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Since it was on the trade routes between Poland-Lithuania and the Ottoman Empire many Jewish merchants traveled through Moldavia, the second Romanian principality (in the northeast), founded in the middle of the 14th century.Some settled there and were favorably received by the rulers of this underpopulated principality.Greek Orthodox Christianity also preached intolerance toward Jews and shaped the first codes of law: the Church laws of Moldavia and Walachia in 1640.Both proclaimed the Jews as heretics and forbade all relations with them.Yet his prestige was slight, and learned rabbis were considered by the Jews as their real spiritual leaders.The growing Russian and Galician element in the Romanian Jewish population at the beginning of the 19th century opposed the hakham bashi, since such an institution was unknown to them and many of them were followers of Hasidism and led by zaddikim.Among the privileges offered was the right to be represented on the local council.
In 16, Cossacks invaded Romania, murdering a great number of Jews in Jassy.
As they were foreign subjects they asked their consuls to intercede and, in 1819, the prince of Moldavia decided that the hakham bashi should have jurisdiction only over "native" Jews.
Because of strife among the diverse groups of Jews and their complaints to the authorities, the hakham bashi system was abolished in 1834.
From the beginning of the 18th century, the Moldavian rulers granted special charters to attract Jews.
While still in Poland they were told about the advantages offered (exemption from taxes, ground for prayer houses, ritual baths, and cemeteries).In 1579, the sovereign of Moldavia, Petru Schiopul (Peter the Lame), ordered the banishment of the Jews on the grounds that they were ruining the merchants.