Jewish communities in Moslem countries, in Spain and Portugal, prosper culturally and economically, despite some restrictions. Jews in Christian Europe are subject to oppression, persecution and sporadic expulsions alternating with periods of relative peace and prosperity. Sephardim and Ashkenasim develop different customs and religious practices over the centuries.
With emancipation, the granting of equal rights, and the diminishing role of religion, Jews begin to integrate fully into the societies they have lived in for hundreds of years. For many, Jewishness becomes a secular and national identity. In the 19th century, Zionism, a Jewish national movement, proposes a return to Israel and the re-establishment of a Jewish state. In 1948 this new state is founded. Millions of Jews emigrate to Israel, but a majority of the Jewish population continues to live in the Diaspora.
The First Crusade
DURING THE FIRST 700 years of Christendom, Jewish communities in Europe are rarely placed in direct physical danger. But the situation changes when, in 1095, Pope Urbanus calls for a crusade to liberate Jerusalem from the hands of the Muslims.
On their way to Jerusalem, the crusaders leave a track of death and destruction behind in the Jewish communities along the Rhine and Danube. "Because," as they exclaim, "why should we attack the unbelievers in the Holy Land, and leave the infidels in our midst undisturbed ?"
On May 25, 1096, about 800 Jews are murdered in Worms, Germany, while many others choose suicide. In Regensburg, the Jews are thrown into the Danube to be "baptized." In Mainz, Cologne, Prague and many other cities, thousands of Jews are killed and their possessions plundered. During the following hundred years, new crusades are accompanied by massacres and pillage among the Jewish population.
With the crusades, the status of the Jews as second class citizens becomes entrenched in Church dogma and state laws throughout Christian Europe. A period of oppression and insecurity follows that ends only in the 18th century. Anti-Jewish Myths
IN THE MIDDLE AGES, belief in miracles and legends is common. Two myths with an anti-Jewish character appear throughout Europe: Jews desecrating the Host; and Jews committing ritual murder. Both myths survive into the 20th century. Other popular beliefs during the Middle Ages have Jews grow hems and tails - attributes of the devil.
After the Church in 1215 establishes the doctrine that the flesh and blood of Jesus Christ is contained in the consecrated Host and wine, stories begin to surface that Jews steal, mutilate or burn the Host in order to kill Jesus once more. Miracles form an elementary part of this myth: the mutilated Host starts to bleed - thus proving the doctrine and the truth of the Christian faith.
According to the "blood libels," Jews are killing Christian children in order to satisfy their supposed need for "Christian blood" in making Passover bread or in other religious rituals. While higher authorities of the Church and state often oppose the stories, the myth lives on in popular belief, supported and encouraged by local clergy who launch profitable pilgrimages to the sites of the alleged murders.
The Blood Libels are the most influential and cruel legends in the arsenal of anti-Jewish beliefs, perpetuating the myth of the evil and inhuman nature of the Jews and inciting the Christian population to take bloody revenge. Allegations of ritual murder will surface in the 20th century, in Russia and in the propaganda spread by the Nazis.
Patterns of Discrimination
Реферат опубликован: 25/03/2009