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Just prior to its division between Russia, Prussia, and Austria, Poland's Jewish population reached 430,000 (excluding Eastern Galicia). In Lithuania there were 157,300 Jews.

1750 MULAY AL-YAZID (Morocco)

Became sultan of Morocco after rebelling against his father and brother. The Jews under his father Mulay Mohammad III (1710 – 1790) were used as negotiators and bankers. Al-Yazid (1750 –1792) being refused a loan by the Jews during his insurgency, swore vengeance. The Jewish community of Tetuán was attacked, with the richer Jews being tied to the tails of horses and dragged through the city. Many others were murdered and the women raped. This was followed by attacks on other communities, including Fez and Meknčs and Marrakesh. Jews, who had been loyal to his father, were hanged by their feet for 15 days until they died. The Spanish consul, Solomon Hazzan, was accused of betrayal and killed as were hundreds of Muslims loyal to his father or brother. Al- Yazid (1750-1792) died of a battle wound before completing a list of notable Jews and Muslims to be executed.

1750 April 17, FREDERICK II OF PRUSSIA (Germany)

Issued a general patent to the Jews that limited them to commerce and industry. Jews were no longer to be considered dependents of the king but rather of the State. Jews, on the one hand, were encouraged to be part of the State and its economy, while on the other hand they were still second class citizens who were divided into two classes - privileged and protected. An "enlightened monarch", Frederick wrote his Political Testament (published in 1752) in which he described Jews as dangerous, superstitious, and backward.


Went public after R. Jacob Emden declared that an amulet ascribed to Rabbi Jonathan Eybeshutz, must have been written by a believer in Shabbetai Zevi. The amulets were written 15 years earlier, for some expectant mothers, and ostensibly contained hints at the name of Shabbetai Zevi. The controversy divided the Jewish communities, and involved Rabbis Yechezkel Landau, Jacob Joshua Falk, and even to some degree the young Eliyahu of Vilna (the Vilna Gaon). Landau and Falk believed in his guilt, while the Gaon was more circumspect. The controversy, which involved Christian scholars and foreign governments, was widely reported in the press. Eventually in order to prevent a schism in the Jewish community, a ban was placed on anyone commenting on the controversy. Till this day the issue has not been resolved.


Became the first Prussian Jew to obtain a medical degree. Gomperz ( 1723 – 1769), was a student of Moses Mendelssohn. He is also the author of Sefer Megaleh Sod a super commentary on Ibn Ezra's commentary of the five megillot.


Sent an encyclical (a papal letter) Aquo Primum to the heads of the Polish clergy. In it Benedict(1675-1758) praised their efforts in combating Jewish " domination." He further encouraged them not to lease any land, or loan any money to Jews. Benedict called the Jews “cruel task makers" and urged that no Jew be in any position to give an order to a Christian including as an employer.

1751 December 15, PROBE TE MEMINISSE

Pope Benedict XIV stressed the necessity to control the Jews and encourage conversion. He delineated the situations where a child (even under the age of seven) can be baptized without parental agreement. At seven year of age, he is considered having attained the age of reason (see 1683). Although Benedict decreed that forced baptisms were illegal, nonetheless they would be binding, and any "backsliding" would be considered heresy.


This legislation allowed Jews to own land and to "prefer bills in parliament without receiving the sacrament." The enactment was protested by mobs and pamphleteers calling it the end of Christianity in England and giving lie to the prophesies of the New Testament which implies that Jews must wander the earth. In the end, it was repealed the next year and was only re-enacted over a hundred years later in 1858.


One of the leading Talmudist of his generation. His works include Biur Mordecai (The Commentary of Mordecai), Magen Avot (Shield of the Fathers), Har ha-Mor (Mountain of Myrrh), Parashat Mordecai (The Explanations of Mordecai), and Tekhelet Mordecai (Mordecai's Purple Garment) Although a vociferous opponent of the reform movement, he was in favor of a secular education for rabbinical students, once they passed the age of 18.

1753 - 1811 BARUCH OF MEDZHYBIZH (1753–1811)

Hassidic master and grandson of the Baal Shem Tov (see 1700). Baruch saw himself as the main heir to his grandfather. He possessed a quick temper and suffered from fits of depression. He was the first Hassidic Rebbe who ran his court as royalty (Malhhus) , which included a large house and a luxurious carriage. Baruch was also the first Hassidic Rebbe to raise money by requesting donations for his personal prayers or "interventions". This was disconcerting to many Hassidim including Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Lyadi (see 1745).


His philosophical work in which he professed that while the basis for Judaism is determined by Jewish law and tradition, they must integrate themselves into the local culture. Mendelssohn (see 1729) also asserted that the host countries must not interfere with the religion of its citizens.

1753 May 26, ZHYTOMYR (Russia)

Under the influence of Bishop Solik (Kajetan Sołtyk) of Kiev, the castle court sentenced 33 Jews to death for the "ritual murder" The entire evidence was based on the “confessions” of the innkeeper and his wife, which were made after being tortured (although they later retracted their statements). Thirteen of those Jews were released upon converting. Eleven others were murdered, including the local rabbi (Polocti) and five others who were quartered alive. One couple converted on the spot and was granted a beheading. A painting was made of the child which was in the position of the archbishop of Lvov and probably still exists.

1754 - 1800 SOLOMON MAIMON (Silesia-Lithuania)

Inspired by Maimonides' Moreh Nevuchim (Guide to the Perplexed), he adopted the name Maimon, abandoned religion, embraced philosophy, and embarked on the life of a wanderer. During his lifetime, he met with some of the greatest minds of his day, including Moses Mendelssohn. Among his works are a critique on Kant and a commentary on Maimonides entitled Givat Hamoreh (Hill of the Teacher). He correctly predicted that "the Christians won't say Mass and the Jews won't say Kaddish at my grave." His autobiography (Lebensgeschichte) provided important insights into 18th Century Polish Jewry, particularly the Hasidic Movement.


Two young girls ages 6 and 12 were taken by their converted uncle to be baptized. Although the younger girl was clearly underage, she was not returned to her father, but kept in the House of Catechumens (see 1543), and "educated" until she was old enough to declare her desire to convert.

1755 January 15, LISBON (Portugal)

Jeronimo Jose Ramos, a merchant from Braganza, was the last known Jew to be burned alive for secretly practicing Judaism. He had escaped the previous Auto da Fe in September of 1752.

1755 February 22, BEATIFICATION OF ANDREW OF RINN aka Andreas Oxner (Germany)

Pope Benedict XIV issued his bull of Beatus Andreas which beatified Andreas Oxner who in 1462 was allegedly murdered by Jews in a ritual murder in Rinn near Innsbruck. This helped spread the anti-Semitic legends and performances which were based on the writings of Hippolytus Guarinoni ( 1651) . They were performed until 1954. Although the cult of the "Child of Judenstein" was proscribed in 1985, yearly pilgrimages are still made to the site.rnrn

1756 - 1810 ABRAHAM GOLDSMID (Holland-England)

Financier. He (together with his children) was very active in the Great Synagogue and in trying to achieve full emancipation for British Jewry. They were friends of Lord Nelson and the Duke of Essex (son of King George III).

1756 JEWISH COUNCIL AT SATANOW (Podolia, Poland)

Convened to ratify a ban against the Frankists.

1757 - 1811 HERSHEL OF OSTROPOL (Ukraine)

Jester in the court of Rabbi Baruch of Medzhybizh (see 1753). Rabbi Baruch, who suffered from depression and bouts of rage, brought in Hershel to help calm him. Hershel used his sharp wit usually at the expense of the rich and powerful, - Jews, and gentiles. Some believe that he died in a fatal accident, when in a rage Rabbi Baruch had him tossed off his roof. Many folktales were written about him including Isaac Babel’s “Shabos-Nakhamu” and Eric Kimmel's The Adventures of Hershel of Ostropol.

1757 February 18, AVIGNON (France)

A local townsman, walking through the ghetto on a dark night, stumbled and fell into a well near the synagogue. Fortunately, he was not hurt. The day was declared a local holiday for generations. The rationale for this was that had the townsman drowned so close to the synagogue, the Jewish community would have been accused of complicity in his death.


Jacob Frank, a follower of the false Messiah Shabbetai Zevi, had begun his own movement which emphasized the Kabbalah and denigrated the Talmud. His practices, some of which were sexual in nature, were condemned by the local Rabbinate. In revenge, he arranged a dispute in Lvov (June 20) between himself and the local Jewish leaders. Bishop Nicholas Dembowski, who presided over the disputation, ruled in favor of Frank and ordered all copies of the Talmud found to be dragged through the streets and burned. Around 1000 copies of the Talmud were destroyed. Within a few years, many of Frank's followers converted to Christianity.

1758 JACOB ZELIG (Poland)

After a series of blood libels, he was sent to Rome by the Jewish community to convince Pope Benedict XIV to publish a bull against the accusations. Cardinal Ganganelli (Clement XIV) who received, it wrote an unequivocal condemnation of the libels and asked the Holy See to intervene in Poland to stop the accusations.

1759 QUEBEC (Canada - New France)

With the British conquest of Quebec, Jews were allowed to settle there. Two of the first Jews were Aaron Hart and Samuel Jacobs. Jacobs arrived within a month of the British conquest. Abraham Gradis was thought to have been the first Jew to live in Quebec while under French rule, although in reality, he had never set foot there. It was actually his firm which played an important role in helping the French colonial empire in North America.

1759 - 1841 (25 Tamuz 5601) MOSES BEN ZVI TEITELBAUM (Hungary)

Hasidic rabbi, scholar and founder to the dynasty of Hasidic rabbis in Hungary and Galicia. Teitelbaum, a student of the Seer of Lublin, was one of the first to spread Hasidism to Hungary. His two most famous works are the Hasidic classic Yismach Moshe (Moses Rejoices) and Heshiv Moshe (Moses Responds), a responsa.

1759 January, LOUISIANA COLONY (North American Colonies)

Despite what was known as the Louisiana Black Code, there were at least 5 Jewish families living there. The law denied residence to Jews or the practice of any religion except Catholicism in the territory.

1759 October 31, SAFED (Eretz Israel)

A massive earthquake destroys much of the city killing 2000 people with 190 Jews among the dead.

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