Extract of Marmol Karbajal

There was in Fez the new town, the local community of the Jews who had first lived in the old
town. Each time a Sultan died they were the target of theft and burglary so that they were moved
out there to provide them with more security. In compensation they had to pay the levy twice. There
was in this quarter a large square surrounded with shops, nicely built houses and much trading
activity. The Jews lived there like in a separate town. Their number exceeded 10.000 for each house
sheltered four or five families. They had for the most part been expelled by the Catholic Monarchs.
They counted wealthy people among them. An old retainer or employee took on the management of
their business. So he collected what they had to pay the emir in order to avoid mistreatments. He
handled the fees and taxes set on their manufactures and goods for they acquitted levies for all they
manufactured or sold. They fell victims to abuse… But in spite of this, their behaviour was sound.
They showed great acumen in business transactions to the extent that the sultans and grandees
entrusted the management of their finances to them because the Moroccans had no talent for saving
and did not understand its finer points. As a result all of them had Jewish stewards, whom they have
kept, to the advantage of the Jews.