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Good Works

Discarded History

The Jewish community, like the Muslim society around it in Egypt, put special emphasis on public charity. The disadvantaged – the poor, the sick and foreign immigrants – could have their stories told in the synagogue and collections held for them. Money was pledged to support widows, orphans, to pay taxes, to provide bread, to support the pilgrims in Jerusalem and to maintain the synagogues there. People left property to the community so that its rents could help those in need, and generosity was recognised as one of the highest personal virtues.