Sunday, June 19, 2011

Anniversary of Anti-Semitism

When I remember to do it, I start off my day at work with a quick peek at the day in history. Usually the calendar is filled Genghis Khan did this and Atilla the Hun did that, the Earl of wherever fought here and the Duke of somewhere else fought there. Hence...I ususally skip it all.

Today's entry was a bit more interesting for me:

1269: King Louis IX of France orders all Jews found in public without an identifying yellow badge to be fined ten livres of silver.

So, if anyone thinks that the Yellow Badge began with the Nazis, he's got to look back hundreds of years. It actually began even before the anti-Semitism of Europe. The yellow badge began in the Moslem countries hundreds of years earlier. But back to today's history lesson.

Found this in Wikipedia: Louis IX of France ordered French Jews to wear oval rouelle,[7] a version of the "rota". As with all sumptuary laws, enforcement of the rules was very variable; in Marseilles the magistrates ignored accusations of breaches, and in some places individuals or communities could buy exemption. Cathars who were considered "first time offenders" by the Catholic Church and the Inquisition were also forced to wear yellow badges, albeit in the form of crosses, about their person.

Why was he knighted? He was reported to be kind to the poor, but most probably he received sainthood because Louis undertook two crusades and oppressed the Jews.

Next time you hear that someone's from Saint Louis, you'll think twice about the anti-Semitic king their city is named after.

Again from the Wikipedia:

He went on crusade twice, in his mid-30s in 1248 and then again in his mid-50s in 1270. Both crusades were complete disasters; after initial success in his first attempt, Louis's army of 15,000 men was met by overwhelming resistance from the Egyptian army and people where he was captured. After his release from Egypt, Louis spent four years in the crusader Kingdoms of Acre, Caesarea, and Jaffe.

I guess he never came to Jerusalem. What kind of a Crusade is that?

I remember a tour that I took with topguide Avi Dobuler to the tomb of Samuel the Prophet. Avi told me that a British king arrived to that spot on his Crusade to the Holy Land. From there, Richard the Lionhearted saw Jerusalem from a far for the first time. He dismounted his horse and began dancing. King Richard said, "This is a happy mountain, because from here I was able to see Jerusalem."

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