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1700 ENTDECKTES JUDENTHUM (Judaism Unmasked)

Was published by Johann Andreas Eisenmenger (1654-1704) Eisenmenger was a Christian intellectual who had a good knowledge of Hebrew and Aramaic. Using Jewish sources including those of baptized Jews, he railed against the "superstition and barbarism" of Judaism He proposed a prohibition on the building of synagogues and of public worship. His work served as a basis for future anti-Semites including August Rohling in his Der Talmudjude ( see 1871). Under pressure from Jewish leaders including Samson Wertheimer, Emperor Leopold I confiscated the copies which weren't released until 1711 . An English translation was published in 1748 under the title The Traditions of the Jews. Prince Johann Wilhelm took great interest in it, appointing Eisenmenger professor of Oriental Languages in the University of Heidelbergrn

C. 1700 - 1766 (7 Sivan 5520 second day of Shavuot) ISRAEL BEN ELIEZER (THE BAAL SHEM TOV) (Medzibezh, Poland-Lithuania)

Founder of the Hasidic movement. Orphaned at a young age, he was raised by the Jewish community and spent much of his time alone in the nearby forests. After he married, he moved to the Carpathian Mountains and then to a small town where his wife set up an inn. At age 36, he revealed himself to the community as a healer and a comforter. He received the name "Baal Shem Tov" (Master of the Good Name) and was simply called the "Besht". His major philosophy consisted of worshipping G-d with joy and believing that simple prayers, when uttered in earnest, were more important that extreme intellectualization. The Besht believed that Tzaddikim, or righteous ones, were sent by G-d to guide the people. Though he left no writings of his own, he was immortalized by the often miraculous and magnified stories of his life told by his closest followers. The Baal Shem Tov did not have any children. His closest pupils set up "courts" and established Hassidic dynasties with different variances but in all adhering to the principles of Hassidism he laid down.

1700 - C. 1772 ISRAEL BEN MOSES HA-LEVI ZAMOSZ (Ukraine)

Scholar, philosopher and mathematician. Among his works are "Netzach Yisrael (Eternity of Israel) on the link between astronomy and mathematics in the Talmud. "Even Yisrael" on Responsa; Arubbot ha-Shamayim," on ancient and modern astronomy; Tuv ha-Levano n ("Lebanon's Best"), on Ḥovot ha-Levavot ("The Duties of the Heart"). He settled in Berlin teaching math, Hebrew and philosophy. One of his students was Moses Mendelssohn.


Published the anti-Semitic Entdecktes Judenthum (Judaism Unmasked). His alleged purpose was to force Jews to recognize their "folly" and embrace Christianity. He recommended that all civil rights to Jews be canceled. Unlike other works of this kind, he tried to address the secular public and intellectuals rather than just the religious. Prince Johann Wilhelm took great interest in it, appointing Eisenmenger professor of Oriental Languages in the University of Heidelberg.


Was fought between a coalition of Russia, Denmark-Norway and Saxony-Poland (from 1715 also Prussia and Hanover) vs. Sweden. Czar Peter I and King Augustus II eventually defeated Charles II of Sweden and Stanislaus Leszczynski (the Pretender). Jews were forced by both sides to pay heavy taxes, especially in the cities occupied by the Swedes. In Poznan (1704), Jews were forced to defend the city by catching firebombs with their hands.


It is estimated that at this time there were about 2 million Jews in the world, with the Ashkenazic / Sephardic populations almost equal in size . This would change over the next centuries with Ashkenazic population on the ascendance.

1700 June 23, SOLOMON DE MEDINA (c. 1650-1730) (England)

Was knighted by William III of England. Medina was the first professing Jew to receive a knighthood. Medina had helped finance what became known as the "glorious revolution" which installed William of Orange and Mary (the daughter of James II) on the throne. Their rule ended any hope for a restoration of catholic rule in England.

1700 October 14, JUDAH HASSID (Eretz-Israel)

Arrived in Jerusalem . He had started out with 31 families in Poland and reached a high of 1500 people before setting sail. One third perished along the way. Judah Hassid died 3 days after reaching Jerusalem. The community , met with suspicion by the mostly sephardi community fell into financial hardship. The synagogue and compound under dept to local Arabs was occupied by them and destroyed. It became known as the Ha Hurva or “ The Ruin” synagogue. It took 140 years before it was rebuilt only to be destroyed by the Jordan legion in 1948. It was restored in 2010.rnrn

1701 September, BEVIS MARKS SYNAGOGUE ( England)

The oldest existing synagogue in Brittan was consecrated. It replaced the synagogue in Creechurch Lane which had been established in 1656.

1703 August 28, ALEINU PRAYER BANNED (Brandenberg, Germany)

The Aleinu prayer was prohibited in much of Germany. The Aleinu, composed by Rav, one of the great Talmudists (d. 247), had been part of the ritual prayer for almost 1500 years. It served as a focal point for anti-Jewish attacks. Although the wording "For they bow down to emptiness and vanity and to a God that cannot save" was taken from Isaiah (45:20) and referred to idol worshipers, some Christian leaders claimed it was an attack on Christianity. The prayer was eventually entirely eradicated from the Ashkenazi siddur and only reprinted recently.

1704 ELLUS BAT MORDECAI (Slutsk ,Belarus)

Translated into Yiddish Maavor Yarbuk ( Crossing the Yarbuk), a kabalistic work on burial rituals written by Aaron Berechiah ben Moses ( see 1626). She was a well educated translator. She also translated a prayer book Shomrim Laboker ( Dawn Watch).


Bull by Pope Clement XI confirmed all the benefits given to converts under Paul III ( see 1542), and expanded them to include giving then the rights over properties owned by non converted members of their families.


The first Hebrew printing press in England was opened.


After a plague which impoverished much of the Jewish community, the local ruler decided that the plague was the fault of the Jews and ordered their expulsion and the confiscation of the synagogues. Only the payment of a huge bribe saved the community from expulsion, but it left them destitute.

1707 PETER THE GREAT (Russia)

Conquered Vilna and the Grodno province. Jews were forced to pay a fine for "not supporting" the Russians. When Karl XII "The Great" of Sweden liberated it from the Russians, the Jews again had to pay a heavy fine for not having supported the Swedes.

1707 - 1747 (26 Iyar 5507) MOSES HAYYIM LUZZATTO (Padua, Italy)

A great poet, dramatist, and above all, mystic. He became an unfortunate victim of the reaction to Sabbatianism. Under pressure from local Italian Jewish Authorities he was forced to deliver most of his writings to his teacher Isaiah Bassan and refrain from teaching Kabbala. Much of these were eventually destroyed . Luzzatto (known as the Ramchal) moved to the relative freedom of Amsterdam for a number of years and tragically died soon after his arrival in Eretz Israel. His most lasting achievements were his use of Hebrew in secular poetry and his ethical work, Mesilat Yesharim (Path of Righteous). Luzzatto also wrote two Hebrew dramas, Migdal Oz (Tower of Strength) and La-Yesharim (Praise to the Righteous) and a collection of 150 hymns.rn

1709 LIBLIKE TEFILLEH … ( Delightful Prayer..)

A unique prayer book was published by Aron ben Samuel of Hergerhausen. It consisted not only of translated prayers, but included many of his own creation, all in Yiddish. His book was banned as heresy by many. Aron ben Samuel, is considered to be the first to use or coin the phrase muter-loshn or mamaloshen, to describe Yiddish.rn

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