This Week in Jewish History

Rabbi Moshe Isserles (The Rema)

Rabbi Moshe Isserles was an exceptionally important Polish Jew of the 16th century. His commentary on the Code of Jewish Law brought Sephardic and Ashkenazic Jewry together to an unprecedented degree, and established the ascendancy of Polish Jewry over the older German community. E-mail subscribers: Please note that posts today are automatically sent out tomorrow. This function cannot be easily ...

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The Beilis Affair of 1911-1913

The discovery of the mutilated body of a young boy in Kiev led to the false arrest of a Jewish laborer named Mendel Beilis. Ignoring the argument of investigating officers, the Russian government under Tsar Nicholas II pressed ahead with the prosecution of Beilis, arguing that the boy was murdered as part of a Passover-related Jewish plot. After two years’ imprisonment, Beilis was freed by ...

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Purimfest 1946

In commemoration of Parashas Zachor and Purim, we remember the ten depraved Nazis who were tried and executed in 1946. Particularly striking is the biblical parallel. One of the exectued even declared, on seeing the gallows, that it was “Purimfest 1946.”

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The Incident at Inmestar

Murder on Purim? That’s the charge of Socrates Scholasticus, whose lone account of an alleged Purim celebration that got out of hand in the year 415 has become part of the historical record, for good or ill. Although the validity of the accusation is highly questionable, the incident at Inmestar had a larger impact centuries later as the myth of ...

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Dr. Bernard Lander and Touro College

Dr. Bernard Lander (1915-2010) was one of the most influential Jewish educators of the 20th and 21st century. Scholar and social activist, he founded Touro College in 1971, which now serves almost 19,000 students world wide. This short video was prepared to commemorate the recent anniversary of his passing.

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Origins of Polish Jewry

This week marks the death anniversary of King Boleslaw V (The Chaste) in 1279. Boleslaw followed the tradition of his predecessors in Poland by creating incentives for Jewish settlement in Poland, including the establishment of Magdeburg Recht. Ultimately, these policies proved extremely attractive to Ashkenazi Jews from the Rhineland, making Poland a great center of Jewish civilization by the early ...

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Anwar Sadat Visits Israel

In November of 1977, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat flew to Israel to address the Knesset. His meeting with his former enemy Prime Minister Menachem Begin ultimately resulted in the sometimes strained but nevertheless enduring Israel-Egypt peace accord, but his unpopularity with hardline Egyptians, opposed to making peace with Israel, resulted in his assassination in 1981.

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