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Aug 29, 2010

Blood libel




Christian myths against Jews 1144
CE to now

Blood libel accusations against Jews:

In 1144 CE, an unfounded rumor began in eastern England, that Jews had kidnapped a Christian child, tied him to a cross, stabbed his head to simulate Jesus' crown of thorns, killed him, drained his body completely of blood, and mixed the blood into matzos (unleavened bread) at time of Passover. The rumor was started by a former Jew, Theobald, who had become a Christian monk. He said that Jewish representatives gathered each year in Narbonne, France. They decided in which city a Christian child would be sacrificed.

The boy involved in the year 1144 hoax became known as St. William of Norwich. Many people made pilgrimages to his tomb and claimed that miracles had resulted from appeals to St. William. The myth shows a complete lack of understanding of mainline Judaism. Aside from the prohibition of killing innocent persons, the Torah specifically forbids the drinking or eating of any form of blood in any quantity. However, reality never has had much of an impact on blood libel myths. This rumor lasted for many centuries; even today it has not completely disappeared. 1

Pope Innocent IV ordered a study in 1247 CE. His investigators found that the myth was a Christian invention used to justify persecution of the Jews. At least 4 other popes subsequently vindicated the Jews. However, the accusations, trials and executions continued. In 1817, Czar Alexander I of Russia declared that the blood libel was a myth. Even that did not stop the accusations against Jews in that country.

"Holy shrines were erected to honor innocent Christian victims, and well into the twentieth century, churches throughout Europe displayed knives and other instruments that Jews purportedly used for these rituals. Caricatures of hunchbacked Jews with horns and fangs were depicted in works of art and carved into stone decorating bridges. Proclaimed by parish priests to be the gospel truth, each recurrence of the blood libel charge added to its credence, thus prompting yet more accusations. This vicious cycle continued to spiral." 7

Nicholl reports that "there are 150 recorded cases of the charge of ritual murder, and many led to massacres of the Jews of the place." 2

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2 comments:

Will said...

Hi Alex.
Thanks for enlightening us on this crazy myth.
I knew the origine was Christian only didden't know where it originated.So now that we're out of the Dark ages and use Ketchup for cooking, Islam is taking over the Myth and God knows when they will get out of the dark ages ,if they ever get out?

Always On Watch said...

the Torah specifically forbids the drinking or eating of any form of blood in any quantity.

Exactly!

I've never understood why anyone believes the blood libel, particularly when most people now have access to a translation of the Torah.