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1560 GOA

Portugal, which ruled Goa, established an inquisition which was to last (with one four year break) for almost 250 years.


1560 - 1640 (20 Adar 5400) JOEL SIRKES (the Bach) (Lublin, Poland)

One of the great Polish talmudic scholars. His halachic commentary on the Tur (1270-1343 Jacob ben Asher - the Baal Haturim) called Bait Chadash (New House) traced each law to its source in the Talmud. Sirkes was critical of those who relied solely on the Shulchan Aruch for halachic decisions rather than the Talmud and the Geonim.


1561 EMPEROR FERDINAND I (Holy Roman Empire}

Took an oath to expel the Jews from Prague. They were saved by Mordechai Zemach, who hurried to Rome and convinced Pope Pius IV to release the Emperor from his oath. While he was gone, many Jews were forced to leave or were attacked by robber barons.


1563 December 11, (25 Kislev 5327) IVAN THE TERRIBLE (Belarus)

Captured Polotsk, one of the oldest Jewish communities in Lithuania, and ordered all Jews to be baptized. The 300 Jews who refused were drowned in the Dvina River.


1564 March 22, MANTUA, (Italy)

David Provensalo and his son Abraham asked the Jewish notables to help create a Jewish College. The idea was to allow Jews to learn languages and science and receive a "Jewish education." Although they did establish a talmudic academy, they were opposed by the local Church and did not succeed in opening the College.


1564 March 24, POPE PIUS IV

Permitted the publication of the Talmud - after censorship and the deletion of the name "Talmud".


1564 July 13, BREST LITVOSK (Lithuania)

Abraham, the son of a wealthy and envied Jewish tax collector, was accused of killing the family's Christian servant for ritual purposes. The accusation was encouraged by the local burghers who resented Jewish competition. He was tortured and executed. King Sigmund Augustus forbade future charges of ritual murder, calling them groundless.


C. 1565 - 1630 (11 Nissan 5391) ISAIAH BEN ABRAHAM HA-LEVI HOROWITZ (SheLaH Hakadosh) (Prague, Bohemia-Tiberias, Eretz Israel)

Rabbi, kabbalist, and Jewish leader known as the SheLaH Hakadosh for his major work Shnai Luchot Habrit (Two Tablets of the Covenant) which combines Halacha and Kabbalah as a way of life. He moved to Eretz Israel in 1621 after the death of his wife. In 1625 he was arrested with many other Rabbis and held for ransom by the Pasha. Horowitz served as leader and Ashkenazi Rabbi in Jerusalem. He used his wealth to financially support the community. Horowitz strongly believed that he was privileged to be able to observe the commandments tied to the land of Israel. He was buried next to Maimonides in Tiberias.


1566 - 1574 REIGN OF SELIM II "The Magnificent" (Ottoman Empire)

Selim had been supported by the Jews in his claim to the throne. As a result, many Jews received important positions in his government, including Don Joseph Nasi who was appointed Duke of Naxos. Selim II also allowed Marranos fleeing Portugal to settle in Turkey.


1566 VILNA (Lithuania)

The Bishop of Vilna "alarmed" at the rate of intermarriage convinced the King (Sigismund II) to ban the wearing of luxurious clothes, gold jewelry or carry a decorative sword. Instead Jews had to wear special clothes which would differentiate them from the Christians, including yellow hats and head coverings.


1566 April 19, POPE PIUS V (The Papal States, Italy)

Three months into his reign, he rejected the leniencies of his predecessor and re-invoked all the restrictions of Paul IV. These included Jews being forced to wear a special cap as well as the prohibitions against owning real estate and practicing medicine on Christians. Communities were not allowed to have more than one synagogue and Jews were confined to a cramped ghetto.


1567 June 15, GENOA (Italy)

Expulsion of the Jews. The two prior expulsions of 1515 and 1550 were local. This decree was extended to the entire republic. Within a few years a limited number of Jews, specifically those engaged in money lending and business, were again allowed to live there.


1568 CHOCHIN (India)

The Paradesi (foreign or non-Indian) synagogue, was built with the support of the rajah of Cochin, despite Portuguese rule. The synagogue is still standing.


1569 BREST (Lithuania)

The union of the kingdoms of Poland and Lithuania opened the door for Jewish settlement in the Ukraine, which became one of the main centers of Lithuanian Jewry. Up to this date there were no more than 4000 Jews in the area. During the next 80 years the Jewish population increased to more than 50,000.


1569 January 25, Phillip II (Spain)

Issued the order to set up an inquisition in the New World. Five years later, Mexico was the first in the New world to establish one.


1569 February 26, PAPAL STATES (Italy)

Pope Pius V ordered the eviction of all Jews who refused to convert from all the papal states except Rome and Verona. Most of the approximately 1000 Jewish families living there decided to emigrate.


1569 July 1, THE UNION OF LUBLIN (Poland and Lithuania)

Against the backdrop of a fear of Russian intentions under Ivan IV, the Duchy of Lithuania and the kingdom of Poland decided on a practical merging. Although they were now ostensibly "one common country", Lithuania still kept its own title, army, treasury, and code of law. Jews helped found new towns and villages on the border between the two countries. Unfortunately the general status of Jews in Lithuania now fell more in line with those of Poland. The less then total union resulted in Lithuania retaining its own independent Jewish council that was not connected to the Council of the (four) Lands in Poland.



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