The Crusaders occupation(1099-1260)
1099:The first Christian Crusade reach Israel.
A European league from mainly west Europe start by traveling from west Europe trough Asia minor and to Israel,On the way,They massacre many Jewish communities, Especially on the Rain river,in cities like Mainz,Worms and Speyer,the Ashkenazi Jews
preferred to commit suicide instead of converting to Christianity.
The act of *kidush ashem* or martierisam for the sake of Ｇod,or refusing to commint any act that is strictly forbiden in the jewish tradition even in the price of death,is consider as a virtue among Jews, and in many Jewish communities in Israel and all around the mediteranian mesianic groups started to apear,and their main aim was to find away to get to Israel.
Its started in 1097,And in 1098,The Fatimid conquered Jerusalem from the Saljuks,after 40 days of siege.
The Crusaiders found Ramla deserted,And thats the reason why so many Jews escaped from the massacre:
Many Jews fled to Egypt or to Ashkelon,Like the Hebron and Jerusalem Jews.
The Gaon Avitar eacaped with his yeshiva to Tripoli in Syria,and he died there in 1112.later the yeshiva moved to Damascus and the Gaon was his brother,Shlomo.later Shlomos son,Matsliach,was the Gaon up until 1120.with his death and even before with the death of the last Babilonian great sage,rabbi Hai Gaon in 1038,the Geonut period came to its end and the Torah center was shifted to Germany,France,and Spain,and only later in 1141 and 1155 with the arrivel of the great sage rabbi Yehuda halevi and rabbi Moshe ben mainon the Torah center in Israel would be restarted.
In Asia minor and Syria the Crusaiders created two states,Edesa and Antioc,And invaded Israel,Going first to Jerusalem and Bet lechem after conquering Yaffo as their port and Ramla,Which were abounded by the Muslim defenders.
The Crusader siege Jerusalem for 5 weeks and then manage to enter it,Massacring the Muslims and all of the Jews.2000 Jews were closed in the synagogues and were burned to death.
there are reports that the time that the Jewish city of Ono near Yaffo was destoryed and its Jews were slain.
The Jews participated in the defence of the Jerusalem together with the Muslims,and the survivors were later exiled to south Italy,Though only some of them reached Italy alive.
Others and their holy books were held as ransom,And the Kariat-Jewish community in Ashkelon payed the ransom for their relies.
After the fall of Jerusalem,Many Jews fled to Gaza and Ashkelom,And Egypt,While
others to Damascus, Tankard the crusader, Established the princehood of the Galil after conquering the Galil,That was mainly populated with Jews,Without much of resistance.
Beside the many refugees,there were thousands of captive Jews in the hand of the Crusaders.many of them were used to clean the many bodies from the streets of the destroyed towns.
the Jews of cairo and Alexanderia originsed a project to save the captured Jews headed by the nagid of Egypt,Baruch ben Saadia already a month after the fall of Jerusalem.A speical messenger came to Ashkelon with the money,but those who were freed didnt had much place to go,they were left naked and penney less and starving form hunger.the Jewish community of Ashkelkon,which was stile under Fatimid control,headed by Abu el fasel sahal ben yosha ben Shaya,orginised the ransoming of many captives and their rehabilitation.
However many freed Jews died on the way to Egypt,or died in Egypt from a plague.
1100:The Crusaders,Expel the people of Arsuf,And massacre the people of Cesaria.
It is reported that the defence of Haifa was mainly Jewish, and after a month of fighting most of the population,mainly Jewish ,were massacred.Haifa was probably the biggest Jewish city in the land when the Crusaders invaded Israel.
1104:Acre is conquered,The population is massacred(4000 people)
In the begining,the Muslim rulers of Acre agreed to surrender in exchange for free and safe escape of all of the civilians,but the Genoas sailors opposed that agrrement and prevented any of the civilians from getting out the city with their goods,and they massacred them.
from Maimonides writings,its seems that many Jews returned later to live in Acre from 1011,including many Jews from France and north Africa.
from a letter between Jews from Acre to Jews in Egypt it can be learn that some Jews were divers that gathered shels with pearls from the sea.
1100-1144:The Crusaders,And the new Christian kingdom in Israel,The kingdom of Jerusalem as it was called,Defends itself against numerous Muslims attacks from Egypt and Syria,Until 1144 the prince hood of Antioch fall and the second Crusade start,And in 1149 ended up in a Christian failure to conquer Damascus.
During that time some of the Jews that fled from their towns and cities returned to live in it,the Jewish towns in the Galil for example were hardly harmed by the Crusaders.The Crusaders didnt allow Jews to live in Jerusalem,but they didnt mind them living in other areas of the land.a good a example of that is Acre,Tyre and Ashkelon.
some cities that were dystroyed by the Crusaders were re-built and Jews were allowed to return to it,like Qesaria,Bet lechem,Lod,Bet govrin,and Nablus.
The Crusaders basicly discriminated between the Frankish Christian to any other group like Muslims,Jews,Samaretans and also Esteren Greek Christians.From the other hand the humiliating rules that the Muslims imposed of the Jews ,like wearing a yellow badge and wear different close were canceled,and Jews could even testified in court against a Christian or a Muslim.
Infact,there wont be another Christian massacre of Jews by the Crusaders in Israel,but on the same time there would be many violent massacres of Jews in west Europe.
1121:The debate between Obadia,A Norman Crusaider that converted to Judaism,With a Kariat Jew name Solomon hakohen of Jerusalem that proclaim himself the Messiah,Occurred in Tyre.Obadaia was supported financialy by the Jews of Banias(on the sources of the Jordan river,ancient city of Dan) and Damascus.
1124:the city of Tyer fall to the hand of the Crusadrers,but the most Jews remaind in the city.later the Jews from the city will help the Jews from Egypt that were captured by the Crusaders.
1141:The famous Jewish philosopher from Spain,Yehuda halevi ,Famous for his poems and his master work, The Kuzari,Come to Israel with his son in law,Wishing to inspire other Jews to do the same .He died a year later. According to some sources, By a Muslim.
1153:Ashkelon is conquered by the crusaders.The big Jewish community,Which had many refugees from the first crusade from various towns in Israel,Were expelled to El arish on the way to Egypt.
1165:Rabbi Moshe ben maimom(Maimonides)escape from Spain and Morocco with his family,Come to Israel,But the oppression of the Jews push them to go to live in Egypt.In Israel they visit the temple mount in Jerusalem, And the fathers graves in Hevron.
He and his descended celebrate the day(17 and 20 of October) of the visits to the holly places,And it was celebrate by the Jews up until the 15 century,Since his descended would lead the Jews in the near east,As the nagid,Up until that time.
In Israel,he met the Gaon of Acre,Rabbi Yefet ben eliyau.
Rabi Moshe maimon,Was a descended of king David,Just like the Sanhedrin leaders of the Hillel dynisty
He was a very famous physician,And even served the Ayyubuid caliphs, Like Saladin.
He wrote several books about medicine.on the same time he was the leader of the Jewish community in Egypt,Israel and Syria,and helped solving problems in far away communities,like Yemen.Maimonides filed the void in the Jewish leadership in the near east ,and when the Ayyubid dynesty,led by Saldain,re-conquer Jerusalem and most of the land of Israel from the Crusaders,Israel ,Egypt and Syria came under the same control,and thats why he become the leader of the Jews,the Nagid,and his offsprings continued in that position up until the 15 century.
He wrote many important books, That serve as the basic for Jewish Halacha.
He wrote a full commentary for the mishna in 1161,based on the Talmud.He wrote it in Jewish-arabic.
1168;Maimon help the Jews in Egypt that were captured by the Crusadors in their war against Egypt.the Jews from Trye help him,like rabbi Efraim ,rabi Haim,and rabbi Meir of karkasin.
In 1177,He finish the Mishna tora,His commentary for the Talmud,Which he wrote in Hebrew. This important book was a reason for many arguments in the Jewish community both in Israel and in the Diaspora,And only later with the writing of Shulchan aruch in Safed in the 16 century,Its legitimacy was accepted by all the Jews.
In 1191,He wrote his most important book,More nebochim,Which is a book of philosophy,That succeed to logically explain the Jewish faith, A middle way between the Greek philosophy to the Jewish monotheism,
Rabbi Moshe maimon is consider to be the most important Jewish rabbi ever, Only the Bible and Talmud sages are above him.
He died in 1205 and was buried in Tiberia,His son Avraham,Will continue the position of the Nagid and his sons after would lead the Jews until 1415.
Avraham was the Nagid(head of the Jews,including Israel,Up until his death in 1237).
1171:The Jewish traveler,Bejamin of Tudela,Come to Israel,And report in very details of the Jewish communities in Israel.He traveled all over the world,From Spain to India and Russia,From 1165 to 1173.
He record 200 Jews in a Acre led by rabbi Yefet and rabbi Yona.
20 Jews in Cesaria.One Jew in Lidia.200 Jews in Jerusalem living near the tower of David.Two Jews in Bet lechem.(all Jews in the three cities worked as diers)3 Jews in Beit govrin.300 Jews in Shunam( in the Galil)2 Jews in Nov in Judea.3000 Jews in Ramla.One Jew in Yaffo.200 Jews in Ashkelon,Led by rabbi Tsemach,Aaron,and Shlomo.In Tiberia 50 Jews,Led by rabbi Avraham,Rabbi Mubtar,And rabbi Ishak.20 Jews in Gush halev,50 Jews in Meron.In Damascus he found 3000 Jews. In Palmyra he found 2000 Jews,That fight the Crusaders toghter with he Muslims.In Aleppo he found 5000 Jews.In Iraq he found even bigger communities.In Baghdad 40,000 and in Egypt 30,000.
1185:The Jewish traveler,petchiya of rigunsberg, Come to Israel after touring East Europe and Russia. He also report on the little communities of Jews that survived the Crusaders massacres.
1187:After the battle of the Horn of Hitin, Near the sea of Galil, Where the Crusaders lose most of their army to Saladin , New ruler of the Ayyubid dynasty, That united both Syria and Egypt , The Muslims invaded the land and captured most of the castles ,Including Jerusalem. He allowed the Jews to return to live in Jerusalem.
from the Jews that re-settled in Jerusalem right after its conquest by Saladin we can recal rabbi Avraham ben Shlomo of yemen,that builded a syngogue in Jerusalem for the Yemen Jews.
And also rabbi Saadia,that headed the Jews of Ashkelon.
Saladin also settled many Muslims from north-west Africa,the magrev in Jerusalem in tribiute to their service as soldiers.
1191:The third crusade, Led by king of England, Reoccupy Israel, And destroyed most of the Muslim army.In the peace agreement that was singed in Yafo, The Christian kingdom become a narrow state on the coast, With permission to pilgrim in Jerusalem.
1209:300 Jewish rabbis And their scholars and their families return from England and France,And settled in Acre,The new capital of the Christian state.
The 300 rabbis were called the Tosfot,And were the most important rabbis at that time.
The 300 rabbis participated in commentating on 30 chapters in the Babylonian Talmud and on the Rashi(rabbi shlomo itshaki,The most important Ashkenazi rabbi)commentary on the Talmud. What they did was to assembled all the commentary about a specific chapter ever since the Talmud was sealed,And base their decision on that.
The king of Jerusalem,Jan de brain sign the authorization letter to them to settle in Acre.
The leaders of the rabbis that return to Israel were rabbi Shimson of Sens,And rabbi Jonatan of Lunil,Both were friends with rabbi Maimon, Though rabbi Shimon of Sens opposed Maimon's opinions ,While rabbi Jonatan supported his opinions.Any how,The Jewish community of Acre was one of the main opposition to accepting the Maimonid teaching.
In Jersualem the leader if the Jews from Fance and Germany was rabbi Yosef ben Baruch.
The arrival of Jewish pilgrims to Israel,the homeland of the Jewish people,was a common thing,but the mass returning of Jews from the exile to Israel with their spiritual leadrs leading them was a new thing ,and many Jews from different communities were very anxius about it.
1210:rabbi Shmuel ben shimon vist in Israel,and joined the gead of the Jews in Babylonia,David ben zakai.he travel in the Galil and find 15 Jewish towns,that around 550 people live in each one of them.
1217:The Jewish poet from Spain,Yehuda el harizi, Visit Jerusalem,And show his sadness for where once the holy temple stud there is a
an alien temple now.
.He also report about the renew of the Jewish presencee in Jerusalem,that started in 1187 with Saladin conquest of the city.
there were three communities.one was the Jews that came from Ashkelom,among them many of the descendets of the survivors and refugees from Jerusalem and Hevron.the others were Jews from Moroco and Spain and the others were Jews from France.
el Harizi usualy ridiculsl in his weriting the Jews and the people that he met,but in this case he call them angels,rightus people,exelents,imoportant.
this show how important was the return of the Jews to Jerusalem was in the eyes of that period people.
1219:During the 5th Crusade ,The Ayyubid dismantle and destroyed most of walls of Jerusalem, And its Jews flee from the city.
1229:The 6th Crusade.The German emperor, Fredrick II, Become the king of Jerusalem through marriage, And invade Israel.The internal tensions between the Ayyubid kings,Make them avoid conflicts and they singe a peace agreement That give Jerusalem and Beit lechem to the Christians.
1235:Rabbi Yaakov,An Israeli rabbi,Is send by his rabbi,Rabbi Yechiel of Paris,To collect donations to the Yeshiva in Acre from Europe.Before that he tour the land of Israel and record all the sages graves,An information that will help him to attract Jews to donate for the preservation of the graves.
1237:David,The grandson of rabbi Moshe Maimon,become the Nagid for 60 years.
He was successfully in stopping the Egyptians sultans plan to forced the Jews under their control to convert to Islam by paying an expensive ransom with the generous help of the European Jews..
He was later disposed from his position by the sultans and someone else replaced him.He went to Israel,Which was then under Christian occupation.In Israel he successfully defended his grandfather's against those who wished to ban his books,Like some Jews in Acre for example.
After that he returned to Egypt and resume his position as Nagid until is death in 1300.His brother Obadaia,Was also a famous scholar and died in 1265.
1244:The Khawarimis,Soldiers from the eastern kingdom that was destroyed by the Mongols, Conquered Jerusalem and massacres its Christians.Most Jews from the area flee to Nablus.On the same year,In the battle of Hirbiya,The Crusaders lose to the Muslims and lose most of their army.
1254:The 7th Crusade.After the French king lose in Egypt,But cause the Ayyubid dynasty to fall and replaced by the Mamluks,He fortified many cities in the coast cities with great expense.
1259-1286:A wave Jews returning to Israel from Germany and France.It is driven by both religious believes,Expectations for a better period for the Jews in Israel after the demise of the Crusaders,And mainly by harsh persecution of the Jews in Western Europe by the Christians in Germany,Spain,England,France and Italy.
Many Jews settle in Acre and Jaffa area.
The wave is stopped when the greatest rabbi of that time,Rabbi Meir of Ruthenburg,Is being arrested by the Christians and a heavy ransom is imposed on his relies,Which the Jews failed to come by and the rabbi died in jail,And the Jews in Germany are restricted from leaving the country to go to Israel.Only 60 years later when most of Western Europe Jews would be massacred and expelled ,The survivors Jews would have an opportunity to leave those countries and go back to Israel.
1260:Rabbi Yechiel of Pariz,Is establishing a Yeshiva in Acre with his many followers.
The rabbi is famous for his brave role in the Paris trial,Where he defended in 1242 the Jewish faith against Christian accusations.
In Israel he tried to advocate the renewal of the sacrifice worship in Jerusalem,But it seem that his death in 1267 put the plan to a halt.
On the same time,Rabbi Abulafia come to Acre,But the Mongol invasion scare him away.The rabbi would later become a very important Kabalist.
During that time Jerusalem is attacked by the Mongols and its Jews are either slain or scattered.
1260:in the battle of Ein jalut,The Mamluks led by Baiberis,Defeat the Mongol invaders.
From this point the mamluks would be the actual rulers of Israel and the area.
The mamluks were originaly Turkish slave that were capture by the Arabs in central asia and were forced to convert to Islam and were train to fight the wars for the Muslims.already during the Abbasid dynesty period their presence in the califut Muslim army was dominant.
Byberes himself was a slave that was bought by the Ayubid sultan,until he killed him.