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1002 - 1070 ISAAC BEN ELIEZER HALEVI (Worms, Germany)

Rabbi, teacher, liturgist - a student of Eliezer ben Isaac. After the death of Jacob ben Yakar, Rashi joined his school.


Al hakim (985-1021) the Fatimid ruler ordered that Jews and Christians follow ghiyār "the law of differentiation" with Jews wearing both a belt and a turban in black as well as a wooden calf necklace. The women were to wear two different colored shoes, one red and one black. These remained in place until 1014. He was considered eccentric and radically inconsistent, and is known in western literature as the “Mad Caliph”. He is said to have burned down part of the Jewish quarter for what he considered a slight to his personage. In the later part of his reign he became more tolerant and allowed forced converts to return to their religion.

1005 - 1036 ALI AZ-ZAHIR ( Egypt)

The seventh Fatimid caliph. During his short reign, Jews and Christians were formally allowed to return to their religion. Unfortunately, the caliphate itself had been greatly weakened by revolts, famine, and plague. This led the way to the Seljuk conquest (see 1071). Az-Zahair died of a plague at the age of 31.

1007 ROME (Italy)

The talmudic academy was founded under Jacob Gaon and the three leaders of the community: Moses Ha Nasi, Abraham, and Shabbtai. Jacob Gaon was succeeded by Rabbi Jechiel and then by his son R' Nathan (see 1035) author of the Aruch. R' Nathan traced his family back to the scholars who were brought to Rome by Titus in 73 CE.

1008 CALIPH HAKIM (Egypt)

The sixth Fatimid caliph began his rule. He pressured all non-Moslems, especially Christians, to convert. He is said to have forced Jews to wear a small "golden calf" around their necks. Al-Hakim proclaimed himself God's incarnation, disappeared, and was probably killed during a revolt. His confessor Darazi fled to the Syrian mountains where he proclaimed a new religion - the Druse (Druze). According to the Druze religion there have been ten incarnations of God with Al-Hakim being the last - and they await his second coming.

1009 October 18, JERUSALEM (Eretz Israel)

Caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, the Fatimid Caliph of Egypt destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. The French monk and "historian" Raoul ( Rodulfus) Glaber (who had previously recorded that the Jews were the "Habitual ally of the Devil") claimed that the Jews were responsible. As a result, Jews were expelled from Limoges and other French towns. Although it was rebuilt by Constantine IX in 1048 it served as one of the “ excuses” for the first crusade.

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