Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How Jews Became Merchants

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                         

On their way to Jerusalem in 1096,   the 1st Crusaders were riding through France and Rhineland  slaughtering Jews.  Rashi, born in France in 1040, was studying  in Worms, Rhineland before this happened.  He was 56 when the Crusaders came through.   He died in Troyes, France during other Crusades.  Worms was a big trading center.  Many Jewish merchants lived there.  

Merchants from the Middle East started off as being mentioned in the Tanach.  The society was agricultural and  merchants are mentioned in Zechariah. 14:21 where he is telling that so many offerings will be brought to Jerusalem that all the vessels of Jerusalem will be needed to cook them, and there will be so many vessels that there will be no need for merchants who sell cooking utensils.  Merchants were described as doing what merchants do today. Also in   Prov, 31.:24 where it says, "She makes a cloak and sells it, and delivers a belt to the peddler."   Then there was the itinerant merchant called a rokhel who specialized in spices, mentioned in Song of Songs 3:6. "Who is this ascending from the wilderness, its way secured and smoothed by palmlike pillars of smoke, burning fragrant myrrh and frankincense, of all the perfumer's powders?' 

 Israel bordered the Mediterranean Sea, the Syrian Desert, the Brook of Egypt, and from the river Arnon to Mt. Hermon including most of Syria and covered about 58,000 sq miles under King David and King Solomon, his son.    Josephus said that Jews had no taste for trade.  He was writing for the Romans and possibly didn't want them to know their long history of being merchants.  

 Jewish merchants of importance were already  found at Alexandria, Egypt  and other cities in the early Roman Empire. "The history of the Jews of Alexandria dates from the foundation of the city by Alexander the Great, 332 B.C."It is curious to notice that they were often employed as soldiers in Egypt, and even attained to high military positions. Ptolemy I., Lagi, is said to have distributed 30,000 Jewish soldiers over the land as garrisons.. Jewish camps have been found in several places in Egypt, which were without doubt the barracks of those Jewish troops;   Those soldiers needed the benefit of Jewish merchants.  

By the Dark Ages, Jews had become merchants and were the go between between the Christian and Islamic worlds. For one thing, they spoke many languages.   They were playing an important part in international trading.  This was found in 9th century documents.  Jewish merchants from Baghdad were trading with India and China during this time.  "The Radhanites  were medieval Jewish merchants. Whether the term refers to a specific guild, or a clan, or is a generic term for Jewish merchants in the trans-Eurasian trade network is unclear. Jewish merchants were involved in trade between the Christian and Islamic worlds during the early Middle Ages(approx. 500–1000). Many trade routes previously established under the Roman Empire continued to function during that period largely through their efforts. Their trade network covered much of EuropeNorth Africa, the Middle East,Central Asia and parts of India and China."

Worms, Rhineland was the center of trade and of Jewish studies as well as the homeland of the first kings of England.  "  The Germanic tribes controlled Worms when they were brought into the Roman Empire.  After the fall of the Roman Empire, the cityh was under many Germanic tribes.  When it was under the Franks, the city became Christian and Worms became a center of the Holy roman empire.  It was the seat of both the Emperor and the Bishop.  

We find RASHI, the most famous Biblical and Babylonian Talmud commentator of Ashkenazi Jews born in 1040 CE in Troyes, France.  No doubt traders followed the Roman paths to France with a sea route on the Mediterranean following the fall of Jerusalem to the Romans.  

The father of many English Kings and Queens was Robert the Strong (III of Worms) Rhineland before it was called Germany. His grandfather, Robert of Hesbaye, Count of Worms, and father, Robert "Rutpert" III Count of Worms and Rheingau, were all from Worms.   The kings thereafter were born in France. That would be starting with Robert I,(Robertians) King of West Francia b: 866.  

 About 100 years after Rashi died, the Rabbi of Worms, Germany, a descendant,  lived in what had become the center of Jewish learning.  with Jews who had arrived in the 10th century. Rashi himself had also studied in Worms in 1055-1065.   By the 11th century the community was well established. 

Emperor Henry IV(11 November 1050-7 August 1106) the Holy Roman Emperor,  was given financial assistance (loans) and rewarded them with privileges in 1074 and 1090. He had been a king from a different family line.   One privilege was freedom of commerce, security of property and imperial protection.  When the first Crusade in 1096  came through, they slaughtered the entire community.  It was re-established only to be destroyed again in the Black Death of 1349 and then they were kicked out in 1615. The Spanish Inquisition of 1492 had a global affect of cruelty and lack of rights on the Jewish people that permeated to all nations eventually.   They must have returned later for they  then had restrictions in 1641 and a massacre by the soldiers of Louis XIV in 1689.  Finally, when the French Revolution took place, they were emancipated.   

In western Europe except in Spain, the Jewish merchant was eclipsed after the Crusades starting in the 11th century  with the 1st Crusade in 1096 CE when Jews were forced into money lending because it was felt to be beneath the dignity of Christians to dabble in such things. In all there were 8 Crusades.  All forms of incomes were taken away from the Jews except money lending.  To top it off, Jews in northern France and the Rhineland were massacred by the Crusaders as they rode through the land on the way to take Jerusalem back from the Muslims.

It was during the Middle Ages that all the rich people in Europe such as the priests, burghers and  Jewish merchants were approached for loans.  The Catholic Church was against all forms of interest .  By the 12th -13th century this was the decree.  At the same time, Jews were kicked out of northern Europe from trading and handicraft productions.  Money lending was left for the Jews to do.  Then the Jews were highly over- taxed and they saw their profits depleted.  Money lending for them had become a profession and was taken over as a government monopoly which the Jews had to manage for the royal treasury.  Rates of interest were carefully monitored and regulated.  If one went to a rare Gentile moneylender, one found their rates to be exorbitant.  In southern Europe, moneylenders was practiced by only a few Jews, however.  In Central and northern Italy, the Jews were responsible for establishing Jewish communities in the 13th and 14th centuries.  They removed the economic restrictions on the Jews, so it was not a characteristic occupation there.
However, Shakespeare wrote his famous play in the late 1500s that was set in Venice, Italy, called "The Merchant of Venice,"  the merchant being a Jew, Shylock.  His lines say a lot:  Here, Shakespeare got serious.  
"He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?

If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction." 

 A description of the play found today is : Shakespeare's next comedy, the equally romantic Merchant of Venice, contains a portrayal of the vengeful Jewish moneylender Shylock, which reflects Elizabethan views but  appears highly  derogatory to modern Jewish audiences.  That's a sad comment in that he wrote it to be a comedy, making fun of the Jewish merchant.  That is a description of anti-Semitism.  

Here I see   he is saying that he's being treated badly because he is Jewish and that they are both humans.  They will react in the same manner,  He has learned how to get even from the Christians  but Shylock says he will improve on the lesson.  He's giving a threat.   Considering that Italy had not many Jewish merchants at that time, one wonders why Shakespeare wrote this.  Shakespeare was baptised c26 April 1564 and died April 23, 1616 in London, England. 

 Looking at the history of Jews at this time, I note that  1497 was the year that Jews were expulsed from Sicily and Sardinia, an island of Italy  as well as from Portugal.  This was the continuation of the Spanish Inquisition.  In 1502 all Jews of Rhodes, Greece (an island)  were forcibly converted, expelled or taken into slavery. "But in 1309 the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem conquered Rhodes. They built strong fortifications to protect the island, turning it into an important administrative centre and a thriving multinational medieval city. In 1523 Rhodes was conquered by the Ottoman Turks, and the Greeks had to settle outside the city walls. In  1541 Jews were expelled from the Kingdom of Naples.  
Undeveloped areas of Europe were places like Poland where the Jews continued to play an important part as merchants till the time they immigrated to England and the United States.  There were Jewish traders there from the 17th century on.  The communities made up of hidden Jews that had fled the Spanish Inquisition, then called Marranos  considered merchants as their economic basis of living.
In the USA, many Jewish merchants from the Pale of Settlement in the early 1900s started life with a pushcart and were walking  merchants.  They saved their pennies and were known to later be opening local stores, of of which grew into department stores.  This helped to open up the South and the West of the USA.  Meier and Franks Department Store in Portland, Oregon is one example.

An area of achievement "which is unquestionably the product of Jewish genius is the retail industry as we know it.  That industry was begun by the German Jews who came here in the 1840’s and peddled clothing and household items from door to door all over the South. These peddlers moved all the way from New York to the Santa Fe trail and settled in remote areas of New Mexico and Utah. There they established department stores, a Jewish invention of the greatest consequences for American life, ipso facto. When the great Russian and Eastern European Jewish immigration came here after 1881, these Jews expanded these enterprises and became the founders or developers of such enterprises as Sears, Roebuck, which was indeed founded by Richard Sears but reached its  eminence through the genius of Julius Rosenwald. Both Gimbel’s and Macy’s are legendary Jewish success stories.


  " Then there were the Jewish storekeepers and department store founders who not only became wealthy but who were elected governors of their states. Included were the governor of Idaho, Moses Alexander, Arthur Seligman of New Mexico, and, believe it or not, Simon Bamberger of Utah, and  Herbert Lehman of New York  Successful Jewish merchants were also elected to the U.S. Senate in the 19th and early 20th century.  David Levy Yulee became senator from Florida as did Ernest Gruening, the territorial governor and the first senator of Alaska.  Again, the list goes on and on. 

Consider also that the stock market as we know it today was largely founded by Jewish immigrants who came here with nothing and created enormous wealth, not only for themselves but for America generally. It all started from being merchants and honing their craft." .  

Resource: The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia,_Holy_Roman_Emperor  Jewish acheivements
Facts About Israel, Division of Information, Ministry for foreign affairs, Jerusalem
"The Source, " by James  Michener

Monday, February 24, 2014

Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah Terrorists in Syria At Each Other's Throats

Nadene Goldfoot                                                             

Sunday, al Qaeda's target was a hospital owned by Ghassan Abboud, "a pro-opposition businessman who owns Orient Television.".  Orient TV comes out of Dubai.   They hit Almeh, a town amid olive groves of Syria which is across from the Turkish village of Bukulmez in Hatay Province.  The town is the "main supply line for rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, activists said."  14 were killed and 70 were wounded by a car bomb. The TV station has been  strong in its criticism of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), an al Qaeda splinter group that has taken several areas along the border and attacked  supply lines to more moderate rebel groups in the interior. So we see Assad's opposition is made up of many many rebel groups who are in fact, terrorists of varying degrees.  

Al-Qaeda global  terrorists stop at nothing.  They were started by Osama bin Laden in Pakistan, most likely from the Russian war in Afghanistan.   This latest is a suicide bombing at a field hospital in northern Syria.  Dozens were left dead  including little children. This attack on or near a field hospital being a target linked militants near the Syrian-Turkish border.  This is who had been killed.

 There has been fierce fighting  between the opposition forces and the allied forces of the Assad government and Hezbollah in Idlib province.

Fighting was also taking place in Ibrod which is in the Kalmon mountain area.  It's been going on for the past 2 weeks.  The opposition groups are involved in operations there and claim they have caused heavy casualties on the combined forces of the Syrian Assad government soldiers and Hezbollah, who are Assad's allies today.  Assad and his cohorts have also launched rockets and other artillery at the rebel positions.  It's beginning to sound like the war between Iran and Iraq in the 1980s.

They battle for the control of this crucial  town because it has control on the roads to Damascus and roads towards Lebanon where the Hezbollah militants' camp is located.

On January 29, 2014, it was known that  some of the al Qaeda militants going to fight in Syria have 3 bases in neighboring Turkey and can easily access Europe from the NATO member state, Israel's military intelligence chief, Major-General Aviv Kochavi,  said on Wednesday.  He showed a map of the Middle East marked with places where al Qaeda was stationed at a security conference and told them that the problem was that they do not stay there.  
In the midst of all the shelling, the opposition began registration for students living in the areas under their control.  They say they were trying to complete normal conditions for the residents.  
Watching this battle between al Qaeda and Hezbollah is Iran"Iran stands at the side of Syria in the face of Israeli aggression, whose aim is to damage the security of the region 

and weaken the axis of resistance," Iranian Foreign Minister Akhbar Salehi told Assad in a 

meeting in Damascus on Tuesday which was stated on December 24, 2012.  It isn't Israel who 

is the aggressor, but their own Muslims from al Qaeda.  


Sunday, February 16, 2014

Jews: A People Founded By a Religion

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                    

Jews are very complex.  Were the English founded in England by the Episcopalians of the Protestant Christian religion?  No, not by the Catholics, either.  Britain,  in 1,200 BCE saw  small villages  first being formed then.  France was called Gaul. The Celts came from Central Europe and settled in Gaul around 2,500 B.C. By 1,200 BCE, the Celts were being colonized by the people of Gaul.   The Celts  were iron workers and dominated Gaul until 125 B.C., when the Roman Empire began its reign in southern France.   Celts were early Indo-European people  who lived from the British Isles and Spain to Asia Minor.  They were to become the Scots, Irish, Welsh, Cornish or Bretons (from Brittany).  From 58 to 52 BCE, Gallo- Roman civilization began when Julius Caesar conquered Gaul.  By then Jerusalem was occupied by the Roman soldiers and a civilization of  the past 1,300 years was coming to a halt.  

Moses had been born before in 1391BCE  and died at age 120 in 1271 BCE.   He was his people's greatest teacher and died before entering Canaan, the land his ancestor, Abraham, had lived in more than 400 years before. Our history shows that Joseph, one of Abraham's sons by Rachel, had been in Egypt and had the high status of being the Pharaoh's right hand man.   Joshua led the Israelite slaves into Canaan. Thus, the Jewish people were of the state of Israel, like Americans are to the USA, and they were of one religion, Judaism.  Moses had led them to Canaan because of religion as G-d had been guiding him there.

As far as DNA goes, Moses's brother, Aaron, had many children.  Aaron and his children were picked by Moses to carry on religious duties, that of the Cohen in the Temple.  Today, the Cohen gene has been found and is Y haplotype J1C3d, which is shared with some Arabs as well of which each shows it's connection to either the Arab line or the Jewish line.  The Arab line we figure comes from the older ancestors of Moses, that of either Esau or Ishmael which goes way back to Abraham.  The story of our family indeed fits in nicely with the DNA discovered in the two groups' genes.  The people of Israel were basically of one family, the family of Jacob, son of Isaac, who was the son of Abraham.  They intermingled with other slaves held in Egypt during their 400 year stay, and later on intermarried with the remaining population of Canaan after they had fought for the land.  Now they were a nation.

I'm finding out that only 1 out of 4 people in an over 2,000 people study knew that the earth rotated around the sun, a study done by the National Science Foundation in the USA.  I would bet that less know and actually have read about our history in the 5 books of Moses, which are:  Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.

In our Jewish history, which was written down in the Torah (5 books of Moses) during a period of time when many nations had already evolved and had writing in its culture,  the genealogy is told of Moses's family and ancestors.  It tells how others other than the family left Egypt with Moses who were also slaves there.  When someone is freeing slaves, no one is going to be a slacker and stay and slave away in a foreign country.   Though the present day  Egyptian Director of Egypt's  museum, Zawi Hawass,  denies that Jews were ever there as slaves, our records tell otherwise.  He knows everything there is to know about Egypt's Pharaohs, but not much about our history at all in this case.
What is one man's worker is  to that worker, a slave when they do not receive wages.  Especially when they are held and guarded and cannot leave.  Besides, our Torah doesn't say we built the pyramids, but says we built the storage of food cities.  The Egyptians recorded our entrance to Egypt with the mural painting shown above.  It's as good as a photograph and has lasted throughout the ages.  Below is a mural of circumcision, something Moses told his people to do as a sign of the covenant they accepted.  That's another thing that made Jews stand out from other peoples.  Greek athletes had many games of which Jews were participants, and they all played naked.  Jews were marked.  Today at the Olympics, flags and announcers tell where the athletes are from instead.
                                             Circumcision in Days of Jewish Slaves
That is told about when after they left Egypt, the Pharaoh had a change of heart, probably thinking of all the things he wanted done and had just lost all his workers, so he sent his solders after them to bring them back. Instead, the soldiers were drowned in the sea when chasing after the escapees.

This is the story told to us from the time we could sit up and listen to our parents during Passover, a holiday celebrated ever since then for the past 3,000 years.  We don't just tell the story in  front of a fireplace.  We gather our family members together and have a huge feast with each food reminding us of a part of the story we tell.  It's am amazing and wonderful experience that we all love and look forward to each year.  It is our history.

With the mingling of marriages in Egypt with other slaves that must have happened on purpose or accidentally, and with the fact that since then we have had to wander all over the globe in search of a peaceful existence, our DNA has added a few other haplogroups to the male line but not many.  During this whole period of time, we have been a people who became the scapegoats of the world, so were held up as being "different."  It's like we were purple people eaters or something, so different we were.  Therefore, people didn't want their children marrying us, and we in return didn't want to marry outside of our faith, though it happened occasionally, depending on circumstances.

We had our own language, for one thing.  Jews who left Jerusalem when it fell to the Romans in 70 CE were taken to Rome as slaves most likely, and then through time managed to get to France which was on the Mediterranean and of course Germany.  Being scapegoats there as well because of being a different religion, they eventually had to migrate into eastern Europe and finally into what Catherine the Great of Russia II called "The Pale of Settlement," the land she allowed Jews to live in.  This group spoke Yiddish, a mixture of Hebrew and German.  Another group had made it to what used to be called Iberia, then called Spain.  They spoke a mixture of Hebrew and Spanish.  The Mizrachi Jews who only traveled a little further away from Jerusalem but stayed in the Middle East spoke Hebrew and Arabic after 620 CE.  Jews had even gone back to Egypt and were living there again.  We all shared the same customs, holidays and prayers.  We were all Jews, yearning in daily prayers to return to Jerusalem.
So Jews are different from Christians and Muslims in this way.  We are  nationalistic in our religion.  We promised never to forget Jerusalem.  We have adapted to life outside of Eretz Yisrael, yes, but remain a religion mixed with nationalism.  Also, we are the oldest of the 3 religions.  Judaism was well over 1,000 years of age before Jesus was born, and about 1, 920 years old when Islam was created.
The miracle happened that prophets had spoken about.  Israel was created again on May 14, 1948. Jewish prophecy came true!  This was enough to shake up all the religions.  So, after over 2,000 years of wandering, and after starting to regain the Lost Ten tribes who had been carted away in 721 BCE by the Assyrians, and regaining those taken to Babylon in 597 and 586 BCE we see all the pieces coming together.  Jews are HOME!!  Yes, we are different.  We kept our promise to keep the faith and  to return home.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

USA Broken Promises From Kerry and Obama About Jerusalem

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                
                                                             The Knesset Menorah

Israel announced its building plans of over 500 housing units in the eastern part of Jerusalem to be made available for Jews  because of a housing crisis for them. No doubt they will amount to a few very tall apartment buildings such as one sees all over Israel.  Individual homes are rare in Israel.   Jerusalem is Israel's unified capital.  After all, Jerusalem has been the center of Judaism since King David in (1010-970 BCE) made it his capital.  It is to Jews the eternal capital of Israel.  This city has not only religious significance to Jews but our historical and cultural meanings of the highest degree center in Jerusalem.  The people and the Knesset feel they have a legal and historical right to construct new housing units within the "confines of its capital city."

 They will not forget that they were attacked by all their neighbors in 1967 and won back this city of theirs from Jordan who had taken it illegally in 1948 in the midst of the first war Israel was in.  This was when minutes after the announcement of Israel's creation they were attacked.  In every battle, Israel has won, and has the right to their own capital for they shed blood in that war.

Then we have the US peacemaker, John Kerry, Secretary of State, coming along and criticizing Israel for its announcement of building plans.
                   The Knesset, a single chamber parliament building built in 1949 in Jerusalem with 120 seats.  All citizens 18 years and older have the right to vote.  The permanent building was opened in 1966.  
In 1995, the US law was that a united Jerusalem is recognized as the capital of Israel, and they called for moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. . "The Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 is a public law of the United States passed by the 104th Congress on October 23, 1995." It was John Kerry who voted for the Jerusalem Embassy Act when he was a senator.  He even signed a letter urging the President then, Bill Clinton, to comply with the act and move the embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv.

This change in Kerry was caught by Farley Weiss, President of the National council of Young Israel "NCY."  Weiss pointed out that the State Department is opposing their own USA law.  The group urges Secretary Kerry to be consistent with his record and defend Israel's right to build and to recognize the sovereignty of its capital.

They noted that even  Barack Obama campaigned at at the Democratic Convention before he became president and pledged that his party's platform would support Jerusalem as the undivided capital of Israel.  The position has completely changed now that he is president as shown by this announcement from the State Department.                                                    

 In 2008 at the Democratic convention they decided that  “Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel. The parties have agreed that Jerusalem is a matter for final status negotiations. It should remain an undivided city accessible to people of all faiths.”

In 2012 "This year, however, that language has been removed. Indeed, there is no mention of Jerusalem in th2012 party platform adopted by Democrats.

In 2008, Kerry and Obama and the Democratic Party must have recognized the importance of Jerusalem to the Jewish people of Israel to make this decision.  They knew of the law passed in 1995.  They were saying that they would pass that law.  Why have they made such a turn around and go with the wishes of the Arabs wanting to create a Palestine out of part of land that was to be the Jewish Homeland and wanting Jerusalem to be their capital?  Israel has valid reason.  The Arabs do not.

The NCY calls on the State Department to comply with their promises from Kerry and Obama  that turned into  law about Jerusalem and understand that Israel has the right to decide matters about the city they promised never to forget, their capital, Jerusalem.  In daily prayers, Jews have promised never to forget Jerusalem and to return one day as they have prayed for 2,000 years, "Next Year in Jerusalem."

Clinton, Bush, and Obama claim that the reason they haven't seen this law fulfilled is because "they view it as a Congressional infringement on the executive branch’s constitutional authority over foreign policy.   They have consistently claimed the presidential waiver on national security interests.  Therefore, even though the law was passed in 1995,  the USA presidents since then have continually for 19 years used their waiver privilege against it being put into practice.  Such are nasty politics.  

Resource: Arutz Sheva,, State Dept. Opposes US Law, Kerry's Senate Record.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Nazis Cried that Darwin Made Them Do It

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                      

Charles Darwin born in Shrewsbury, England on February 12, 1809, died in London on April 19, 1882 at age 73.  He was a biologist who couldn't stand the sight of blood.That's what kept him from becoming a doctor.   He published his Origins of Species in 1859.
               Adolf Hitler,b: Austria 1889, d: Germany 1945 at age 56

Leading Nazis were trying to say that it was all Darwin's fault that Hitler insisted on killing off all the Jews of the world.  He almost succeeded by managing to kill 6 million of us.  Now, where does Darwin fit in with all this horror and hatred?
Conspiring to kill off all the Jews.  You'd think Hitler was Haman of ancient Persia who tried                                                          to do the same thing.  

Hitler struck onto the idea of Darwin's "Theory of Evolution" and ran with the concept of  superior races and the survival of the fittest.  He must have been very jealous of the intelligence of the Jews and though he certainly was a non-practicing Catholic, did grow up in that environment of dislike of Jews.  So, taking the 2 factors, jealousy and dislike of these people, and mix in Darwin's survival of the fittest along with the superiority of races, and Hitler came up with a brand new philosophy which his whole country bought into.

 Why?  Was it because of his speaking ability that curls my toes when I hear him rant and rave?  Was that the proper style of the day?  He was a broken down unaccepted painter who couldn't paint pictures for a living and had to paint houses instead, bitterly.  He didn't have success as a starter to be heard.  Why did people ever listen to him?

When he came along, there weren't many successful Germans to be found.  They were all suffering from economic loss of money and jobs, so they must have identified with this man.  In doing so, and being a group that was used to following a leader and not being allowed to be individuals, they followed him, of all people because he told them to do it.

The German scientists should have called out -foul play on what he was preaching.  He was telling people that selective breeding, like farmers did with pigs and cows, were what they had to do with humanity, and they had to cull out the weak.  In his theory, the weak were the Jews because they were quiet and kept to themselves more than others.  They didn't cause trouble, but to Hitler, they were bad because they were the small businessmen and still had jobs and were not Catholics.  They still clung to their ancient religion of Judaism.   In reality, the Jews, an ancient line of people, had been studying and writing long before the Germans had left their barbaric ways.  They were part of the ancient Empires that Germans were not.  They had been traders and merchants when Germans were wearing animal skins.  Jews hadn't stopped evolving and thinking and progressing, especially in Germany, anymore than any other people.  They just had a head start on them, which didn't help in figuring the evil that was coming.  After all, Moses was born in1391 BCE and Jews had been following his teachings since about 1300 BCE.  King David was born in 1010 BCE.  Who could believe that humans would want to get rid of a whole race of people?

In Darwin's theory, natural selection was just that.  Nature took care of who survived and who didn't, but Hitler wanted to play G-d and do the selecting himself and nobody stopped him.  Nobody preached to the choir that this was wrong.  The religious view, from the Jewish Torah of Genesis, was that humanity started with an Adam and an Eve, and that we all came from this one source.

That was ignored by this group of people completely, so eager to follow a scientist named Darwin-or rather Hitler who interpreted it all for them.  .

As an aside, geneticists who work with DNA today have found an Eve and most recently an Adam.  It looks like we did all come from one source and just spread out all over on the face of this Earth.  Some of us hit the jackpot by ending up in nice warm places and others wound up on the edges of ice, making life more difficult, trying to survive the several ice ages that this Earth has experienced.

It was Darwin's cousin, Francis Galton,  who created the idea .of modern eugenics, a product of the 19th Century.  He says it came from the theory of Darwin's Evolution.

The Nazi movement had many scientist supporters, sadly.  Some scientists they were!   They concluded that the  Nazi treatment of Jews and other "races" like the Gypsies, then believed by them to be 'inferior,' was the result of Darwin's findings that could be used to improve mankind.    This is false.  Why would they want to improve others besides themselves?  It would just mean having more competition in the economic world.  No, they wanted to get rid of the competition.  This was their crutch, their excuse that nobody questioned. Empire builders from the very beginning of time never tried to do such things.  It was inhuman!  You could even say that only sub-humans would think of doing such things.

The theory of evolution comes from the idea that life forms acquire unique traits that enable those who also have new traits to survive better in adverse conditions compared to those who don't have these new traits.  The life forms with such traits were considered as 'superior.'  They took the basic teaching of Darwin of evolution and how animals evolved from one to another type, such as monkeys to people and emphasized an aspect of it, which was 'selection.'

Hitler said that they were Aryans and that this race was superior to all others and it was the people's duty to subjugate all other peoples.  The Master Race was born.  He said the Aryans were a Nordic race, coming from people of the Lost Continent of Atlantis.  This is why he liked blondes so much.  He thought them to be a pure race, not mixed with other groups at all.  Race placed the major role in the Nazi philosophy.  Hitler took a scientific new discovery, something not thought of before, and twisted it around for his own use.  There were actually a few people who stood up to him but were killed.  The rest didn't raise a finger against him.

So thanks, Dr. Darwin, for the trouble your research caused.  Certainly you couldn't have foreseen what some idiots would make out of it.  As for monkeys turning into humans, science today has found that nature has caused many types of 'people' and they didn't all make it to this period of time.  They just died out.  Natural selection, not their own, caused it to happen.  So monkeys did not turn into people after all.  That's just one line that did make it besides us.  We just haven't tried to kill them all off, thank goodness, nor they us.  As far as that goes, we find that Europeans all carry a certain % of Neanderthal in their genes, and some have some Denisovan genes.  Some have more of a % than others.  They are  branches of the tree who managed to mate successfully.  Notice, though;   no more Neanderthal or Denisovan gentlemen or ladies around.  Darwin would have been excited about this.  Today, the science ruling is DNA studies.  According to these scientists today, mankind started about 135,000 years ago.

Be thankful for the people in the USA who have a natural gift, perhaps their own DNA, coming from all the nations of the world, of questioning people.  Be thankful that we have Republicans and  Democrats who question each other's goals and motives.  It will be a sad day for everyone if we become sheep and just follow someone without questioning them if something doesn't seem right.  Americans have never been under a king or a Tsar and question, knowing they could have another leader with another thought in the next 4 years.  The insurance of this is to have an educational system where children are taught to question and do not fear doing so or challenging their teachers.  Also, another insurance against such arrogance is to have parents who teach their children to ask and to think for themselves without fear.

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley-novel about eugenics.  

Monday, February 10, 2014

Killing Jews in the Crusades Over Jerusalem

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                  

The European Middle Ages are marked by the many crusades of Christian rulers to win Palestine from the Moslems.  Mohammad had died in 632 and by 638 the city of Jerusalem  had fallen to the Caliph Omar who set up a place of prayer in the Jew's 2nd Temple esplanade.  this was rebuilt in 691 as the Dome of the Rock by the Umayyad caliph Abd-el Malik.  Under Arab rule, the Jews were allowed to return; but the city began to decay after the transfer of the center of Abbasid rule to Baghdad in 750.  The Fatimids in the 11th century built the 2nd main mosque, the El-Aksat, on the Temple site.  In 1099, Jerusalem was stormed by the Crusaders under Godfrey of Bouillon. He made it a capital, which it had been  for the Jews, but for the Christians it was the capital of the Latin Kingdom.

The first Crusade caused by the stimulation of religious passion resulted in the deaths of many Jews.
1096-1099:  The 1st Crusade led to attacks on Jews in northern France and especially in the Rhineland where massacres happened in the cities of Mainz, Worms, Speyer, Cologne, and others.  Similar attacks took place in Prague and later in Salonica where the reports of the Crusade started a messianic ferment.

1099:  Jerusalem was captured.  Jews and Karaites were massacred because of it.  A Crusading Kingdom was established which led to toleration being extended to the Jews.
1147-1149:  The 2nd Crusade.  This was organized to succor the Crusading Kingdom and similar outbreaks happened in France and the Rhineland as the result of the agitation of Rudolf, a monk.  At the outset of this Crusade, the Pope urged that the debts of Crusaders to the Jews should be remitted.
1187 found the Ayyubid sultan,  Saladin,  retaking the city for Islam again and it remained in Moslem hands till the middle of the 13th century.  

1189-1192:  The 3rd Crusade: Jews had lived in York since 1170.   This one had wide support in England where it led to attacks by the Crusaders on the Jews in many places, especially York in 1190.  "July 1189 when King Henry II, a protector of the Jews, died. Richard I was crowned his heir and he refused to grant Jewish representative admission to Westminster Abbey, when they came to offer him gifts. Riots were started and mobs threw stones at the Jews and burned the straw roofs of their houses. Many Jews were murdered, some allowed themselves to be baptized. Twenty-four hours later, Richard I found out about the riots and ordered that the Jews be protected.  As soon as Richard I left to join the Crusade in 1190, riots began again throughout England. In March 1190, a mix of Crusaders, barons indebted to the Jews, those envious of Jewish wealth and clergymen conspired to kill the Jews of York. They burned several houses and approximately 150 Jews fled to the royal castle in York. Led by Richard Malebys, a noble indebted to the Jews, the mob besieged the castle. The Jews had little rations and many killed themselves. On March 16, the citadel was captured and those Jews left alive were murdered. The mob then stole the records of debts to Jews from a nearby cathedral and burned them."

 Another story that surfaced was that on the Sabbath before Passover on March 16, 1190, the York Jews, headed by Rabbi Yom-Tov of Joigny, were surrounded by armed men  in the Castle Keep by a bloodthirsty mob and killed one another rather than surrender.

 Later crusades involved the Jews only incidently.  A small community was re-established later and continued until another expulsion was ordered in 1290.   Few Jews live there today.
1320:  The 4th Crusade or The Shepherds' Crusade, resulted in wide attacks on the Jews in southern France and northern Spain.  The crusades were said to have begun the age of unmitigated suffering for medieval Jewry.  They helped to displace the Jewish merchants from their former favored position and thus stimulated the economic decline of the Jews.  The good side of it all was that there was a demand for credit on the part of the participants and this stimulated Jewish financial operations in some countries of Europe.

In the Mameluke Period of the 14th to 15th centuries, many new buildings were erected and the water supply was improved.  Under Ottoman rule of the last 400 years it decayed, till in the 18th to 19th centuries, the city reached its nadir.  Its population sank below 10,000 and part of its area lay in ruins.  The Jewish community, destroyed by the Crusaders and almost non-existent in the 13th century, was reinforced by pious immigrants from many lands, especially after 1492 when Spain expulsed them.

Resource:  The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia

Jews of the German Rhineland-including Worms

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                    

                             The Bridge at Worms, Germany, probably built in Roman days

Archaeological evidence shows that Jews were in what we call Germany today during the Roman Period.  It is surmised that Jewish soldiers served in the Roman garrisons.  Barbarians invaded the area and whether these communities were able to continued during that period is unknown.  We do know that in 321 CE, Emperor Constantine issued regulation indicating an organized Jewish community with rabbis and elders were living in Cologne, which was in the Rhineland.  They most likely settled in other places as well near-by.                                                                            
When we hear the word, "Rhineland," we think of Germany,  but it has a controversial history.  The French word for it is Rhenanie. Originally it was lying in western Germany  It lies east of Germany's border with France, Luxembourg and Belgium and the Netherlands.  It is on both banks of the middle Rhine River..  The Rhineland extends from the northern borders of the French departements of Moselle and Bas-Rhin over the German Lander states of the Saarland and Rhineland Palatinate and into NW Baden-Wurttemberg, western Hesse, and SW North Rhine--Westphalia.  Rabbi Solomon Yitzhaki, otherwise known as RASHI, was born 1040 in Troyes, France and studied in the Rhineland.

Another famous Jew was Eleazar ben Judah of Worms, known to us as the Rabbi of Worms,  who was born in 1160 in Mainz, Franconia, Germany.  His writings are of " the major extant documents of medieval German Ḥasidism (an ultrapious sect that stressed prayer and mysticism)."  He died in Worms in 1238 at the age of 78.  

Along this middle Rhine River are hills that are between Mainz and Bonn.  The hilly area is where they grow grapes and this business of wine-growing country has supported small towns and villages for centuries.  Along here one would find castles that used to house the lords and the many monasteries.  North of Bonn the land changes and turns into the great northern European plain that leads to the North Sea.  It is along this lower Rhine regions that industry has developed.

In ancient Roman times is served as a buffer zone between Gaul and the Germanic peoples to the east.  The Rhineland was later a part of the Frankish kingdom of Austrasia.  Then the Rhineland was divided among the duchies of Lorraine into Upper and Lower Lorraine, Saxony, Franconia, and Swabia.  during the late European Middle Ages, the Rhineland became the seat of many principalities including the bishoprics of Worms.

In the 8th and 9th centuries, the Carolingian royal house adopted a pro-Jewish policy and encouraged the settlement of Jews in its land with the object of developing trade.  New Jewish communities sprang up in commercial centers.  They were found in the 9th century in Augsburg and Metz.  In the 10th century they were found in Worms, Mainz, Magdeburg, Ratisbon, and other places.  The densest settlement was in the Rhineland of Mainz, Speyer, Worms, and Cologne.  This is where intellectual life developed in the 11th century under Franco-Jewish influence.
Persecutions took place against Jews in 1012.  In 1096 the German Crusaders massacred the Jews throughout the Rhineland and neighboring places as they rode through Europe on their way to Jerusalem to kill the Muslims.  The moral atmosphere had changed and became a place of unrest in Germany with Jews being attacked.  All this drove Jews out of being traders and into moneylending.

Massacres in 1298 were brought on by Rindfleisch, a knight.  The massacres of 1336 were led by leather-jerkined fanatics nicknamed Armleder.  Massacres of 1348/49 happened at the time of the Black Death when Jews were accused of deliberately spreading.  They turned into extreme barbarism.  Over 350 Jewish communities suffered from these atrocities.  Over 200 communities were completely wiped out.  From 1350 to 1400, the survivors were kept  impoverished by the imperial authorities' cancellation of the debts due to them.  Though the Jews became as poor as (pardon the expression) church mice, their intellectual curiosity and work ethic kept them into Talmudic study, which was their Jewish intellectual life.  Individual Jews worked in other aspects of German life.  At the end of the Middle Ages, most of the larger German cities banished Jews again.  After the beginning of the 16th century, the only communities that were important left were those of Frankfort-on-Main and Worms.

Germany was having troubles with the Protestant Reformation in Germany when France encroached on Lorraine in the 16th century and the 30 Years' War gave France a foothold in Alsace.  Napoleon moved France's frontier eastward to the Rhine River and on the east bank created the Confederation of the Rhine.  Napoleon suffered a downfall, so the Congress of Vienna, Austria in 1814 and 1815 limited France's frontier on the Rhine to the Alsatian zone again.  In the end of many little wars, the Rhineland became the richest area of Germany, especially with the Prussian north being so highly industrialized.

"Under the terms of Versailles, the Rhineland had been made into a demilitarised zone. Germany had political control of this area, but she was not allowed to put any troops into it. Therefore, many Germans concluded that they did not actually fully control the area despite it being in Germany itself.
In March 1936, Hitler took what for him was a huge gamble - he ordered that his troops should openly re-enter the Rhineland thus breaking the terms of Versailles once again. He did order his generals that the military should retreat out of the Rhineland if the French showed the slightest hint of making a military stand against him. This did not occur. Over 32,000 soldiers and armed policemen crossed into the Rhineland."
Bergen Belsen Concentration Camp in NW Germany near Hanover,  showing one of the ovens
                       used to burn the bodies of dead Jews.  "More than 35,000 people died of starvation, overwork, disease, brutality and sadistic medical experiments in Bergen Belsen.  1800 inmates were in here by 1944.  By March 1945 there were 42,000 prisoners.  Many died of typhus.  On April 15, 1945, the British army found 55,000 prisoners and 13,000 unburied corpses.  13,000 died within the next 3 days.  30,000 Jews died in Bergen Belsen.

The Holocaust which caused the slaughter of 6 million Jews by German Nazis and their European collaborators happened from 1939 to 1945.

The New Standard Jeweish Encyhclopedia,_Germany

When Jews Came to Paris, Champagne and Toulouse, France

Nadene Goldfoot                                                                      
Jews have lived in Paris since Roman times.  We know that individual Jews lived in France before 70 CE when Jerusalem fell.   A settlement was recorded throughout the early Middle Ages.  Persecutions started in the 12th century.  The Jews were expelled in 1182-1198.  In 1240 the French held the Disputation of Paris which was followed by the public burning of the Talmud.  Like the rest of French Jews, they were banished in 1306 and 1394.  

By the 17th and 18th centuries, Jews came to live from Bourdeaux, Avignon, Alsace, and other places.  At the time of the French Revolution, there were 500 Jews in Paris.  Settling there from that time on was unrestricted.  By  1880 there were 40,000 Jews in Paris.  Many Jews became prominent in politics, literature, art, and theater.  From 1882 on, Jews from Russia came to live.  So did Jews from North Africa and the former Ottoman Empire.  This is where the Dreyfus Affair happened which stirred up the city at the end of the 19th century which showed that anti-Semitism existed.  Nevertheless, 70,000 Jews from eastern Europe settled in Paris between WWI and WWII.  Many German Jews had managed to arrive after 1933 as well. so that the total Jewish population was about 200,000 in 1939.  Many were taken away by the Nazis when they occupied Paris.  and at least 50,000 died in the death camps.  By 1990 the Jewish population was 300,000 and consisted of many from North Africa like Algeria.  There are many synagogues in Paris as well as communal institutions.  Today, anti-Semitism runs rampant there with the influx of Muslim immigrants.

Today France is one of the worst places for Jews with all the anti-Semitism going on there. Many have already made aliyah to Israel. "April 23, 2013 - Paris - A rabbi and his son were stabbed near the Beth-El synagogue by an Iranian man who had recently escaped a psychiatric hospital. The attacker stabbed the rabbi in the neck causing light injuries, while the rabbi's son was lightly cut when he came to his defense."  
  Little do the French realize that according to legend, a Jewish community existed in in Vitry-en-Perthois in 279 CE.  Champagne is a region in NE France and used to have international fairs.  This had attracted Jews from an early date.  The international traders that came to this fair were the Radanites or Jewish merchants who, in the 9th century, traveled between southern France and China.  They spoke Arabic, Persian, Roman, and the languages of the Franks, Andalusians, and Slavs.  Jews were then excluded from trade and handicrafts being it was unwanted competition for the Christians that drove them into moneylending, which in Northern France became their economic stand-by.  The Christian church didn't allow their people to lend money, thinking it was a disgusting profession, so that was all that was open for the Jews.

By the 10th century, or 900 CE, there were many Jews living in the province, especially in its capital of Troyes, which was the capital and home of Rashi, the famous biblical commentator.  Rashi was born in 1040 and died in 1105.  "By 1000, Troyes had an organized Jewish community and collected taxes from its members, and Jews owned real estate, more particularly vineyards.  There were about 100 Jews living there at the time of Rashi.  Many of his pupils, the tosaphists, taught at various places in Champagne such as in Ramerupt, Dampierre, Vitry, and other cities.   Tosaphists are well known for their prayer-ritual which has been preserved and published in Budapest in 1905.  The tosaphot, or in Hebrew, addenda, were critical and explanatory notes on the Talmud by French and German scholars of the 12th to 14th centuries.  To start with they were added to Rashi's Talmud commentary, which they frequently criticized and modified.  They soon developed a new independent mode of Talmud study.  Rashi was the author of the monumental commentary on the Talmud and the Torah.   Rashi's  grave has never been found, but scholars believe he died there in about 1105. In 1940, the Champagne region around Troyes had as its prefect,  Rene Bousquet, who later headed the Vichy police and was responsible for numerous roundups of Jews during the Nazi occupation of France. In 2005, the city had a 900th anniversary of Rashi's birth since he was the most famous person from there. 

 "A well-kept, small, medieval city about 100 miles east of Paris, Troyes was once at the center of European trade routes located on the ancient Roman road connecting Milan in northern Italy with Boulogne-sur-mer on the English Channel.  Coupled with its proximity to Flanders and the cities of the Rhineland, this made the town one of the major trading hubs in Europe, an advantage seized upon by the Counts of Champagne, who instituted the twice-yearly Champagne fairs, where traders from across the continent would ply their wares."  Jews had learned about the city and followed the traders there being many were merchants themselves.  .  

By the 12th century, Jews were treated differently then as they continue to be today with anti-Semitism.. In 1182 there was the order of all Jews to be expulsed out of France. This had to do with the Christian Crusades in 1096 and 1099 and its effects on people of how they viewed Jews.  Before that, The Byzantine Empire had been forcibly trying to convert Jews to Christianity.   At that time, Champagne wasn't yet incorporated into the kingdom of France, so this was a safe place for them to live.   Then, they were subjected to severe taxation  by the counts.  "The counts of Champagne took the precaution of keeping in their own hands jurisdiction over the Jews in the charters of freedom granted to various towns."  However, by the 13th century, Jews enjoyed more royal protection and acted as financiers to the nobles, monasteries, as well as other places.

13 Jews were put to death in Troyes in 1288 on a Ritual Murder/Blood Libel charge:  2 elegies in Old French commemorate this episode. An elegy is something like a poem or song that laments sorrow for one who is dead.  If they are continuing to sing this today, it is done strictly as an anti-Semitic act.   This was a completely false allegation that Jews murdered Christians in order to get blood to put in the Passover matzos. Jews did not eat blood of any animal at all and went through great lengths to avoid this when eating the allowed meats, so certainly wouldn't want human blood in their food.  To take something so obvious about Jews and claim such a horrific thing showed that they knew nothing at all about Jews or Judaism.

The general French expulsion orders of 1306-1394 affected the Jews living in Champagne this time, so they were forced to leave the area and probably went up into eastern Europe.  After this expulsion in 1306, the community never again held their position, but some returned in  to Troyes the 14th century.

A few Jews returned in Champagne only in the 17th century and then in 1794 and there were about 80 families by 1930.  WWII caused half of the Jews of Troyes to be deported under the Nazi occupation, so probably all were killed in the Holocaust.  After the liberation, the community was reconstitued by those that lived through it all.   Lately, there are Jewish communities in Chalons, Rheims, Chaumont, Troyes, Epernay, and Vitry-le-Francois.  That is, if they haven't been driven out again by anti-Semitism.  The Jewish population in 1990 was under 1,000.  "The old, classical form of antisemitism, which we had hoped was long gone in Europe, continues to be resilient."  "During November, 2013, a new phenomenon had spread. Fans of the antisemitic comedian Dieudonné responded to his request and started to get pictures of themselves making the 'quenelle salute', a backwards Nazi salute, next to Jewish or Israeli places, or even next to a group of Jews.  How disgusting can they get with their anti-Semitism?  This caught on, of course, in other countries after the French started it.  

There had been Jews living in Toulouse, France in 1420 somehow, but the whole Jewish community was then annihilated, a mini Holocaust by the French.  Jews had lived here since the 8th century.  They had all left with the 1306 order but some had returned in 1315 but were killed in the Shepherds' Crusade of 1321.  Toulouse was a Marrano Center (Jews who had to pretend to be Catholic) in the 16th Century.

The modern community of Jews dates from the early 19th century which was reorganized in 1907.  It grew in population with the North African Jewish immigration in the 1950's and early 1960's because of the African countries rebelling against their Jewish population over the creation of Israel in 1948.  The Jewish population of Toulouse in 1990 was 18,000.
 In March 2012, a Muslim shot and killed people in a Jewish Day School in Toulouse.  Rabbi Jonathan Sandler, 30, and his sons Arye 6, and Gabriel 3, along with the principal's daughter, Mirium Monsonigo 8, were shot and killed at their school, Ohr Hatorah  "The suspect pursued his last victim, an 8-year-old girl, into the concrete courtyard, seizing and stopping her by her hair, said Ms. Yardeni, who viewed surveillance footage of the killing.  His gun appeared to jam at that point, Ms. Yardeni said. Still holding the girl, the killer then changed weapons, from what police identified as a 9-millimeter pistol to the .45-caliber. He shot her in the head and left, never removing his motorcycle helmet. The killer was Mohammed Merah.   "On September 16, 2013, a 20-year-old French national of Moroccan origin,  called the Ohr Hatorah school in Toulouse and told a secretary, “I am Mohammed,  Merah’s cousin,  and I’m coming over tonight to kill you.” That threat was not the first one from this youngster, and he was arrested."  The 2012 attack was the worst France had seen against Jews in 30 years.  The killer was finally caught and killed when the police stormed his apartment on the 22nd of March..  " An Islamist extremist who is believed to have killed seven people in France died Thursday after a shootout with police, officials said. Interior Minister Claude Gueant said that Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old French citizen of Algerian origin who had allegedly confessed to killing three Jewish children and four adults, was hiding in a bathroom when special forces officers raided his ground-floor apartment."

The New Standard Jewish Encyclopedia: Champagne