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1334 - 1369 PEDRO (Peter) OF CASTILE (Spain)

Known as "the Cruel", he (r.1350-1369) was in general friendly to the Jews. When he was overthrown by his step-brother, Henry, the Jews were forced to wear the Yellow Badge in penance for their loyalty to Pedro. They also had to renounce their Spanish names, the use of which was considered a privilege.

1334 October 9, CASIMIR III THE GREAT (1310-1370) (Poland)

Re-affirmed the policies of Boleslav regarding protection of the Jews. This document was instrumental in encouraging Jews to begin to flee Germany and move East. In general Casimir protected Jewish interests. Later a myth developed, claiming that it was due to influence of a beautiful Jewish mistress, Esterka of Opoczno. (See 1356)


Was made Grand Master of the Order of Alcantara by Alfonso XI. Soon after he attained the post, he had his former patron Don Joseph of Ecija and Don Samuel Ibn Wakar arrested on trumped up charges. Don Samuel died under torture and Don Joseph died in prison. Though cautioned against it by cardinal Gil Alborno, he petitioned the king to confiscate all Jewish property and then expel them as a way to raise revenue. After criticizing the kings his mistress, Leonor de Guzman, he was arrested accused of treason, and executed in 1340.

1336 February 25, ALFONSO XI OF CASTILE (Spain)

Was persuaded by the apostate Abner of Burgos (Alfonso of Valladolid) to ban the prayer Alenu, composed by the Amora Abba Arucha (the Tall, or as he was later called, Rav, c. 247, founder of the academy of Sura). Alfonso alleged that Alenu was anti-Christian. As a result, many Jewish communities excised the sentence from the prayer They bend knee to emptiness and pray to a god who will not answer, which has only been printed again in recent years in some prayer books.The same accusations were made regarding the Birkat ha-Minim part of the Amida or Eighteen Benedictions even though they had been written regarding "the empire of insolence" or Rome .

1336 July 29, ROTTINGEN (Germany)

Led by John Zimberlin, a self proclaimed prophet, a group of peasants known as the Armleder (for their leather straps worn on their arms)or Judenschlaeger ("Jew-killers") attacked Jewish communities in Franconia and the Alsace region. They also destroyed Jewish communities in Bohemia, Moravia and elsewhere along the Rhine. Roughly 1500 Jews were murdered. Eventually, when the Armleder began to attack non-Jews, they were opposed by local Lords.

1337 September 30, DECKENDORF, BAVARIA (Germany)

Host desecration was alleged and violence spread to fifty-one communities, including Bohemia and Austria. Mass pilgrimages to the church were made until 1843 where paintings show Jews in medieval dress desecrating the host "wafers". Under one the words were written "God grant that our Fatherland be forever free from this hellish scum." Only in 1967 were the pictures covered up.

1338 COLMAR ( Germany)

Emperor Louis IV “the Bavarian” intervened to protect the Jews of Colmar from Armleder, asking of course for extra taxes which was called the golden penny. He did not interfere with the attacks in nearby Rufach and Sulz whose Jews "belonged” to the Bishop of Strasburg.

1338 May 17, ARMLEDER (Alsace)

Under the bishop of Strasburg the lords of Alsace decided to pursue John Zimberlin (Armleder) and his main followers. In 1339 Rudolph of Andlau, an Alsatian knight, granted him amnesty as long as his attacks would cease for the next ten years.

1338 August 19, WOLFSBERG (Austria)

Host desecration riots. The Jews were accused of stealing the Eucharist, making it bleed, and trying to burn it. Over 70 Jews were burned at the stake and the community was destroyed, never to be revived.

1339 SOLOMON B. SAMUEL (Urgench, Transoxania present day Uzbekistan)

Published the first Judeo-Persian dictionary Sefer ha-Melizah, with over a thousand words from the Bible, Talmud, and the Midrash. It was written in the literary language common to the Jews of Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia in this period.

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