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A millennial Jewish timeline


NEW YORK, Dec. 6 (JTA) — The following is a list of some of the important Jewish dates of the last 1,000 years, with an emphasis prior to the 20th century:

1009 — The oldest existing text of the full Hebrew Bible is written.

1070 — Rashi, a French Jewish thinker, completes his commentaries on most of the Bible.

1096 — Participants in the First Crusade massacre Jews in several Central European cities, beginning centuries of pogroms linked to the Crusades. In 1099, Jerusalem falls to the Crusaders.

1124 — Records of a Jewish gate in Kiev attest to the presence of a Jewish community there.

1139 — Judah Halevi completes his influential philosophy of Judaism known as “The Kuzari.” He is a friend of commentator Abraham Ibn Ezra, who also left Spain for the life of a wandering Jewish scholar.

1144 — Jews in Norwich, England are accused of murdering a Christian child in what is believed to be the first ritual murder charge. The blood libel, as well as others in England that follow in the 12th century, incites anti-Jewish violence.

1195 — Moses Maimonides completes “The Guide to the Perplexed,” considered the most important work of medieval Jewish thought.

1232 — The Jewish community of Marrakesh, Morocco, is re-established, leading to massacres of Jews caused by Islamic political revolt and grass-roots hatred.

1239 — Pope Gregory IX orders the kings of France, England, Spain and Portugal to confiscate Hebrew books. Following this edict, the Talmud is condemned and burned in France and Rome.

1286 — Moses de Leon of Spain completes a commentary of the Torah. The Zohar remains a central text of Jewish mysticism.

1290 — King Edward I banishes all Jews from England. It is the first of numerous expulsions of European Jews during the Middle Ages.

1333 — Casimir the Great takes power in Poland and brings with a him a sympathetic attitude toward the Jews, who benefit as a result.

1488 — The first complete edition of the Hebrew Bible is printed in Soncino, Italy.

1492 — The Jews of Spain are expelled as part of the Spanish Inquisition. The majority flee to Portugal, and eventually to North Africa and Turkey.

1516 — Jews in Venice are relegated to a ghetto, the most extreme segregation to which Jews had been submitted. Over time, Jews in many lands are similarly segregated.

ca. 1525-1609— The life of Rabbi Judah Loew of Prague, creator of the legendary Golem, the mythical creature that protects Prague Jews from their enemies.

1526 — The Prague Haggadah, which contains the oldest known printed Yiddish poem, is published.

1543 — German religious reformer Martin Luther writes “About the Jews and Their Lies,” considered the first modern anti-Semitic tract.

1559 — Pope Paul IV allows the first printing of the Zohar, a Jewish mystical text.

1565 — The Shulchan Aruch, Joseph Caro’s authoritative code of Jewish law, is first printed in Venice.

1569 — The Kabbalist Isaac Luria settles in Safed. Luria’s ideas give rise to a new form of Jewish mysticism.

1622-1629 — Persian Jews are forced to convert to Islam.

1648 — Ukranian peasants led by Bogdan Chelmniecki revolt against their Polish landlords and Jewish agents. Some 100,000 Jews die in the uprising.

1654 — Jacob Barsimon, regarded as the first Jew to settle in what will become the United States, arrives in New Amsterdam.

1666 — The false messiah Shabbetai Zevi converts to Islam after being faced with the possibility of death if he remains a Jew.

1719 — Glueckel of Hameln, a Jewish businesswoman, completes her memoirs. These remain an important source of Jewish history and culture of the time.

1740 — The Ba’al Shem Tov, the founder of Chasidism, takes up residence at Medzibezh, Podolia, now part of Ukraine.

1777 — The Jews of New York are granted equality under the law.

1791 — France emancipates its Jews, beginning the period known as the Enlightenment, in which Jews are granted equal rights.

1794 — The Russian Pale of Settlement, in which Jews are allowed to live only in certain areas of the Russian Empire, is first established.

1795 — The Third Partition of Poland culminates a process bringing hundreds of thousands of Jews under Russian rule.

1840 — The first Hebrew printing press in India is established.

1840s — The use of the word “Jew” as a verb comes into popular parlance in North America. “To Jew” means to strike a bargain or employ questionable business practices, according to this prejudicial usage.

1880-1925 — Masses of Jews emigrate from Eastern Europe to the United States. More than 2.5 million make their way to the New World.

1881 — The word “pogrom” enters the English language, as Russian mobs begin a series of violent attacks against Jews and their property.

1894 — Sholem Aleichem begins writing the first episode of the life of Tevye the Dairyman.

1898— The First Zionist Congress, held in Basel, Switzerland, heralds the growth of modern Zionism.

1939-1945 — The Nazis kill 6 million Jews across Europe in the worst genocide the world has ever known.

1948 — The State of Israel is established.

1967 — Israel wins the Six-Day War. All of Jerusalem is now in Jewish hands for the first time since 70 C.E.

1993 — Israel and the Palestinian Authority sign the Oslo peace accord.

Source: “The Timetables of Jewish History”

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