The failure of the hopes entertained of Sabbatai Zebi (q.v.) had plunged the Jewries of the world into despair.
Despite all this, one must not fall into the easy error of exaggerating the degeneration into which the Jewries of the world fell from the middle of the 17th till the middle of the 18th century.
The chief rabbi, who is the ecclesiastical head of the United Synagogue, has also a certain amount of authority over the provincial and colonial Jewries, but this is nominal rather than real.
The provincial Jewries, however, participate in the election of the chief rabbi.
Juderias, or Jewries, they had been protected by the earlier Portuguese kings.