may Jews also engaged in other activities that were not solely to earn their bread, but also for the good of the Jewish community. They acted as rabbis, cantors, "schulklopfer" (beadles), butchers and teachers.