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1170 YEMEN

After the fall of the Fatimids, the Shiites tried to force the Jews toconvert. During these persecutions a false messiah arose. The Jewish leadership wrote to Maimonides, asking for his advise. His reply was his famous Igeret Teiman (Epistle to Yemen) which warned about false messiahs.

1170 - 1196 DULCIE (Dulcea) OF WORMS

Business woman, and educator. She was the wife of Rabbi Eleazar ben Judah of Worms ( see 1165) and well educated. In addition to running an extended household and her investment business, she evidently was also involved in education. She also served as a Firzogerin (first reader), a woman who would lead prayers for other women. Dulcie, her daughters Bellette and Hannah, and one son Jacob died in an attack on their home.


Joyce (Yoseph) of Gloucester was fined by Henry II 100 shillings for lending money to Richard Care for his expedition to Ireland. Although Joyce did not break any law, the king was nervous about the use of Jewish loans to finance any independent actions or policies.


Local Jews were moved to the citadel. The Jews promised to defend it against the kings’ enemies and in return were permitted to us it also against anti- Jewish mobs. Furthermore anyone who attacked the Jews; if killed or injured had acted at their own peril. The settlement of Jews in forts was not unusual in 10th - 12th century Spain.

C. 1170 KALISZ (Poland)

Probably the oldest Jewish community in Poland. Jews were invited there by Mieszko III the Oldster, prince of Great Poland (1127-1202) and worked as minters (see 1264).

C. 1170 - 1244 MEIR ABULAFIA (Spain)

Talmudic commentator, Rabbinical leader and poet. He played an important role in organizing the communities in Spain, especially that of Toledo. Abulafia wrote a commentary on half the Talmud originally known as Sefer Preatei Peratim ( "The book of minute details" ) some of which are known today as Yad Ramah. His Masoret Seyag laTorah deals with the traditional texts of the Torah. Abulafia is also known for his letters to Rabbi Jonathan ( of Lunel) where he took issue with Maimonides over the principle of resurrection.


Jews were expelled. This was one of the few times during this period that Italian Jews were persecuted.


Conquered Egypt and began the Ayyubid dynasty which lasted until 1250. Although once again non-Moslems were discriminated against, Jewish intellectual life flourished with more than 7000 Jewish families, among them Maimonides.

1171 May 26, BLOIS, (France)

First ritual murder accusation in Continental Europe. Charges were made even though there was no body nor anyone missing. Thirty-one Jews were burned, 17 of them women. One of those killed was Pulcinella (Puncelina), a close favorite of Count Theobald, and whose position attracted a lot of jealously. Bribes were offered but to no avail As they were burning, they chanted the hymn Aleinu (composed in Talmudic times). Rabbenu Tam declared a day of fasting and prayer in England, France and the Rhineland. The Count decided to expel all the Jews left in his county but "allowed" himself to be persuaded to change his mind by a payment of 2000 pounds.


After a number of church inspired riots, he ordered that those attacking the Jews be fined, including Christian “scholars,” and students of the ecclesiastic and monastic colleges. During that time Jews in Poland were farmer’s even landowners. They also administered the mint. Some of the coins have the names of the ruling princes in Hebrew characters.

1177 October, THE FUERO (Charter) OF TERUEL (Aragon, Spain)

King Alfonso II developed a charter which defined the civic status of Jews. It included a fine for murdering a Jew which was half of what would be charged for a Christian, and which was to paid to the king (since Jews were considered his property). Legal and commercial procedures and even which day you could use the public baths were also defined . This charter was the basis for many other charters in Spain.

1179 BOPPARD (Germany)

A body of a Christian girl was found near the shore by some passengers on a boat. They immediately accused Jewish passengers on another boat of her murder. Their boat was followed to Boppard where they were attacked and thrown into the river to drown. The Jewish community was further fined by both Frederick I and a local Bishop. The perpetrators were never brought to trial nor prosecuted.


Viciously attacked the practice of usury (banking or money lending at any interest) and also suspected the Jews of complicity with heretics.

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