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Archive for the ‘Jews’ Category

 

Belgian Jews in Shock over Beating of 13-Year-old Girl
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu

Five Muslim Moroccan girls in Belgium beat a 13-year-old classmate, called her a “dirty Jew” and told her to “return your country.”

The girl, Oceane Sluijzer, has filed a complaint with police after the anti-Semitic attack at a sports training center. The attackers were identified and questioned by police.

Jewish legislator Viviane Teitelbaum of Brussels denounced the “silence” of political leaders and most of media after this attack.

Coordinating Committee of Jewish Organizations of Belgium (CCOJB), the umbrella group of Jewish organizations in Belgium, expressed “shock” at the attack and asked that the investigation be conducted without delay. The Jewish group added it is considering filing a civil suit and said the Jewish community is “exasperated” by repeated attacks on Jews, 40,000 of whom live in Belgium.

It also told the Belgian French community’s Education Minister he should “introduce appropriate educational programs in schools to prevent unjustified tensions between communities,” the European Jewish Press reported.

The Jewish Consistory, the representative body of Jewish religious congregations in the country, also appealed to authorities to take action.

Courtesy : Arutz Sheva – Israel National News

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JEWS HAVE BEEN SHOT  IN CALIFORNIA, CHICAGO PITTSBURGH, AND SYNAGOGUES DESECRATED WITH SWASTIKAS IN  CITIES THROUGHOUT THE UNITED STATES… BY NEO NAZIS,  WHITE SUPREMISTS AND MANY OTHER HATE GROUPS, WHO ONCE AGAIN, SEEK TO SCAPEGOAT JEWS FOR AMERICA’S GROWING RACIAL, SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC PROBLEMS.

An epidemic of swastikas has spread in the United States in recent days. Police are scrambling to find suspects as Nazi symbols and other anti-Semitic graffiti have appeared on storefronts, synagogues and other locations in dozens of locations across the country, mostly over the Labor Day holiday.

In Arizona, graffiti “artists” spray-painted swastikas on several buildings, including a Family Dollar store. Some of the swastikas were accompanied by a painted circle with an “x” running through it and the words “Say No” appearing in the middle. Police are looking for the culprits of these attacks and others in the area, including swastikas and other anti-Semitic messages found on a traffic sign, a garage door and several mailboxes.

 

On Sunday, near Boston, Massachusetts, a swastika was found scratched into the door of a Reform Jewish temple. Suspects have yet to be found after Rabbi Benjamin Lefkowitz found the Nazi symbol on the door of Temple Beth Sholom in the town of Hull, according the local newspaper The Patriot Ledger.

 

Jewish institutions in Georgia and California also became the repeated targets of swastika tagging over the weekend.

 

The same Sunday of the Hull, MA attack, the Atlanta Jounal-Consitution reported that in the Atlanta, Georgia suburb of Sandy Springs a swastika was found painted on a stop sign near a Jewish day school. It was the second time in a month that the area near the Epstein School has been targeted with swastikas.

 

Sandy Springs police announced Tuesday that they were doubling the reward offered for information leading to the capture and conviction of the perpetrators, from $2,500 to $5,000.

 

Over the weekend, vandals painted a swastika on a Conservative synagogue northeast of San Diego, California. The San Diego Sheriff’s Department reported that it was the third time since April that Temple Ner Tamid in Poway was targeted with anti-Semitic graffiti. Local authorities reported that the synagogue, serving some 120 families, was targeted in May with “white-supremacist letters, numbers and signs”, including symbols that apparently meant “Heil Hitler.”

 

The Anti-Defamation League, an organization founded to combat anti-Semitism and other hate crimes, led a number of other organizations in offering a cash reward of $11,500 for information helping the police to apprehend the suspects in the Ner Tamid case.

 

In Upstate New York, a swastika was discovered Saturday morning on a local synagogue by postal workers. Goldie Goldberg, president of the Kerhonkson Synagogue, said that until it was painted over the swastika was large enough to be visible from the road. Kerhonkson is a small community about 70 miles north of New York City near the Catskill Mountains, an area long known for its numerous summer resorts catering to Jewish families. The synagogue serves about 40 families.

 

In St. Cloud, Minnesota, paper cutouts of the letters “KKK” – likely a reference to the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan – were found Monday taped to the wall of an elevator of a residence hall on the campus of St. Cloud State University.

 

Police say that the case may be linked to the appearance last year of more than a dozen swastikas and other racist images, carved or written on walls, bathroom stalls and elevators across the St. Paul-Minneapolis-area campus.

 

Last Thursday, an 18-year-old in Longview, Washington, was arrested for assaulting an interracial couple. Shawn Mooney wore a cap with a swastika during the attack, and police are also questioning Mooney in a case of swastikas that were found spray-painted on the home of a black family in the town.

 

 

 

KILL A JEW DAY

 

 

 

 

 

WARNING:
The U.S. Dollar is Teetering on the Brink of Collapse

Financially-desperate politicians and central bankers have secretly declared war on the value of our currency, your purchasing power, and your standard of living……and the situation threatens to spin wildly out of control. Debt monetization. Quantitative easing.

    Bailouts. Fiscal stimulus. Zero interest rate policy (ZIRP).

 

    These high-powered phrases bandied about by the media are just French for INFLATION… and, quite possibly, a sudden and catastrophic dollar collapse that will change our nation forever   

 Anyone holding dollars or dollar-denominated assets is sitting on a ticking time bomb, and frankly, there isn’t a moment to lose before something triggers a rush to the exits. It’s extremely important you read this Urgent Briefing carefully… and NOW. With the U.S. government frantically borrowing and spending money in a desperate effort to re-inflate stock

and housing markets, the government itself is going bankrupt. In a press conference on May 23, in which he tried to explain his multi-trillion spending boondoggles, President Obama admitted to adoring reporters “we are out of money now…” HISTORY HAS PROVEN THAT WHEN THE ECONOMY OF A COUNTRYFAILS…JEWS ARE BLAMED AND BECOME  THE VICTIMS OF VIOLENT HATRED …. AS THAT WHICH IS ADVOCATED BY THE NEO-NAZIS AND WHITE SUPREMISTS IN AMERICA TODAY.

 SHUVA (The Israel Emergency Aliyah Movement)

     website: www.shuva.net

      is calling upon American  Jews to “pick up,pack up, and COME HOME

       TO ISRAEL     BEFORE ITS TOO LATE!

          ”   The detention camps are an ominous sign

      that what happened in the HOLOCAUST …   

      CAN HAPPEN AGAIN,… EVEN IN America!!!

             As the U.S. economy worsens, countless neo-nazi

       and white supremist groups are spreading their venomous

‘      message on the Internet…and at public demonstrations

       seeking to scapegoat Jews for America’s  problems!

       They praise Hitler as a ‘great hero’…and preach violence”

       said Shifra Hoffman, Executive Director of SHUVA                

 

The libelous accusation that the Jews killed Jesus continues…

 

 

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Jews of Poland

The period of history we are looking at is known as the Renaissance which historians generally date from about 1350 to about 1650. Renaissance means “rebirth.” Rebirth of what? Of knowledge.

File:Reception oh Jews in Poland 1096.JPG

We have now left the Dark Ages dominated by the repressive policies of the Church in Rome and are beginning a time period associated with individual expression, self-consciousness, and worldly experience, and accomplishments in scholarship, literature, science, and the arts.

In the Renaissance, we see some powerful kings emerging in England and in France, while the power of the Church begins to wane. The famous personalities of this period of time are Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Shakespeare, Machiavelli, Petrarch, Rabelais, Descartes, Copernicus, just to name a few.

This is also a time when Jews made their way into Poland. Today we tend to think of Jewish life in Poland as being confined to the shtetl, but that did not happen until the 18th century. We also tend to think of Poland as synonymous with anti-Semitism, pogroms, etc. But during the time of the Renaissance the picture was quite different.

Before we begin the fascinating story of the Jews of Poland, we have to keep in mind the historical pattern that we see constantly in Jewish history. The places where the Jews will do the best are almost always the places where the Jews will suffer the worst in the end. You’d expect there’d be places that would be good for the Jews and other places where Jews would have a rough time. But that’s not what happens.

The best of times and the worst of times tend to happen in the same place. We just saw it in Spain, we’re going to see it now in Poland, we’ll see it later in Germany. It’s one of the great patterns in Jewish history ever since the Jews were invited into Egypt and then enslaved there.

So how did the Jews come to Poland?

A POLISH INVITATION

Poland became Christian very late, only at the turn of the 11th century, and only then did it join the European community of nations (so to speak). After that, it took a couple of hundred years before Poland started to emerge as a nation-state with strong development potential.

If you want to develop your country economically and culturally, who do you need?

You need Jews.

Why were the Jews so necessary? First, they could read and write. Jews were always highly educated as they had to be literate to read and obey the Torah, and general education came along as part of the parcel. Second, Jews were excellent bankers, accountants, and administrators who knew how to keep the economy healthy.

So in 1264, King Boleslav of Poland granted a charter inviting the Jews there. The charter was an amazing document, granting Jews unprecedented rights and privileges. For example, it stated that:

  • “The testimony of the Christian alone may not be admitted in a matter which concerns the money or property of a Jew. In every such incidence there must be the testimony of both a Christian and a Jew. If a Christian injures a Jew in any which way, the accused shall pay a fine to the royal treasury.”
  • “If a Christian desecrates or defiles a Jewish cemetery in any which way, it is our wish that he be punished severely as demanded by law.”
  • “If a Christian should attack a Jew, the Christian shall be punished as required by the laws of this land. We absolutely forbid anyone to accuse the Jews in our domain of using the blood of human beings.”
  • “We affirm that if any Jew cry out in the night as a result of violence done to him, and if his Christian neighbors fail to respond to his cries and do not bring the necessary help, they shall be fined.”
  • “We also affirm that Jews are free to buy and sell all manner of things just as Christians, and if anyone hampers them, he shall pay a fine.”(1)

We are about to begin discussing an excruciating period of Jewish history that is marked by constant and unrelenting Christian persecution.

During this period we will see:

  • the Jews expelled from England (1290)
  • the Jews expelled from France (1306 and 1394)
  • the Jews expelled from Hungary (1349 and 1360)
  • the Jews expelled from German states (1348 and 1498)
  • the Jews expelled from Austria (1421)
  • the Jews expelled from Lithuania (1445 and 1495)
  • the Jews expelled from Spain (1492)
  • the Jews expelled from Portugal (1497)

And that’s only a partial list.

(As often as not, the Jews were expelled and then, when a significant economic decline was noted in their absence, they were re-admitted only to be expelled again. It was the classic “can’t live with them, can’t live without them” philosophy.)

The story of these persecutions really begins around the year 1000the first millennium. It seems that people get nervous about big dates, especially Christians whose Book of Revelations predicts that at the end of a thousand years Satan will be released from prison and then he’s going to wreak havoc on the world.

The approaching millennium led to a religious revival in the Christian world which historians call the “New Piety.” The New Piety focused especially on the historicity of Jesus. Focusing on the life of Jesus meant focusing on his death. And, even though the Christian “New Testament” says that the Romans killed Jesus, the Jews were blamed for wanting him to die.

And so at this time, we see the notion of Jews as “Christ-killers”which first surfaced in the 4th century really growing in popularity.

But that alone does not explain the vehemence of Christian persecutions. To fully understand the issue, we have to look at other, more complex reasons.

Replacement Theology

To start off, the very existence of the Jews was an irritant to many Christians. And this is why:

Christian theology accepts the Hebrew Bible. It does not quarrel with the statements therein that the Jews were a special people chosen by God to receive the Torah and bring holiness into the world. But Christian theology says that the Jews failed in their mission. This is why God sent His “son” (Jesus) to straighten things out, but the Jews refused to recognize him as “god.”

As a result, God abandoned the Jews and replaced them with the “new chosen people”the Christians. (Hence, the Christian segment of the Bible is called the “New Testament” which is Greek for “scripture.”)

By this line of reasoning however, there would no longer be any purpose for Jews in the world. They should disappear, like did so many mightier peoples. But by the first millennium already 1,000 years after the death of Jesus the Jews were still all over the place.

Christian theology had to come up with some sort of answer to this problem and it did. The Jews must have been doomed to wander the earth by God as a “witness people”teste veritatis in Latin. The purpose of a witness people is to survive throughout history to bear witness at the end of days that Jesus is the Messiah, when he appears again for the so-called “Second Coming.”

But the explanations of Christian theology could not remove the sore spot that the presence at times, strong and prosperous presence of the Jews represented. At the heart of the matter was the Christian view of Judaism as a direct competitor for the soul of humanity.

The hostility that the Christians felt toward the Jews can be seen readily from the writings of the early fathers of the Christian Church. (See What Did They Think of the Jews? by Allan Gould, pp. 24-25.)

From John Chrysostom, the Patriarch of Constantinople, we get this:

Jews are the most worthless of men ― they are lecherous, greedy, rapacious ― they are perfidious murderers of Christians, they worship the devil, their religion is a sickness… The Jews are the odious assassins of Christ and for killing god there is no expiation, no indulgence, no pardon. Christians may never cease vengeance. The Jews must live in servitude forever. It is incumbent on all Christians to hate the Jews.

From Gregory of Nyssa, we get more of the same:

Slayers of the lord, murderers of the prophets, adversaries of god, haters of god, men who show contempt for the law, foes of grace, enemies of the father’s faith, advocates of the devil, brood of vipers, slanderers, scoffers, men whose minds are in darkness, leaven of the Pharisees, assembly of demons, sinners, wicked men, stoners and haters of righteousness.

In some places, such calumny incited people to violence.

(We saw in Part 45, for example, how the Crusader mobs devastated the Jewish population of Europe, slaughtering 30%-50% of the Jews living there. Some 10,000 Jews of an estimated population of about 20,000-30,000 were murdered in 1095 as the first Crusade got under way.)

In other places, such calumny bred other forms of persecution.

Money-Lenders

If one were a reasonable Christian listening to one’s Church fathers speak of the Jews, one might quite naturally conclude that such a people had no place in a decent society.

And this is a conclusion that was drawn over time.

Around the first millennium, we see the rise of the Christian trade guilds from which Jews were pointedly excluded. No more Jewish goldsmiths and silversmiths and glass-blowers. Jews were also excluded from owning land, holding office, and from being doctors and lawyers.

Jews were forced to wear a “distinguishing garment”either a badge or a sign or a silly-looking hat which set them apart. This was not only to make them look different but also to humiliate them.

Then, beginning in 1123, when the bishops of the Church undertook a series of meetings called Lateran Councils to decide Church policy, the Jews were assigned a new function in Christian society.

Along with a decree that priests must be celibate, the bishops decided that Christians were not allowed to lend each other money. (This came from a misunderstanding of Biblical commandment that forbids one from charging one’s brother interest when making a loan.)

As for the Jews, the bishops promulgated a doctrine decreeing them servants of Christians, and then assigning to them the degrading task of lending money called usury with which the Christians were forbidden to sully their hands.

The bishops were not stupid. They knew that you have to charge interest to have banking, and you had to have banking to have economic development, otherwise there is no growth and your economy stagnates. Someone had to lend money. And that someone, the bishops decided, would be the Jews.

What happened next is that Jews were not allowed to live in various cities in Europe, unless they supplied a certain number of money-lenders.

However, lending money was a very precarious job. For one, it engendered a lot of animosity. After all, who likes to pay back loans?

And what happened if the local nobleman or bishop decided not to pay you back? He’d accused the Jew of doing something terrible like killing a Christian baby. That way he could renege on his loans, confiscate all Jewish property, and then expel or even kill the Jews.

This happened over and over again.

Some have claimed that it was Jewish money-lending practices that engendered such actions and, indeed, were responsible for a great deal of anti-Semitism. This is a total myth. At that time Jews charged an average interest rate of between 33% and 43% on loans. And while this may seem high by today’s standards, consider that the Lombards, the Christian Italian bankers living under the nose of the Vatican, charged rates as high as 250%. So we see that the Lombard money-lending practices were many times worse and yet no one went around persecuting Lombard bankers.(1)

Persecutions of the Jews, on the other hand, knew no bounds.

Blood Libel

It is next to impossible to explain the accusations that were hurled at the Jews during this time. Jews were persecuted not only for being “Christ-killers” but as “baby-killers.”

The first such accusation better known as a “blood libel”was leveled in 1144 in Norwich, England. There, Jews were charged with kidnapping a Christian baby and draining the baby of blood. The charge became so popular it would sweep, in various forms, through Europe and then spread to other parts of the world.

The most famous of all blood libel legends is that of the ritual murder of the child Hugh of Lincoln, England in 1255. The story was immortalized in a ballad so well-known in England and Scotland that is number 155 in the standard cannon of English and Scottish ballads compiled by Francis James Child in the 19th century. The best-know tale of ritual murder is the Prioress’s Tale, found in Chaucer’s 14th century classic work or early English fiction, Canterbury Tales. One verse of the tale goes like this: (2)

From that time forward these Jews conspired to chase this innocent child from the earth’s face. Down a dark alley-way they found and hired a murderer who owned that secret place; and as the boy passed at his happy pace this cursed Jew grabbed him and held him, slit his little throat and cast him in a pit.

Now why did Jews need blood in Christian opinion? This is a multiple-choice question:

  1. Jews suffered from hemorrhoids as a punishment for killing Jesus and drinking blood was the best cure for hemorrhoids at the time.
  2. All Jewish men menstruate and need a monthly blood transfusion.
  3. Jewish men, when they’re circumcised, lose so much blood because of that surgical procedure that they need to drink Christian babies’ blood.
  4. It’s the chief ingredient in matzah, and therefore prior to every Passover Jews would be requiring a large supply.
  5. All of the above.

What do you think the correct answer is? Shockingly, it’s (e)all of the above.

This is a very important lesson in anti-Semitism. You can say anything about the Jews and people will believe it.

It’s ironic that Jews, who are prohibited by Jewish law of consuming any blood whatsoever (kosher meat is carefully washed and salted to remove all traces of blood) were precisely the people accused of drinking blood.

The blood libel makes even less sense when you consider that in the 13th century the Church adopted the doctrine of transubstantiation. This is a mystical idea which maintains that when the priest says mass over the wafer and wine, these objects mystically change into the body and blood of Jesus. Christians who consume the wafer and drink the wine are said to be mystically eating the flesh of Jesus and drinking his blood.(3)

It’s ironic that the Christian world, while engaged in the ritual of “drinking the blood of Jesus” would accuse the Jews who are forbidden to drink blood of this totally fabricated hideous crime.

But then the accusations got even more wild.

Starting in Switzerland and Germany in the 13th century, Jews were accused of kidnapping communion wafers from churches. Why would the Jews do this in Christian view?

To torture it.

Medieval documents tell stories describing how a Jew (usually called always called Abraham) steals a wafer from a church, sticks a knife in it, and blood starts pouring out. And then he cuts it up into pieces and sends it to different Jews who all torture it.

This would be funny, if not for a fact that thousands of Jews were slaughtered as a result of such stories. For example, the entire Jewish community of Berlitz, near Berlin in Germany, was all burned alive based on the accusation of torturing a wafer!

(To read more about this subject see The Devil and the Jew by Joshua Trachtenburg or “Why the Jews?” by Dennis Prager and Joseph Telushkin.)

Jew Taxes

Throughout this time, the Jews were physically marginalized, beaten, burned, raped. And they were economically marginalized, pillaged, robbed, taxed nearly to death. Indeed, their money was one of the reasons they were tolerated at all. Jews were a good source of income to the crown. They were specially taxed with special punitive “Jew taxes.”

We will see later in Germany that 38 special taxes were imposed on the Jews. There was a tax to be born, a tax to die, a tax to wear a kippah, a tax to be married, a tax to be circumcised, a tax to buy Shabbat candles, a tax to exempt you from the German army in which you were not allowed to serve anyway because you were a Jew.

And what would happen eventually, once Jews were drained of their money they would be expelled. In 1182 King Philip II of France, out of the need to acquire some “quick and easy” money, expelled the Jews of France and confiscated all their property. The lure of future Jewish tax revenue caused him to rethink his policy and invite the Jews back to France in 1198.

This is also what happened in England where heavy taxation of the Jewish population of about 5,000 people supplied the crown with almost 20% of all of its income.

In 1290, on the 9th day of Av, which is the same day that the Temple in Jerusalem was twice destroyed, and which is therefore the worst day in Jewish history – drained of their wealth by a crushing taxation ― the Jews were expelled from England and not permitted to return for almost four centuries. King Edward I declared all debts owed to the Jews canceled and that the principal (but not the interest) be paid directly to him. As the Edict of Expulsion stated:

… therefore, we in, in requital of their crimes and for the honor of the Crucified, have banished them from our realm as traitors. We… do hereby make totally null and void all penalties and usuries and whatsoever else… may be claimed on account of Jewry… pay the amount to us at such convenient times as may be determined by you. (4)

Other countries would soon follow suit, but first would come another twist in the persecution of the Jews.

We saw previously that Jews

would be brought in as money-lenders (being excluded from other professions), then when a bishop or nobleman wanted his debt annulled, he brought a “blood libel” against the Jews and had them expelled or killed. King Boleslav boldly promised the Jews that this would not happen in Poland.

Jews did not immediately flock into Poland, though some did settle there to test the waters. But when other countries started expelling Jews — England being the first in 13th century, Germany in the 14th and Italy and Portugal being the more recent in the 15th century (as we saw in Parts 46 and 48) — Poland became an attractive destination point.

Then in 1569, Poland unified with Lithuania, and as a result expanded its borders to the east. What we know as the Ukraine today and some of Belorussia became vassal lands of Poland which was still a semi-feudal country. These lands needed to be managed and job openings in administration (at which Jews excelled) sprung up everywhere. Quite often Jews would lease tracts of land from the Polish nobility thus making them the middle men in the feudal economic structure of Eastern Europe.

Another Polish king, Sigismund II Augustus, issued another invitation. Here is an excerpt from his edict, granting the Jews permission to open a yeshiva at Lublin, dated August 23, 1567:

“As a result of the efforts of our advisors and in keeping with the request of the Jews of Lublin we do hereby grant permission to erect a yeshiva and to outfit said yeshiva with all that is required to advance learning. All the learned men and rabbis of Lublin shall come together for among their number they shall choose one to serve as the head of the yeshiva. Let their choice be a man who will magnify Torah and bring it glory.”(2)

GOLDEN AGE OF POLISH JEWRY

In Poland, in the early 16th century, the Jews were allowed to have their own governing body called the Va’ad Arba Artzot-The Council of the Four Lands, which was composed of various rabbis from the four major Polish provinces (Great Poland, Little Poland, Volhynia and Polodia) who oversaw the affairs of the Jews in Eastern Europe. The Poles did not interfere with Jewish life and scholarship flourished.

Some important personalities of this period, which a student of Jewish history should remember, were:

  • Rabbi Moshe Isserles (1525-1572), from Krakow, also known as the Rema. After the Sephardi rabbi Joseph Karo wrote the Shulchan Aruch, the code of Jewish Law, Rabbi Isserles annotated it to fill in the rabbinic decisions from Eastern Europe. His commentary was, and continues to be, critically important in daily Jewish life.
  • Rabbi Ya’akov Pollack (1455-1530), from Krakow. He opened the first yeshivah in Poland and was later named the chief rabbi of Poland. He developed a method of learning Talmud called pilpul, meaning “fine distinctions.” This was a type of dialectical reasoning that became very popular, whereby contradictory facts or ideas were systematically weighed with a view to the resolution of their real or apparent contradictions.
  • Rabbi Yehudah Loewe, (1526-1609), not from Poland but important to Eastern European Jewry. He was known as the Maharal of Prague and was one of the great mystical scholars of his time. His name has also been associated with the famous Golem of Prague legend (The Golem was a Frankenstein-like being created by the Maharal to protect the Jews of Prague) although the legend has been shown to be a later fabrication.

POPULATION BOOM

Along with the growth in Torah scholarship there was growth in population. In 1500 there were about 50,000 Jews living in Poland. By 1650 there were 500,000 Jews. This means that by the mid 17th at least 30% or more of the Jewish population of the world was living in Poland!

Where did these Jews settle within Poland?

Jews of the Diaspora were generally urban people as they were historically not allowed to own land in most of the places they lived. However, they also created their own farm communities called shtetls (Yiddish for “small town). Although we tend to think of the shtetl today as a poor farming village (like in Fiddler on the Roof), during the Golden Age of Polish Jewry, many of these communities were actually quite prosperous. And there were thousands of them.

The Jews in these independent communities spoke their own language called Yiddish. Original Yiddish was written in Hebrew letters and was a mixture of Hebrew, Slavic, and German. (Note that Yiddish underwent constant development and “modern” Yiddish is not like the “old” Yiddish which first appeared in the 13th century, nor “middle” Yiddish of this period of time.)

Overall, the Jews did well, but working alongside Polish and Ukrainian Christians (who thought Jews killed Jesus) had its downside.

There were several instances of Christian rioting against Jews. For example, in 1399 in Poznan, a rabbi and 13 elders were accused of stealing Church property and they were tortured and burnt at the stake. (The Poles must have forgot the king’s edict.)

Another problem was that Jews worked as administrators and tax collectors for Polish feudal lords. This did not make them popular among the local folk, who needed little encouragement to unleash their anti-Semitic rage.

This was especially true in places like the Ukraine, where the Catholic Poles were viewed as an occupying power in an Eastern Orthodox land, and the Jews — being representatives of the occupation forces — were the easiest to resent.

And while the Polish nobility might have needed the Jews, the common Poles didn’t. There were instances when the Polish soldiers would purposely leave town, abandoning the Jews to the mercy (or lack thereof) of the Ukrainians. This happened, for example, in 1648 in the city of Tulchin. The Polish soldiers made a deal with the Cossacks and left town. The Jews defended the city by themselves until it fell and they were all slaughtered.

POGROMS

When the Ukrainians decided to throw the Poles out of their land, a full-scale massacres of Jews began.

The year 1635 saw the first big explosion of violence in Ukraine against Poles and Jews. But this attempt at the revolution was crushed. It returned with new vigor thirteen years later.

This second rebellion, in 1648, which succeeded in freeing a large part of the Ukraine from Polish rule, was led by a Ukrainian Cossack named Bogdan Chmielnicki. In large measure it was directed at the Jews.

Chmielnicki was one of the biggest anti-Semites in human history, on par with Hitler. His aim was genocide and his forces murdered an estimated 100,000 Jews in the most horrendous ways:

Here is one description (from Yeven Mezulah, pp. 31-32):

“Some of them [the Jews] had their skins flayed off them and their flesh was flung to the dogs. The hands and feet of others were cut off and they [their bodies] were flung onto the roadway where carts ran over them and they were trodden underfoot by horse … And many were buried alive. Children were slaughtered at their mother’s bosoms and many children were torn apart like fish. They ripped up the bellies of pregnant women, took out the unborn children, and flung them in their faces. They tore open the bellies of some of them and placed a living cat within the belly and they left them alive thus, first cutting off their hands so that they should not be able to take the living cat out of the belly … and there was never an unnatural death in the world that they did not inflict upon them.”

Here is another account from a Luthuanian Rabbi Shabbetai ben Meir HaCohen (1621-1662) also known as the Shach, who survived this time:

“On the same day 1,500 people were killed in the city of Human in Russia on the Sabbath. The nobles [Cossacks] with whom the wicked mob had again made an alliance chased all the Jews from the city into the fields and vineyards where the villains surrounded them in a circle, stripped them to their skin and ordered them to lie on the ground. The villains spoke to the Jews with friendly and consoling words: ‘Why do you want to be killed, strangled and slaughtered like an offering to your God Who poured out His anger upon you without mercy? Would it not be safer for you to worship our gods, our images and crosses and we would form one people which would unite together.’ “But the holy and faithful people who so often allowed themselves to be murdered for the sake of the Lord, raised their voices together in almighty in Heaven and cried: ‘Hear of Israel the Lord our God, the Holy One and the King of the Universe, we have been murdered for Thy sake so often already. O Lord God of Israel let us remain faithful to Thee.’ Afterward they recited the confession of sins and said: ‘We are guilty and thus recognize the Divine judgment.’ Now the villains turned upon them and there was not one of them who did not fall victim.”

It’s no wonder when Jews hear the word Cossack they break out in a sweat. These people killed 100,000 Jews and destroyed 300 Jewish communities in the most brutal way one could imagine.

Yet to this day Chmielnicki is considered a nationalist hero in the Ukraine, where they regard him as a kind of “George Washington.” In Kiev there is a big statue in the square erected in his honor.

So this is how, in 1648-1649, the Golden Age of Polish Jewry came crashing down.

These pogroms took place in Eastern Poland, and the Jews in other parts remained there. Poland continued for many years to be the center of the Ashkenazi Jewish world as we shall see in future installments.

However, before we cover that period of time, we will backtrack a bit to talk about the Protestant Reformation which also took place during the Renaissance.


1)Alexis P. Rubin ed., Scattered Among the Nations-Documents Affecting Jewish History 49 to 1975. (Jason Aronson, 1993), pp 87-8.
2) Alexis P. Rubin ed., Scattered Among the Nations-Documents Affecting Jewish History 49 to 1975. (Jason Aronson, 1993), pp 89-90.


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Why do most hate Jews?

Hatred can be explained in many ways, but I often come across some people who hate Jews. Whenever I go on explaining them about Judaism, Israel and Zion, it just ends in an unconvincing rational argument. When I look into the history of Israel and why they had been persecuted in last 2000 years the details are quite fascinating. I realize that most people, who hate Jews, don’t know why they do. Some might go to an extent of forwarding me some articles from Islamic websites or videos from YouTube, which shows atrocities of Israelis on Palestinians’.

Since my early days as Bible reading kid I was always having a soft corner for Israel and its people. The curiosity for Israel & Jews grew stronger as a teenager and I ventured into in-depth study about that land and its people. Searching for facts, discussing with Scholars, interviewing Rabbi’s and getting into a practical pursuit of the land. When I study about them I don’t find any reason to hate them. Off course I always see that I don’t get influenced by some breaking news, media and false propaganda about Israel. However, a study is incomplete without getting the information from the oppositions and the haters too, but when I balance the real cause and explanation I still that the state of Israel has a right to survive and exist. Many would still continue to disagree with me, by some of their biased and unrealistic explanations.  

Lets go through some  few points that I have found interesting about Israel, its relationship with west, its relationship with USA, Holocaust, Jewish hatred and everything that I could cover in a precise writing mode :-

“It requires faith,” says Wistrich, in an interview on his return from a whirlwind book tour across the United States. “Our presence in the land of Israel is providential, and cannot be explained by purely rational arguments. Whether we live up to that depends on us.”

http://www.whyisrael.org/2010/05/22/the-longest-hatred/

 

 

(What is Anti-Semitism? anti-Semitism is not an opinion, but rather a crime of passion; and, in the final analysis, the anti-Semite wants, consciously or unconsciously, to kill the Jew. ) This has been going on for almost 2500 years and the anti-Semitic mind is always for a reason to think that a Jew should be killed or to kill if given a chance. There has hardly been any direct cause of revenge, it’s just a state of obsession. I wonder what kind of aggression, atrocity, and persecution the anti-Semitic faced in order to have such mental state to kill a Jew. Many have never focused on religion influence on Anti-Semitism. Before WW2 there was a huge influx of Anti-Semitism among the Christians, but after that and especially since 1948 there has been a shift towards Muslims. Only recently the prevalent Anti-Semitic feelings in US & Europe have revived again. Making Israel almost isolated in its fight against survival.

US – Israel relations at its brink

US is the strongest allies of Israel in the western world, but last few months we are witnessing a collapse in their relations. All thanks to President Obama and the liberals in the US politics.

  1. Israel during the Bush and Clinton Administrations – had landing rights in Turkey, and USA bases in the Middle East and more recently under George Bush, in Iraq. This was in case they were attacked by Iran or any other Arab country. Obama has withdrawn those landing rights. Israel now has nowhere to refuel in the Middle East.
    2. Netanyahu was instructed to come to the white house for a meeting. He was brought in through a servant’s entrance – the only head of state ever in US history to be given that disgraceful treatment. He was not offered even a cup of tea – but was lectured to by Obama who told him that he is not permitted to attack Iran and that he has to withdraw all forces from the West bank and may not build any more settlements ( neighborhoods’) in East Jerusalem.
    3. Israel found out that there were four terrorists meeting in Dubai. As they have done for the past 62 years, they informed the US of that and said that these terrorists had to be dealt with. Obama said under no circumstances. Israel decided to go ahead. They killed the one terrorist who showed up. However the CIA was sent there to film the entire event by Obama – and then a concerted PR campaign was waged by the White house to discredit Israel and what they did – this kind of action has taken place with US support for the past 62 years since they presumed to have common enemies.
    4. Obama has refused to oppose Syria’s re arming of Hezbollah and Hamas – Israel now sits in imminent danger from the amounts of missiles that can be sent into her territory.
    5. Israel will never tell the US again of its plans – since they cannot trust US.
    6. Israel intends to attack Iran – there are over 30 installations of which 4 have underground bunkers that contain nuclear weapons. Israel cannot wait any longer. The US is no longer supporting Israel’s self defense.
    7. When Lance Lambert gave the White House a full file on the 9.11 attack – his warnings and proof were laughed at.
    8. Now Lance Lambert believes that the next attacks in the USA will be mass transportation – subways and malls – especially the largest malls where the most people can be killed – and that Vegas and wherever there are conventions of employees will be a huge target. USA is not prepared and are naïve in their lack thereof.
    9. Once Israel attacks Iran, every Jew and Jewish institution will be at risk – temples, religious schools etc.
    10. It is not fiction. It is fact.
    What can be done?
    It is essential that everyone who doesn’t know yet, now understands that the protection and survival of Israel is not on Obama’s list – and he is now taking ACTUAL steps to move all protections away – no more landing rights, negotiating with Iran and Syria, making nice to the Arab World in the face of allies of long-standing and he is no friend of the Jewish people and Israel.

 

Today, people from Western countries often have not even the vaguest idea of the Jews’ link to this land. They tend to believe the kind of things that were given some credence even by President Obama in his Cairo speech, where he suggested that it was only the history of persecution, and particularly the Holocaust, that provided the source of Israel’s justification. But anyone really familiar with Judaism and the history of the Jews would know that the tripod that makes up the core of the Jewish people — Judaism, the land of Israel and the laws of the Torah — cannot be disconnected. This is why anti-Zionists, and often anti-Semites, try so hard to separate them. A distorted information about the facts doesn’t make the truth diminish, maybe for the ears for some naïve people. But someone with clear understanding about the history of Israel cannot deny the truth.

The Sympathetic Arab westerners basically say that the Zionist movement and the people who came to settle in the Land of Israel are all alien invaders. This is an outright lie, of course, but it’s one that is widely believed by people today who have no interest in history and no respect for truth. It’s astonishing how often one reads complete dismissals of the historical connection of the Jews with Palestine. The Palestinians even deny that there was a First or a Second Temple. And they go even further in falsifying history, by claiming, for instance, that the Arabs of Palestine are descendants of the Canaanites, and therefore preceded the children of Israel in the conquest of Canaan as described in the Bible. Obviously, there’s no shred of evidence for any link whatsoever between the Canaanites and the Arabs of Palestine.

The Jews were driven out of their land by the Romans; many tribes went to settle down in Middle east and most in Europe. The Jews were never welcomed in Europe or Middle east peacefully as compared to the invasions of the Islamic fighters over Europe, Africa, Middle East & Asia. No one speaks about the atrocities met by the Islamic fighters who plundered one city after another in the name of the religion. Still there is no hatred for them as compared to hatred meted upon the Jews. In Europe the Jews were subjected only to the ghettos, it was only in the ghettos that they could find a living. Whenever the European kings & Queens or at the instructions of the Vatican the persecution of the Jews was fast tracked. Their killings were never justified but always given a name of hatred or they were killed in the name of religion. Many Christians those days were driven against the Jews by the Church, and the reason “ It was Jews who killed Lord Jesus”, come on please can somebody tell me is this the basis of Christianity. Even Lord Jesus would never allow such a horrendous crime in the name of faith. During the early 17th Century Jews started to expand almost all over Europe because they were always migrating population under the fear of continuous persecution. This was the time when the Jews flourished in trade, medicine, science, technology and even some of them gaining good positions in societies, politics & governments.

Have the Jews invaded nations in past 2000 years, or have they spread bloodshed, or what on earth have they done to the world to be hated so much. Maybe its the success of most of the Jews which makes the other people jealous and thus resulting hatred.

 

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