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1600 JACOB JANOW (Lublin, Poland)

Published Tze'enah U-Re'ena (Come forth and Behold), the most popular Yiddish book for women. It is actually a Midrashic commentary on the Bible.


One of the very few woman scribes. Miriam's father Benayah ben Sa'adiah and her brothers were scribes and copyists (before printing reached Yemen). The family copied over 400 books. She wrote a sefer torah (Torah scroll ) to which she appended a note : “Do not condemn me for any errors that you may find, as I am a nursing woman.”

1600 January 16, VERONA (Italy)

The 400 Jews of Verona completed their synagogue after their move into the ghetto. This date was actually celebrated as a "Purim" until the French Revolution, since many felt that the ghetto provided some protection, and since in an unusual move the keys of the ghetto were given to the Jewish leaders.

1600 May, SUBATOL DEUL (Caribbean)

A Jewish converso pirate, founded together with Henry Drake the anti-Spanish league called the Hermandad de la Banda Negra” or “Black Flag Fraternity.”It is rumored that they buried a treasure on an island near Coquimbo (Chile) in 1645.

1601 January 14, ROME

In accordance with a papal bull issued by Pope Clement VIII on March 3, 1593, all Talmudic works were handed over to the Inquisition by the Jews of Rome to be burned. The bonfire was held on the Piazza San Pietro.

1601 March 13, PRAGUE (Bohemia)

Mordchai Meisels, one of the wealthiest people and biggest philanthropists in Bohemia, died. Although his widow had given presents of tens of thousands of florins to the king and city, soldiers forcibly entered his house on the Sabbath. His nephews were tortured until they "confessed" that there was still more money hidden away. All the money was declared property of the Bohemian Chamber, with nothing left to the family.


Devora Ascarelli's book Ma'on ha-Sho'alim "The Abode of the Supplicants" was published. Among other items, it includes a translation of liturgical Hebrew text, a liturgical poem for Yom Kippur, parts of Mikdash Me'atof Moses Rieti, and two of her own poems. The book had been completed in about 1537.

1602 BASEL (Switzerland)

The first all-embracing encyclopedia of ethics (Mussar) was published, called the Brant Speigal (Fairy Mirror). It was written in Yiddish and intended mainly for women.

1603 - 1673 September, (17 Elul 5433) HAYYIM BEN ISRAEL BENVENISTE ( Turkey)

Rabbi and Halachic Scholar. He studied under Joseph Trani and was one of his foremost pupils. For a short time, he supported Shabbetai Zevi, but he soon took the opposite point of view becoming a strong opponent. Benveniste is best known for his Shiyurei Kenesset ha-Gedolah and Knesset ha-Gedolah in which he explains previous Halachik decisions of the Arba'ah Turim and Shulchan Arukh, as well as later commentaries. Both of his works are still in use today.

1603 - C. 1675 JACOB JUDAH LEON (TEMPLO) (Portugal - Holland)

Rabbi, teacher , and translator. Leon translated Psalms into Spanish, and printed a punctuated edition of the Mishnah. His fame lies in the wooden models of the temple of Solomon and of the tabernacle which he designed and which were exhibited in Europe and England. The name Templo was added to his name later in life.

1603 August 3, FREI DIOGO DA ASSUMPCAO (Portugal)

A young, partly Jewish Franciscan friar became attracted to Judaism. Arrested while trying to flee to England, he was imprisoned and subjected to constant attempts to force him to renounce Judaism. During his imprisonment he did his best to keep his Judaism alive, including lighting candles Friday night. Finally, realizing he would not recant, he was burned alive in Lisbon. He was twenty-five years old. His arguments against Christianity were published and gained wide popularity.

1604 - 1657 (20 Kislev 5418) MENASSEH BEN ISRAEL (Holland)

A Converso by birth, he became an outstanding man of letters. He was mystically inclined and believed that Jews must dwell in every country before the Messiah could come. This was the basis on which he approached the religiously-minded Cromwell with a petition for the resettlement of Jews in England. He was assisted by Antonio Carvajal, the first "denizenized" (foreigner granted residence and some other rights) Jew in England under Charles I. Although Menasseh was later offered a job in Brazil, he remained in Amsterdam. Cromwell eventually had his way, despite the fact that England and the Dutch states were at odds, and in spite of the opposition of English clergy and merchants.

1605 - 1693 (27 Adar 5453) ISAAC DA FONSECA ABOAB (Portugal-Holland-Brazil)

Rabbi and preacher. Aboab was a student of Isaac Uziel, one of the outstanding Rabbis of Amsterdam. In 1642, after its conquest by Holland, he was appointed Rabbi in Recife (Pernambuco) in Brazil, becoming the first Rabbi in the Americas. His Zekher Asiti le-Nifla'ot El ("I made record of the mighty deeds of God"), written as a thanksgiving prayer, is the first known Hebrew composition in the "New World".

1605 JACOB BAK AND SONS (Prague, Bohemia)

Family of printers who printed Hebrew books for almost 200 years.


Jews were granted a liberal charter. In Haarlem the charter was conditional on fifty families arriving in Haarlem so the community was not established at that time. The liberal charter served as a basis for Jewish settlement throughout much of Holland (see 1619).


Yiddish author, poet and educator. She was educated in the Bible, Talmud, Midrash and both Hebrew and Yiddish literature. Her book Meineket Rivkah deals with ethics, relationships, and health which she is prefaced with a poem. Tiktiner also wrote Simkhas Toura Lid ("A song for Simhat Torah "). She is considered to be the first woman to write a book in Yiddish.

1605 July 26, CHINA

A Jesuit Missionary traveling though China wrote a letter describing his meetings with Ai T'ien, a Chinese Jewish teacher. Most of what we know regarding the Kaifeng Jewish community is from this correspondence.

1605 July 26, MATTEO RICCI (Beijing)

An Italian Jesuit missionary, sent a letter to his order describing the existence of the Jewish community in Kaifeng (see 1163). Ricci had met Ai T'ien a Jewish Kaifeng mandarin (b. c. 1545), the previous month in Beijing, when Ai T'ien walked in to the church thinking it was a synagogue. This was the first official report on the Chinese Jewish community to the western world

1607 CONGREGATION BETH JACOB (Holland, Netherlands)

The first Jewish congregation in the Netherlands was established in the home of Jacob Trado. It was led by Uri Halevi. Ashkenazi Jews began to arrive 20 years later. By 1640 there would be over 1000 Jews in the Netherlands.

1608 - 1644 MEIR SHIF (Maharam Shif)(Frankfurt, Germany)

Scholar and commentator. He is remembered as one of the greatest German talmudic scholars of his time. After his death, many annotations known as the Maharam Shif were written as a talmudic commentary.


“The nursemaid of Rebecca” written by Rivke Bas Me’ir Tiktiner (Tykocin)was published. A moralist homiletic work, it was the first Yiddish book written by a woman she died April 13, 1605 and is buried in the old cemetery in Prague.

1609 - 1660 ALEXANDER ABRAHAM COOPER ( England -Sweden)

Well known miniaturist painter, and convert to Judaism. He worked both in the Hague and for Queen Christina and her successor, Charles X in Sweden. There is an opinion that he may have been born Jewish, but only acknowledged it after leaving England. It is more probable that he converted either in the Netherlands or in Sweden, where he assumed the name Abraham and declared himself Jewish.

1609 LONDON (England)

A small Converso colony founded by Queen Elizabeth was expelled on charges of Judaizing.

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