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1590 - 1670 ASNAT BARAZANI MIZRAHI (Mosul, Iraq)

Scholar and teacher. The daughter of Samuel b. Netanel Ha-Levi of Kurdistan a distinguished Rabbi and educator who built a yeshiva in Mosul. As his only child they studied together and soon she became renown for her knowledge. Her marriage contract stipulated that she did not have to do any housework, and could spend her time studying. After her father's death she became the Rosh Yeshiva, and was considered was of the leaders of Kurdistan Jewry.


1590 - 1640 URIEL ACOSTA/Da Acosta (Amsterdam, Holland)

A descendant of a Converso family, he was raised as a Christian and became chief treasurer of an abbey. Acosta decided to return to Judaism after studying the Old Testament. He fled to Amsterdam, where he grew disillusioned and attacked Jewish tradition. He was excommunicated, reinstated and excommunicated again. He found the disciplinary penance offered him in the presence of the congregation too difficult and committed suicide.


1590 May 14, ENACTMENT OF THE SUMPTUARY LAWS AT CASALE (Italy)

Sumptuary laws (see 1432) were at times self enacted and at other times imposed by the local Christain rulers. The laws at Casale belonged to the latter and were designed to humiliate and punish the Jews in the name of Christ.


1590 June 11, POSEN FIRE (Germany)

Built of wood, the entire Jewish quarter burned while the gentile population watched and pillaged. Fifteen people died and eighty scrolls were burned.


1591 JOSE SOLOMON DELMEDIGO (Crete)

Rabbi, encyclopedist and physician. Delmegido was a pupil of Galileo. He wrote over 30 works on a great variety of scientific subjects including math, geometry, chemistry, mechanics, philosophy, and medicine.


1592 ESTHER CHIERA (Ottoman Empire)

Was executed along with one of her sons by the Sultan Murad III's cavalry. Esther, the wife of a Jewish merchant, was known as a Chiera or Kiera, the title given to the women in charge of all relations (including commercial) between the wives in the sultan's royal harem and the outside world. Esther was extremely influential with Safiyeh, the favorite wife of the Sultan. Jealousy on the part of other ministers and the desire of the Sultan for her assets led to their arrest (officially for interfering in a military appointment) and execution, with all their possessions and property going to the Sultan.


1592 LONDON (England)

Synagogue services were held privately in a house owned by Solomon Abenaes (Alvaro Mendes, Duke of Mitylene). He was then in negotiation with the English court over an Anglo-Turkish alliance against Spain. (see 1520)


1592 - 1641 SARA COPIA SULLAM (Italy)

Poet and writer. She spoke Hebrew, Italian, Greek, and Latin. Copia Sullam became friendly with Ansaldo Cebà a famed monk and author of L’Ester. He eventually professed his love for her and urged her leave her husband and covert. Despite her admiration for him, she refused him on both counts. In 1621, she was accused of not believing in the immortality of the soul, which is considered heresy. She defended herself in "The Manifesto of Sara Copia Sulam". None of her Christian admirers or friends spoke out for her.


1592 February 28, BULL CUM SAEPE ACCIDERE ( "As often happens")

Was published by Pope Clement VIII. It prohibited Jews in Avignon (which was a papal state) from trading in new goods. This, in order to put them in an economically disadvantaged position.


1592 September 1, LVOV (Poland)

Harsh persecution began with Archbishop Salikowski ordering the Jews to build a church.


1593 POPE CLEMENT VIII (Italy)

Issued papal bull Caeca et Obdurata Hebraeorum perfidia (The blind and obdurate perfidy of the Hebrews) , expelling the Jews from all Papal states except Rome and Ancona, and thus revoking the bull Christiana pietas (1586) of his predecessor Pope Sixtus . The Jews had three months to leave.He also confirming an earlier bull of Pope Paul III Cum Nimis Absurdum ( 1555) which established the Jewish ghetto in Rome.


1593 February 28, PROHIBITION OF OWNING A TALMUD

Despite efforts by Italian Jews to self- expunge the Talmud of any anti- Christian sentiment, Pope Clement VIII issued his bull Cum Haebraeorum malitia reaffirming the ban against owning or even reading the Talmud.


1593 April 22, AMSTERDAM (Holland)

The arrival of the first group of Conversos, which was led by Jacob Tirado. Moses Uri Halevi soon joined them and helped arrange for prayer services.


1593 June 10, LEGHORN, LIVORNO (Italy)

Under Ferdinand I (the Medici ruler). In an effort to turn the town into a successful port Ferdinand I issued an open invitation for "Westerners, Spaniards" etc. to join in settling the town. The charter guaranteed freedom of religion including the open practice (for Conversos) of Judaism and the right of citizenship.


1593 November 23, BUCHAREST (Romania)

As part of his revolt against the Turks, Prince Michael the Brave ordered the massacre of Jews and Turks. Since most of the local Jews were also Turkish citizens, his murder of the Jews also won support from the local merchants who resented Jewish competition.


1594 July 7, LONDON (England)

Roderigo Lopez, Queen Elizabeth's physician and a Converso, was executed after being accused by the Earl of Essex of trying to poison the queen. The Earl, who headed the War Party and was allied with the Portuguese pretender, Dom Antonio, was incensed at Lopez's efforts to establish peace with Spain after the defeat of the Armada. The anti-Semitism raised by the trial is reflected in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.


1595 ABRAHAM B. MATTATHIAS ( Verona)

Published The Kuhbuch (Cow book), consisting of fables. Many sections were adapted from Mishlei Shu'alim ( see 1557) and Meshal ha-Kadmoni (see 1244). A book with a similar name consisting of 34 fables (also called Sefer Meshalim) was later produced in 1697 by Moses ben Eliezar Wallich of Worms.


1595 December 17, LIMA (Peru)

Ten people were accused of practicing Judaism. Four were handed over for punishment. One of them, Francisco Rodriguez, was burned alive.


1596 October 2, AMSTERDAM (Holland)

Yom Kippur services were held for the first time. Neighbors, thinking they were secret Catholics, reported them to the authorities and the leaders were arrested. Once it was explained that they were secret Jews rather than Papists, they were left alone and the leaders released.


1596 December 8, MEXICO

Luis de Carvajal el Mozo, his mother, and three sisters were burned at the stake together with five other Crypto-Jews (Conversos) who were also accused of Judaizing. Manuel Diaz who predicated the coming of the Messiah in 1600 was taken to the market place in San Ipolito, where he was garroted and burned.


1597 CREMONA (Italy)

Jews were exiled. The Duchy of Ferrara was included in the Papal states and ceased harboring Conversos.


1598 AMSTERDAM (Holland)

A synagogue was publicly dedicated.


1598 ANTI SEMITIC BOOK PUBLISHED (Cracow)

The book by Father Przedas Moiecki entitled "Jewish Bestiality" (Okrucienstwo ZydowsTcie) listed “all” the European ritual murder trials both real and those fabricated by the author. The same year 3 Jews in Lublin were brutally tortured and executed by quartering, when a Christian boy was found in a nearby swamp


1598 August, AMSTERDAM (Holland)

The first Jewish (Converso) wedding in Amsterdam was celebrated. Both the groom, Duarte Saravina, and the bride, Maria Nunez, were recent refugees. There is a legend which relates that Maria was originally captured by an English ship but freed on the orders of Queen Elizabeth, who noted her beauty and offered to let her remain in England. Maria refused to give up her Jewish beliefs and made her way with the other passengers to Amsterdam.




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