Re: Expulsion of Jews from France 22 July 1306 #general

Judith Romney Wegner

At 10:08 AM +0100 8/1/06, Nick wrote:
According to the BBC Religion and Ethics Newsletter the Jews were expelled
from France by King Philip IV on 22 July 1306 (the day after the fast of 9th
Av in the Hebrew calendar - which is on Thursday).

I knew, of course, that the Jews were expelled >from England in 1290. I
hadn't appreciated that a similar fate subsequently happened to French Jews.
Yes, this is well known to Jewish historians. In fact, the Jews
were expelled >from France twice -- once in 1306 and again by Charles
VI in 1395 (after being allowed to come back at some point. Not to
mention Germany, where expulsions >from numerous cities occurred
periodically between the 13th and 15th centuries -- and sparked the
eastward emigration of Yiddish-speaking Jews to Poland. And of
course the Jews of Spain in 1492 suffered the most famous expulsion
of all.

However, it's important to know that this phenomenon of vicious
antisemitism became a feature of European Jewish life only with the
advent of the middle ages and the Crusades. (The ancient Roman
persecutions were not due to anti-semitism as such, but simply a
punishment for their defiance of Roman rule.) It was hardly known
prior to medieval times (largely because of the far greater tolerance
of Jews during the heyday slam, which was the western world's most
flourishing culture prior to the middle ages). I mention this
because most of us were misinformed in Hebrew school that
persecution of the Jews had been ongoing pretty much everywhere for
2,000 years ever since the advent of Christianity. This "lachrymose
theory of Jewish history" does not reflect historical truth. But the
period of the Crusades did give a boost to those who wanted to
scapegoat the Jews for religious or other reasons -- and the
phenomenon has persisted ever since.

Judith Romney Wegner

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