27 October '10
Roman Emperor Constantine the Great’s proclamation in 323 CE of Christianity as the official state religion, and his persecution of Jews within his dominions, heralded the decline of the Jewish population in Eretz Israel (the mosaic pictured here dates from a synagogue there of the second century CE). However, over subsequent early centuries of the Common Era there was a flow of returnees, and during the ninth century the Karaites began to obey their own dictim “Be assembled in the Holy City and gather your brethren”. Solomon ben Judah, head of the academy in Jerusalem and Ramleh (1025-51), made aliyah from Morocco; he was one of several noteworthy arrivals in the eleventh century. The Crusades were not conducive to aliyah, but did not stop Jewish travellers journeying to Eretz Israel – in 1141 Maimonides’ father, Maimon ben Joseph, went there but left after six months.
The following letter of introduction from Salonika Jewry (regarding a recent Jewish guest from Russia) to Jewish communities with whom the man would be likely to stay on the rest his journey to Eretz Israel, dates from that century, around the time of the Norman Conquest of England:
(Read full story)
If you enjoy "Love of the Land", please be a subscriber. Just put your email address in the "Subscribe" box on the upper right-hand corner of the page.
Who firebombs a grave?
9 hours ago