Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online

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(1,154 words)

Yiddish term (also balagole, pl. balegules) for "carriage driver,” derived from the Hebrew baʿal agalah (wagon owner, coachman). The occupation of wagoner was common among Jews in Eastern Europe as part of their significant presence in transportation. Today the wagoner is known as a literary figure in Jewish life in the shtetl.

In the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (1569–1791), Jews already worked as wagoners or coachmen, carrying travellers, merchants and their goods, as well as mail. In Poland in the second half of the 18th century, two to four…

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Cornelia Aust, Jerusalem, “Balegule”, in: Encyclopedia of Jewish History and Culture Online, Original German Language Edition: Enzyklopädie Jüdischer Geschichte und Kultur. Im Auftrag der Sächsischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Leipzig herausgegeben von Dan Diner. © J.B. Metzler, Stuttgart/Springer-Verlag GmbH Deutschland 2011–2017. Consulted online on 07 December 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2468-8894_ejhc_COM_0071>
First published online: 2017
First print edition: 20170409

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