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1280 - C. 1355 ESTORI (Isaac ben Moses) HA-PARHI (Spain-Eretz Israel)

Physician and topographer. Ha-parhi settled in Eretz Israel around 1314 and moved to Beth Shean where he wrote Sefer Kaftor va-ferach. In it he described the topography of Eretz Israel, its borders and the names of various towns. He was the first to identify the towns of Beitar and Modiin.


1280 January 2, LONDON (England)

Jews were forced to hear Dominican conversion sermons. Jewish blasphemy of the Church was deemed a capital offense. Abraham the son of Deulecresse of Norwich was drawn and burned for "Blasphemy and other trespasses" including alleged coinage violation. The punishment for coinage clipping alone was hanging.


1280 August 26, KING JAMES I OF ARAGON

Under the influence of the Dominican Friar Raymond Martini, he ordered all disparaging statements regarding Jesus and Mary erased from the Talmud. In addition, the Mishneh Torah of Maimonides was condemned to be burned due to references to Jesus in the chapter on the laws of kingship.


1281 January 19, JEWS ARRESTED IN CASTILE

Alfonso X arrested the leaders of the Jewish community and demanded a exorbitant ransom paid per day. One of his Jewish tax collectors Zag De la Maleha (Isaac ibn Zadok) had raised money for the army but didn’t prevent Sancho, Alfonso's son, from appropriating the money to pay queen Violante's depts. When Alfonso lost the battle, he had De la Maleha killed and others including Todros Abulafia arrested, until the ransom was paid. During the last years of Alfonzo's reign and under the influence of the church, his treatment of the Jews underwent change for the worse.


1282 LONDON (England)

All synagogues were closed by order of the Archbishop of Canterbury, John Pectin. Jewish physicians were prohibited from treating Christians.


1283 - 1287 ANTI-JEWISH RIOTS (Franconia, the Rhine and Bavaria)

These riots convinced many of the wealthier Jewish families in those areas to consider emigrating to Eretz Israel.


1283 - C. 1330 SHEM TOV BEN ABRAHAM IBN GAON (Spain -Eretz Israel)

Scholar, and Kabbalist. Author of Migdal 'Oz, a commentary on Maimonides' and Keter Shem-Tov on the Pentateuch, he immigrated to Eretz Israel in 1312.


1283 April 19, MAINZ (Seventh day of Passover)(Germany)

Ritual murder accusation (blood libel). Thirty six Jews were slain, known as the Harugei Magenza , the murdered of Mainz.


1285 April 4, - 1314 REIGN OF PHILIP IV PHILIP THE FAIR (France)

(The Fair - referring to color, not to temperament). The grandson of Saint Louis. His policy regarding the Jews was to use them solely for his financial benefit.


1285 October 12, MUNICH (Germany)

A blood libel resulted in the death of 68 Jewish inhabitants. The one hundred and eighty survivors were burned alive in the synagogue.


1286 - 1328 KALONYMOS BEN KALONYMOS (Provence)

A prolific writer and translator, best known for his poetry. He was especially noted for his translations of Arabic scientific works into Hebrew.


1287 April 19, WERNER OF OBERWESEL (Germany)

A 16 year old boy was found dead on the shore of the Rhine.Immediately a ritual murder accusation placed the blame on the Jews. Over the next few months forty men, women and children - were killed by riots as they spread down the Rhineland. Werner himself (despite the order of King Rudolf I to burn the corpse) was buried in a chapel in Oberwesel where he was venerated as a saint. Nearby Bacharach, where his body was found, also erected a chapel. Although Pope John XXIII ordered the “holy” day deleted from diocese of Trier in 1963 it still appears in some German Saint Directories. The “Saint Werner’s Chapel” was renovated in 2001.rn


1287 May 4, ENGLAND

Jews were arrested and again accused of "clipping" the coinage. Although there was no evidence, the community as a whole was convicted and ordered to be expelled. A ransom of 4,000 (others say 12,000) pounds of silver was paid.


1288 - 1344 (6 Iyar 5104) LEVI BEN GERSHON RALBAG

Rabbi, mathematician, astronomer, philosopher and biblical/talmudic commentator. In his Milchamot Hashem (Wars of the Lord) he elaborated on his own conception of Maimonides' philosophy. He tried to explain miracles through laws of nature. As an astronomer, he influenced Copernicus and is reputed to be the inventor of the "Jacob's Staff", a quadrant used for centuries by navigators. He also wrote a commentary on the Bible and reportedly invented the "camera obscura", which threw images on a screen and was the forerunner of the modern camera.


1288 PAULA DEI MANSI (Italy)

Female scribe. She translated a collection of Biblical commentaries adding explanations of her own. Dei Mansi was from a family of well known scribes and copyists. She also copied a prayer book adding her own clarifications. Among her other works are a extensive book on Halachah which she copied for a learned relative.


1288 April 24, TROYES (France)

A Christian body was placed in the house of the richest Jew of the city. The resulting tribunal condemned fourteen of the city's wealthiest men and women to be burned at the stake.


1288 June 8, BONN (Germany)

Riots, after a ritual murder accusation, left 104 Jews dead.


1288 September 5, TURBATO CORDE

Pope Nicolas IV issued his Bull “Troubled Ropes”, demanding that all Christians who turn to “ the damnable Jewish rite” be treated as heretics. Although this specific bull did not identify itself as specifically referring to “lapsed Christians”, it was understood as such. Later versions would specify “converts who had gone from the error of Jewish blindness to the light of the Christian faith”.


1289 GASCONY (France)

Jews were expelled from France and their property was confiscated. (Edward I of France had incurred large debts and he needed money quickly.)




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