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1690 COPENHAGEN (Denmark)

The Danish police chief was fired for suggesting that a ghetto be established.


1690 - 1764 (21 Elul 5524) JONATHAN EYBESHUTZ (Poland-Bohemia)

Kabbalist, author and rabbi. He became head of the Prague yeshiva at the age of twenty-one and was considered a brilliant authority on many subjects. Eybeshutz came under the influence of Sabbatianism and was later forced to publicly repudiate his views. He accepted a position as the rabbi of three communities at the same time: Altona, Hamburg and Wandesbeck.


1690 July 8, AARON BEN MOSES TEOMIM (Chmelnik, Poland)

Was arrested and died after either being beaten or (according to the soldiers) by his falling off a horse. Teomim, the rabbi of Cracow was attending a conference of the council of four lands. The supposition for his arrest on the Sabbath was probably for ransom.


1690 December 29, (1 Tevet 5451) ANCONA (Papal States, Italy)

A major earthquake hit the area with little damage and no loss of life. A local Purim was established, as was the custom to celebrate deliverance from danger.


1691 May 6, PALMA DE MAJORCA

In Palma Majorica, after one hundred and fifty years of freedom from the Inquisition, an investigation led to the conviction of 219 people. All agreed to be reconciled with the Church. When they tried to flee the island 37 were burned to death, since it was considered a relapse to heresy. Among them were Raphael Benito and his sister Catalina, who, though declaring that she did not want to die, jumped into the flames rather than be baptized. Her steadfastness of belief was made into a ballad which is still sung on the island today: "She leaps into the flame. At the brink she cries, Oh brother mine, take courage your heart will not scorch."


1692 LAZA OF 'FRANKFURT' ( Germany)

Translator. Laza was the wife of Jacob ben Mordecai of Schwerin ( aka Jacob of Fulda) the author of a number of kabalistic works. In 1692 she translated his work on the Zohar : Tikkun Shalosh Mishmarot, ("Prayers for the Three Night Watches") into Yiddish adding her own introduction. She also wrote a megillat ( scroll of ) Esther although whether in Hebrew or translated into Yiddish is unknown.


1694 THE AMSTERDAM HAGGADAH

Was published. The first Haggadah to include copper engravings and a map. The illustrator and cartographer was Abraham ben Jacob Hagar (1393-1714 ) who converted to Judaism. His map of the land of Israel in the Haggadah one of the earliest printed maps of the holy land. Hagar is also said to have made the engravings for Hurowitz's Sheni Luchot Habrit (1565).


1695 - 1785 (25 Tamuz 5545) ARYEH LEIB (Loeb) BEN ASHER GUNZBERG (Germany)

Rabbi and talmudist. He believed in using the exacting pilpulist method of study in order to stimulate the minds of his students. Aryeh Leib wrote a number of works, including his famous Sha'agat Aryeh which is concerned with Jewish law (Halacha). Though very poor, he did not hesitate to stand up for an issue he believed in. As a result, he lost his job as a rabbi in Metz when he tried to get the synagogue to change one of its customs. Among his students were Raphael Hakohen and Hayim Volozhiner.


1696 BEHREND LEHMANN (1661-1730) (Germany)

Was appointed to the court of Frederick of Saxony. Deeply religious, he built a beit midrash in Halberstadt and financed the Frankfurt printing of the Talmud. He used his influence to help other Jews whenever threatened. His job was to finance his ruler's military expenditures.


1696 ELLA BAT MOSHE (Dessau)

Printer. In 1696 she printed the siddur (prayer book) Tefilat Moshe , when she was 9 years old. Her family were famous from their work which also included her younger sister Gela.


1696 - 1743 HAYYIM BEN ATTAR ( Morocco-Eretz Israel)

Rabbi, Kabbalist and scholar. He authored the well known commentary on the Pentateuch, Or Hahayyim (The Light of Life), as well as Pri Toar (Beautiful Fruit) on the Shulchan Aruch, and Ḥefetz Hashem (God's Desire), on parts of the Talmud. He left Morocco in 1733, but only arrived in Eretz Israel in 1742, being delayed by the Jewish communities in Livorno ( where a yeshiva was set up in his honor) ,Venice and Damascus. He died soon after his arrival.


1696 JOHANN PETER SPAETH ( Vienna - Amsterdam )

Converted to Judaism in taking the name Moses Germanus Spaeth (c.1643-1701) was born Catholic, converted to Lutheranism , then reconverted to Catholicism before eventually converting to Judaism. He wrote numerous theological works both against Catholicism and defending it, a fact which made it difficult for some in the Jewish community to accept the depth of his commitment, despite the risks he took in converting.


1696 December 24, EVORA (Portugal)

A provincial capital of Portugal, it had been an important center for Converso Jews. On Christmas Eve, the victims were led from the palace of the Inquisition (still existing today) to the Roman square, the most visible height of the town, where they were burned. The tribunal of Evora was infamous for its cruelty and was responsible for almost two-thirds of the Portuguese Inquisition's sentences to be burned alive, though it had far less than half the trials in Portugal.


1697 - 1776 (30 Nissan 5536) JACOB EMDEN (Altona, Germany)

Anti-sabbatianist and rabbinical scholar. He devoted himself to searching out heresies, and succeeded in stamping out mysticism in western Germany. The rabbinical council of Yaroslav later condemned him for his attack on Eybeshutz (in which he had alleged that Eybeshutz had written amulets engraved with the name of Shabbetai Zevi). In spite of this, he was recognized as a scholar and author on Jewish law (Halacha).


1698 CZAR PETER THE GREAT ( Russia)

During his stay in Holland he was petitioned to admit Jews into Russia but he politely refused. In response Czar Peter (1672-1725) stated, “ you know the Jews,… their character.. and the Russians… believe me, the time has not yet come to unite the two nationalities.


1698 - 1738 JOSEPH SUSS OPPENHEIMER (Jud Suss) (Germany)

He was responsible for the financial planning of Karl Alexander, the Catholic ruler of Protestant Germany. After Karl's death, he was accused, among other things, of trying to bring back Catholicism. He had lived a life of opulence and had no dealings with his religion or his fellow Jews. Despite this, the community tried to ransom him to no avail. He returned to Jewish beliefs while in prison and died while reciting the Shema. (See 1738)


1698 RITUAL MURDER LIBEL (Sandomierz, Poland)

Aaron Berek the Parnas (leader) of the Jewish community was accused of the ritual murder of a Christian child by Father Stefan Żuchowski. After being dismissed by the lower courts it was brought to the Lublin Supreme Court where the accusation was upheld and Berek was executed. This incident became a model for many blood accusations in Poland over the next century. After the execution a Christian women confessed that she had thrown the body of her illegitimate child into his courtyard.


1699 BAMBERG (Germany)

A mob, attacking the Jewish quarter, turned around and retreated after one quick thinker poured baskets of ripe plums on the attackers. An annual Plum fast (Zwetschgen Taanit) was instituted.




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