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In the 16th century some refugees from the Spanish expulsion came to Walachia from the Balkan Peninsula.
A few served as physicians and even diplomats at the court of the sovereigns of Walachia.
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.
The Jews also had a guild, one of 32 guilds set up according to nationality or profession, which took care of tax collection proportionately to the number of persons organized in it.
In some cases they undertook to attract other Jews from over the borders.
With the exception of physicians, Jews were not accepted as witnesses in trials.
In the codes of 17, the Jews are scarcely mentioned.
At the beginning of the 16th century there were Jewish communities in several Moldavian towns, such as Jassy ( Iasi), Botosani, Suceava, and Siret.
More intensive waves of Jewish immigration resulted from the Chmielnicki massacres (1648–49).
Yet his prestige was slight, and learned rabbis were considered by the Jews as their real spiritual leaders.