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‘Shylock’ hath seen final days in Florida law

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The Florida Senate unanimously passed legislation eliminating the term "shylock" from state law.

The words "shylock" and "shylocking" are in the text of Florida statutes dealing with loan sharks. Shylock was the Jewish moneylender in William Shakespeare’s 16th-century play "The Merchant of Venice" who demanded a pound of flesh as repayment from a debtor.

State Sen. Eleanor Sobel, a Jewish Democrat who represents a district that includes Fort Lauderdale, said she proposed the bill to fix "the mistake that has been left by history," according to media reports. A similar bill is working its way through the Florida House of Representatives.

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