Sunday, November 7, 2010

A horror - but this was their reality


[Note: This story also appears in sources from the 13th century; I am using the later source because it's one I have at hand.]

"Once, [during the Crusades,] a rabbi slaughtered many children because he was afraid the invading enemy would make them leave their religion. Another rabbi present was angry at him and called him a murderer, but he did not listen.

"The opposing rabbi declared, “If I am correct, may that rabbi be killed in an abnormal way!” And so it happened; the non-Jews caught him, flayed his skin and placed sand between the flesh and the skin. The decree [of shmad] was then nullified, and it is possible that the children would have been saved and not killed, had he not slaughtered them."

(Rav Yosef Caro, Beit Yosef Yoreh Deah 157)

Be well,

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