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One the great talmudic scholars of the 1500's was Moses ben Israel Isserles (1525-1572). Beyond Talmudic study, he was also familiar with many of the Greek philosophers and was one of the forerunners of the Jewish enlightenment.
In the 16 century, Jews also thrived economically and took part in the settler movement of Poland.
Barely 11% of Poland's Jews - 369,000 people -survived the war.
During this period, Poland began its colonization process.Only thirty percent of the money raised by the Rabbinate served Jewish causes, the rest went to the Crown for protection.In this period Poland-Lithuania became the main center for Ashkenazi Jewry and its yeshivot achieved fame from the early 1500's.In 1264, Duke Boleslaw issued the "Statute of Kalisz," guaranteeing protection of the Jews and granting generous legal and professional rights, including the ability to become moneylenders and businessman.King Kasimierz ratified the charter and extended it to include specific points of protection from Christians, including guaranteed prosecution against those who "commit a depredation in a Jewish cemetery" and banning people from "accusing the Jews of drinking human blood." Freedom of worship and assembly was also granted to the Jews, which helped lay the seeds for the foundation of Hasidism and other Jewish movements.
Jewish religious life thrived in many Polish communities.