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ERACH: (from the Biblical "'erek," II Kings xxiii. 35):

A tax on property for communal purposes. The direct taxes which were levied by the Jewish congregations were mostly twofold: (1) on every family ("rashe bayit"), and (2) on property, both real estate and chattels, according to the sworn statement of the property-owner. The latter tax was called "erach." This is the form used in the "Memorbuch" of Worms (see Maggid, "Zur Geschichte und Genealogie der Günzburge," p. 180, St. Petersburg, 1899). It is an expression frequently used in Württemberg (see "Orient," 1844, pp. 98, 146, end; "Allg. Zeit. des Jud." 1845, p. 522).

A. D.
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