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With the exception of physicians, Jews were not accepted as witnesses in trials.In the codes of 17, the Jews are scarcely mentioned.When two counties of Moldavia were annexed by their neighbors (Bukovina by Austria in 1775 and Bessarabia by Russia in 1812), the Jews from these countries preferred to move to Romanian Moldavia, where they were not harassed by the authorities and had both family and business connections.Jewish merchants exported leather, cattle, and corn.He resided in Jassy and he had a representative for Walachia in Bucharest.The hakham bashi's function was hereditary and included the right of collecting taxes on religious ceremonies and contributions from every head of a family — comprising 30,000 taxpayers altogether in the two principalities in 1803 — as well as conferring exemption from taxes and tolls.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.

In 16, Cossacks invaded Romania, murdering a great number of Jews in Jassy.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.They were invited either to reestablish war-ravaged towns (1761, Suceava) or to enlarge others (1796, Focsani).The newcomers were encouraged by the landowners to found commercial centers, the so-called burgs.The collective tax was paid from the tax on kosher meat, the expenses of the institutions (talmud torah, hekdesh, cemetery) were covered by the remainder.The center of the guild was in Jassy, and its head was named staroste ("senior"; Heb. In Bucharest, this function was carried out by the representative of the hakham bashi.Among the privileges offered was the right to be represented on the local council.In some cases they undertook to attract other Jews from over the borders.Many of the Jews were craftsmen, such as furriers, tailors, boot makers, tinsmiths, and watchmakers.From an early date, one of the main components of anti-Jewish hatred in Romania was commercial competition.

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