Interesting things happen every day, and to keep up with interesting Jewish history, try “This Day in Jewish History.”
On this day in history:
1239: With the Edict of Valencia, Spanish King James I validated privileges of the Jews of Aragon. The Jewish courts (bet din) were authorized to try all cases except capital offenses.
1475: Birth date of famed Italian artist Michelangelo Buonarroti. Say Michelangelo to most people and they respond, Sistine Chapel ceiling. Say his name to Jews and the response is “Moses.” “Moses” is a marble sculpture which depicts the greater Jewish leader. Originally intended for the tomb of Pope Julius II in St. Peter’s Basilica it was placed in the minor church of San Pietro in Vincoli on the Esquiline in Rome after the pope’s death. The statue depicts Moses with horns on his head. This is believed to be because of the mistranslation of Exodus 34:29-35 by St Jerome. Moses is actually described as having “rays of light” coming from his head, which Jerome in the Vulgate had translated as “horns.” This horned Moses provided further proof that the Jews were, as the Gospel says, “the Devil’s spawn.”
1815: With the defeat of Napoleon, new restrictions were imposed on the Jews all over Europe.
1816: The Jews were expelled from the Free City of Lubeck, Germany at the instance of the local guilds. This was part of the reactionary backlash that followed the defeat of Napoleon a year earlier.
“This Day…In Jewish History ” is part of the Jewish History Study Group in Cedar Rapids, Iowa: “There is no claim to originality or scholarship by the ‘compiler,’ Mitchell A. Levin. The sources, including texts and websites are too many and too varied to provide academic citations for each entry or part thereof. “