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1360 MIRANDA DEL EBRO (Castile, Spain)

Furious after a massacre of the Jews, Pedro I roasted one of the perpetrators alive, boiled another and executed eight others with an axe.


The Spanish financier, diplomat and Jewish leader was arrested by King Pedro without any reason being given. He was tortured to death and all his great wealth was confiscated by the king. His house still stands today as the El Greco museum.

1361 - 1444 (30 Adar 5204) SIMEON BEN ZEMAH DURAN (The Rashbaz) (Majorca-Algiers)

Talmudist poet, physician, and community leader. After the death of Isaac bar Sheshet's (1408) Simeon was appointed chief rabbi. Throughout his rulings he believed that that one should be stringent with oneself but lenient with others. He was a prolific author who wrote Novella on many of the tractates of the Talmud, poetry (piyutim), and responsa. His most well known work is Magen Avot a philosophical commentary on the tractate Avot andhis Responsa ”Tashbez” (Teshuvot Shimon ben Zemach) .

1365 - 1427 JACOB BEN MOSES MOLLEN (The Maharil) (Mainz and Worms, Germany)

One of the first great authorities to be distinguished with the title "Moreinu"rn (our leader/master). He was also noted for his cantorial prowess and his adherence to nusah ha'tfillah (wording of the prayers). His Sefer ha-Maharil aka Minhagim, is a major source on the rituals of German Jews.rn

1365 June 7, Pope URBAN V

Reaffirmed the Bull of Sicuti judaeis “ Thus to the Jews”, forbidding to molest Jews or to force them to baptism. Many other popes published similar affirmations, but unfortunately they often were ignored or rejected (see 590, & 1120).

1366 March 31, HENRY II ( Spain)

Entered Burgos after the city decided to surrender. The king levied a tax of 30,000 doubloons (0.21 troy ounces) on the local Jews. In order to raise this vast sum (over 6,400,000 dollars into days terms), they were forced to sell their property, and even the Torah scroll ornaments. This marked the beginning of a three year struggle between the brothers Henry backed by the English, and Peter backed by the French. The Jews were squeezed financially by both sides bankrupting the Castilian community. Thousands of Jews were killed during the war.

1367 HOST TRIAL (Barcelona)

Jews were accused of purchasing a host in order to desecrate it. One of the main forces behind the accusation was Infante Don Juan ( later to be king John I). Although disproved, it did not prevent him from bringing up the same accusation 10 years later (see 1377).

1367 April 25, CASIMIR III

Expanded the "priviliges" of 1334 to include the Jews in Lesser Poland and Ukraine.

1369 March 23, MURDER OF PETER ( Pedro) OF CASTILE

Near Toledo by his half brother Henry, soon to be known as Henry II. Pope Urban V upon hearing the news exclaimed The church must rejoice at the death of .... a favorer of the Jews.... During Henry's (aka Henry of Trastámara) 10 year reign he did his best to persecute and impoverish the Jewish community which included forcing Jews to wear distinctive clothing , and not being allowed to hold public office . This marked the worst anti Jewish policies in Spain since the Visogoths and a harbinger of things to come. In the battle for Toledo some 8000 Jews had been killed, and all of their property sold for the benefit of the new king. Henry ostensibly took the Jews under his "protection" using them to his benefit .

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