Spanish Massacres- Persecution of Jews in Spain dated back to the Visigothic rule, when they had been expelled. However, under Muslim rule, Jews had prospered in Spain despite occasional pogroms or massacres. hey attained an estimated population of half a million, but as Spain was reclaimed by Christians, their fortunes fell. The persecutions of Jews and Muslims in Spain culminated with the expulsion of 1492 and the Inquisition, but in Christian Spain, massacres of Jews were initiated about about 150 years earlier.
The problems of the Jews began in the conflict between King Pedro, a protector of the Jews and Henry of Trastamara. Wherever Henry or his supporters triumphed, Jews were murdered. In the Alcana part of the Juderia (ghetto) of Toledo, Henry's supporters plundered the warehouses and murdered about 12,000 persons about 1355. However, the Jews defended themselves, with the aid of nobles, and succeeded in stopping the massacre. In 1360, Henry invaded Castile. He murdered all the Jews living in Najera and pillaged and murdered and plundered the Jews of Miranda de Ebro.
In 1366, the situation of the Jews became yet more serious, as Henry's forces began to win victory after victory. Villadiego, Aguilar, and many other towns were totally destroyed. The inhabitants of Valladolid, who paid homage to Henry, robbed the Jews, destroyed their houses and synagogues, and desecrated the Torah scrolls . Paredes, Palencia, and several other communities were likewise attacked, and 300 Jewish families from Jaen were taken as prisoners to Granada.
By 1369, Pedro had been beheaded and Henry was victorious. Henry himself was less than sympathetic to the Jews. However, he recognized that he needed them and tried to protect them. During the civil war (literally fratricide, since Pedro and Henry were half brothers) the clergy had become more powerful. Various anti-Jewish decrees followed.
A revolt broke out in Seville in 1391. The fanatical mob, still further exasperated by attempts to punish its ringleaders, and under the influence of preachers, attacked the Juderia in Seville from on June 6 and reportedly killed 4,000 Jews; the rest submitted to baptism as the only means of escaping death.
The riots spread to Alcalá de Guadeira, Ecija, Cazalla, and in Fregenal, the Jews were robbed and slain. In Cordova the entire Juderia was burned down; factories and ware-houses were destroyed by the flames. About 2,000 people, the entire Jewish population, were killed. In Toledo there as a pogrom on June 20. Most of the Castilian communities suffered from the persecution. Likewise the Jews of Aragon, Catalonia, and Marjorca were attacked. On July 9 a pogrom occurred in Valencia. Over 200 Jews were killed, and most of the Jews of Valencia were baptized by the friar (Saint) Vicente Ferrer, who had probably helped incite the riot. On Aug. 2 rioting and murder reached Palma, Majorca. 300 Jews were killed, and 800 found refuge in the fort. Under cover of night, they sailed to North Africa; many submitted to baptism. On Saturday, August 5, a riot began in Barcelona. On the first day 100 Jews were killed. Many took refuge in the citadel. On Aug. 8 the citadel was stormed, and more than 300 Jews were murdered. The rioting continued for two more days and large numbers of Jews were baptized or murdered. On August 10, just as the fury of the Barcelona rioting abated, the mob attacked the Juderia (Jewish quarter) in Gerona; several Jews were robbed and killed; many sought safety in flight and a few in baptism. The last riots took place in Lerida, on August 13. Seventy five Jews were murdered and the rest were baptized. Spain was relatively quiet after that for nearly a hundred years, until the Inquisition. ((Perez, Joseph, The Spanish Inquisition: A history, TR Janet Lloyd, Yale, 2006. Encyclopedia Judaica, Jewish Encyclopedia.)
One Andres Bernaldez wrote a chronicle (Recollections of the Reign of the Catholic Kings) that covers some of these events:
Vincent Ferrer was not lacking in his exertions, and in 1415 he helped incite anti-Jewish legislation in Castile. Vincent Ferrer was canonized in 1455. Many Catholic institutions are named in his honor.
March 31, 2009
Synonyms and alternate spellings:
Hebrew/Arabic pronunciation and transliteration conventions:
'H - ('het) a guttural sound made deep in the throat. To Western ears it may sound like the "ch" in loch. In Arabic there are several letters that have similar sounds. Examples: 'hanukah, 'hamas, 'haredi. Formerly, this sound was often represented by ch, especially in German transliterations of Hebrew. Thus, 'hanukah is often rendered as Chanuka for example.
ch - (chaf) a sound like "ch" in loch or the Russian Kh as in Khruschev or German Ach, made by putting the tongue against the roof of the mouth. In Hebrew, a chaf can never occur at the beginning of a word. At the beginning of a word, it has a dot in it and is pronounced "Kaf."
u - usually between oo as in spoon and u as in put.
a- sounded like a in arm
ah- used to represent an a sound made by the letter hey at the end of a word. It is the same sound as a. Haganah and Hagana are alternative acceptable transliterations.
'a-notation used for Hebrew and Arabic ayin, a guttural ah sound.
o - close to the French o as in homme.
th - (taf without a dot) - Th was formerly used to transliterate the Hebrew taf sound for taf without a dot. However in modern Hebrew there is no detectable difference in standard pronunciation of taf with or without a dot, and therefore Histadruth and Histadrut, Rehovoth and Rehovot are all acceptable.
q- (quf) - In transliteration of Hebrew and Arabic, it is best to consistently use the letter q for the quf, to avoid confusion with similar sounding words that might be spelled with a kaf, which should be transliterated as K. Thus, Hatiqva is preferable to Hatikva for example.
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