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Butcher

Jews had to be permitted to work as butchers because of their special diet laws, although they were generally banned in the Middle Ages from working in the crafts.
At any given time there were accordingly many Jews working as butchers or in the meat trade in the Judengasse.
The 1694 visitation list shows ten butchers (including one woman), three meatcutters, and one kosher butcher, whose job was to ensure that meat was kosher (complied with the diet laws).
There were also two kosher slaughtermen, or shochetim.

In performing their work, butchers had to comply with the requirements of religious law and kosher slaughtering and also with the many regulations imposed by the city council.
These were based on city policy on nutrition, whose main object was to ensure that the Christian population had an adequate diet.
The city council told the Jews exactly what kind of cattle and how many they could slaughter each week.
From the beginning of the 16th century the Jews were obliged to purchase meat exclusively from traders outside Frankfurt.
These restrictions were eased in later centuries, and Jews were then able to sell meat unfit for their own rituals to the other citizens, and rationing was suspended.
The 1616 residence code contained several paragraphs of regulations for meat supplies to the Jews.

Because the abattoir and meat market was at the southern end of the Judengasse, many butchers lived at this end.
The Roter Hut and Steg were built at the end of the 16th century specifically to house butchers, and followers of this occupation lived there for centuries.
The Katz family of butchers lived in the Goldener Hut.
The name Katz is derived from kazef, the Hebrew word for butcher.
Another house occupied by butchers was the Horn.






© Jüd. Museum Frankfurt 1992-2002 /  Sources