c 1310 BCE- A special offering was brought including a series of gifts by the tribe of Gad for the inauguration of the Tabernacle.


1475- One of the more notorious blood libels. A Franciscan monk, Bernardinus of Feltre, Italy came to Trent and began preaching against the Jews during Lent sermons. A week before Easter a boy by the name of Simon drowned in the River Adige. The monk charged the Jews with using the body for its blood. The body washed up a few days later near the house of a Jew who brought it to the Bishop Honderbach.

Seventeen Jews were tortured for over two weeks.  Some confessed under the torture and six Jews were burnt and two more were strangled. Pope Sixtus IV ordered a temporary hiatus but after five years the trial was reopened and five more Jews were executed.

The papal inquest agreed with the trial, Simon was beatified, and all Jews were expelled from the province for 300 years. The trial served as the basis for anti-Semitic writings for hundreds of years. Only in 1965 was Simon de-beatified and the Church admitted the confessions extracted under torture were false.

1526- Emperor Charles V issued a general safe-conduct to Portuguese "New Christians" and marranos (though not to those who professed to being Jewish), allowing them to live and work in Antwerp.  Although they still had to live under cover, they were safe from the Inquisition which was not allowed to operate in the Southern "Low Countries," though they were under Spanish rule. Only after the Treaty of Utrecht (1713), when Antwerp passed to Austrian rule, were the Jews able to live there openly.


1550- The Jews of Genoa, Italy, were expelled.


1893- Shechita (the process of slaughtering animals in a "kosher" fashion) was prohibited in Saxony.


1925- The town of Afula in Northern Israel was founded. It is located on the presumed site of the tower ("Ophel") mentioned in the Biblical account of an Aramean general's visit to the Prophet Elisha (2 Kings 5:24). Afula's central location in the Jezreel Valley makes it the market center of the region; it is often referred to as "the Capital of the Valley." Because of the town's proximity to Judea and Samaria, it has repeatedly been a target of terrorist attacks following the Oslo "peace process" and during the second Intifada.


Torah Portion




or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Rivi'i, 16 Kislev, 5784

Wednesday, November 29, 2023


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