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History Revision

                                      Social Paradoxes of Jewry

                                                                                     By Vlad Melamed

 

   

    If one is to adhere to the viewpoint of traditional history, then social rules, in practice, do not apply to Jews.  This persecuted people has managed to execute dizzying somersaults, settling in all the countries of the medieval world, taking control of the finances of many countries and putting together international financial networks under conditions of complete totalitarianism.  

     The view of the classical Russian historian, Nikolai Berdyaev, who virtually surrenders scientific positions, embracing religious mysticism  where the Jews are concerned in his book "The Meaning of History," is typical in this regard.

    "To the Jews belonged an absolutely extraordinary role in the origin of the perception of history, in an intense feeling of historic destiny, namely the start of the 'historic' was introduced into the worldwide life of mankind by the Jews.

      The Jews have a central significance in history.  The Jewish people are, predominately, a people of history, and in their historic destiny is felt the inscrutability of the divine decrees.  When a materialistic sense of history attracted me, when I was trying to test it for the destinies of peoples, it seemed to me that the historical destiny of the Jewish people was the greatest obstacle to it ; from the perspective of the materialistic, this destiny is completely inexplicable.  It must be said that from any materialistic and positivistic historical point of view, this people should have ceased to exist.  (Emphasis mine).   Its existence is a strange, mysterious and wonderful phenomenon, which shows that special designs are connected with the destiny of this people.  The survival of the Jewish people in history, their resistance to destruction, their existence as one of the most ancient peoples of the world in completely extraordinary conditions, that fateful role which this people plays in history - it all points at the particular, mystic foundations of its historic destiny.  A particularly strained dramatic quality of history plays out around the destiny of the Jews."

    What then so striking did Berdyaev find in the Jews? In the first place, the widest dissemination throughout the countries and continents. 

      In all the available historical sources it is established that the Jews were constantly persecuted, that they practically at all times over the millennia went from one bondage to another, from one enslavement to another, always subservient to someone. At the same time, however, they in some mysterious way maintained their collective uniqueness.   Often, in defiance of their own practicality, they were true to the faith of the fathers and in any empire achieved striking successes in economics, politics and culture.

      A mysterious and unique phenomenon for the persecuted and tormented.  Generally, there were oppressed peoples aplenty, but none of them besides the Jews were settling over vast territories - from Spain to India, from Italy to Sweden, from North Africa to China and Vietnam.  

    And what is more :  Even today, many people, who by no means profess Judaism  consider themselves descendants of the lost tribes of Israel.  Significant in this regard are the Pathans (Pushtuns), Kashmiris (one of the peoples of India, who number more than twenty million people) and a number of tribes in Kampuchea and Vietnam. Features strikingly similar to Judaism are found in Japan's Shinto religion. Although hardly one man on earth would be proud of his kinship with a people damned and driven out of everywhere and its religion.

    In 1618, Portuguese solider Fernandes Brandao maintained that the native inhabitants of Brazil are the descendants of Solomon's sailors.  In 1968, the scholar Cyrus Gordon presented a Phoenician tablet, found in America, as possible proof of the fact that the fleet of Solomon's ally, the Phoenician king Hiram, had indeed reached America's shores.  
      In 1642, the Dutch Marano and seafarer
Aron Levi de Montezinos found a group of Indians in Latin America who said the prayer "Shema Israel" and knew the Judaic rituals.

     In 1650, Thomas Thorowgood published the book "Jews in America or The Probabilities that the Americans Be of that Race. He discovered a multitude of similar features, including observance of the law of tithes and the rite of the tearing of clothing as a sign of mourning.

  South American characters have features in common with Semitic writing; during erection of King Solomon's Temple, that same construction technology was applied that was used in the building of the Cusco temple.  Stoning served as a punishment for adultery both with the ancient Jews and with the residents of Cusco.  The mythological creator of the Incas - the god Wiracocha - was without form and not depicted, that is he was a complete abstraction.

     There are still more startling facts, which completely contradict the generally accepted views of Judaism and the Jews. In Afghanistan, as too in any country, their own legends and myths exist which are connected with the origin of the ruling monarchs. The chief of them consists of the fact that the Jews who had come here and adopted Islam were the founders of the dynasty of the shahs. They were the descendants of the Israelites from the tribe of Benjamin.

    The Ethiopian emperors are from the Jews, too. Local chronicles which describe their genealogy maintain that it began six hundred years ago when the Queen of Sheba visited King Solomon and gave birth to a son from him - Menelik I.

    We will not dwell on the fact that, in their opinion, King Solomon and the beautiful queen lived only six centuries ago, although it is an extremely curious subject. It is more important that the Ethiopian rulers considered themselves representatives of the tribe of Judah.

   

   

       Haile Selassie I was the last emperor of Ethiopia.  He was the 225th representative of the dynasty of Solomon.

 They called the emperor the "King of Kings":

  "Haile Selassie is the King of Kings, Lord of the Powerful and the Lion who roars from the Tribe of Judah."

      And there is a Rumanian legend about the Israelite rulers.  It records an invasion - we don't know when - of armed Israelites of this country as a  fact.   The legend reports that in pagan times, Judaic princes also ruled the Austrian provinces.  An Austrian chronicle, compiled by a Viennese chronicler in the years of the reign of Albert III (1350-1395), contains a list of fewer than twenty-two such Jewish rulers who passed on the government to their own sons.

    In this list are not only their names, but also both the years of reign and the place of their burial:  "Sennan, ruled 45 years, buried at the Stubentor, in Vienna; Zippan, ruled 43 years, buried in Tulln." . . .  The legend is repeated, with some variations, in the Latin chronicles of Austria by Henricus Gundelfingus of 1474 and in a number of other chronicles.

    A link with the Israelite ancestors of the kings of France is traced indirectly. During the French revolution, an enraged crowd mutilated 28 statues of Israelite kings that adorned Notre-Dame.  They were perceived as the direct predecessors of the overthrown dynasty (according to Fomenko and Nosovskiy).

 

    At the same time it is striking that a phenomenon on such a scale - the appearance in one country or another of huge groups of immigrant Israelites -is not reflected in any kind of reliable sources.  That is, there are fully enough accounts of the persecutions and pogroms, but the facts of a forced or voluntary arrival of large masses of foreign peoples to any kind of country is not recorded anywhere.  On can say without any exaggeration  that not one written account of the arrival of the Jews exists besides the legendary trip of Moses.

     How then do historians explain the wide distribution of Jews among other peoples?  In all sorts of ways.

     Some say that it is connected with the evangelistic activity of their clergymen. Those who are extremely poorly acquainted with Judaism, a closed religion that does not have a missionary tradition, adhere to such an opinion.

   Others hold to the hypothesis of the commercial origin of the distribution of the Jews. They always were excellent merchants, they reached wherever they wanted with their goods, settled in various countries and created their own communities. This hypothesis also does not stand up to critical analysis either.  Trade in the Middle Ages, and even more so in the centuries previous to them, was intimately connected with seafaring.   Here, for some reason,  the historians are silent about the brave Jewish captains.  There aren't any.

   While studying the specifically Judaic professional character in Medieval Europe, not a commercial, but a financial character is discovered. The Jews are money-lenders, bankers, wholesalers.  How was such a specialization able to facilitate the unprecedented  phenomenon of Jewish ubiquity ?  

   Any story about the history of one or another Jewish community today begins with the words, "according to legend," "it is thought that," or "there is a tradition that."  That is, there is a complete absence of reliable fact concerning the arrival of the Jews.

 

 

 We shall examine the official history of a Jewish community in Sweden.

 

1000 - 1500

There are no Jews in Sweden.

1645

Queen Christina turns for help to the physician Benedict de Castro (Baruch Nehemias), the first Jew in Sweden whose name history has preserved.

1681

Baptism of Jews (four adults and eight children) at the German Church in Stockholm in the presence of the king and queen.  Privileges granted to converts.

1685

A small number of Jews living in Stockholm receives an order to leave the country in 2 weeks.

1718 - 1772

Several consecutive decrees published during the Swedish Period of Liberty  are aimed against the Jews.  In Sweden, as in all of Europe, a significant number of  inhabitants are hostile toward the Jews and impede their settling in the country.

1774

Aaron Isaac is the first Jew living in Sweden allowed to practice his religion.

1775

A synagogue is established in Stockholm.  The town of Marstrand becomes a real refuge for foreigners, a place where they were able to enjoy the opportunity to trade freely and practice their faith.  The congregation there existed until 1794.

 

    We shall note an important fact reflected in this table which is characteristic of the history of all European communities of Jews.   Well verified, non-legendary reports of  Jews begin only in the 17th century, in which connection the Jews always turn out to be in the immediate circle of each country's rulers.   

    Reports of Jewish refugees and settlers in Sweden fully are absent until 1600.

But as early as 1681, the solemn Baptism of 12 Jews took place in the presence of the king and queen ; tremendous significance was attached to this event.  And this is at a time when no one was interested in the fate of thousands upon thousands of people who belonged to any other religion, including Christianity.

       As is seen from the table, in the 18th century a whole series of laws is published which regulate relations with the Jews. In fact, their necessity for the country is recognized.  Such laws can be evaluated as evidencing a compromise by equals in strength.

   

     The Jews do not have their own anthropology.  The genetic unity of the Jewish population with the native population of this or that country does not elicit curiosity.  On a genetic basis, it is not possible to distinguish the Ethiopian Jew from the Ethiopian, the Bukharan Jew from the Tajik, the Swedish Jew from the Swede, and so forth.

     Let us examine some results, on the basis of which anthropologists challenge the existence of a "Jewish race."  In the brochure, "The Race Question in Modern Science" (UNESCO), Professor Juan Comas comes to this conclusion:

    "Contrary to widely accepted opinion, Jews in the racial plan are heterogeneous; that fact, that they constantly have migrated and come in contact - voluntarily or in some other way - with other peoples and nations, has led to such a mixing of bloods that the so-called People of Israel generate features typical for every people.  Compare the stocky, heavyweight Jew from Rotterdam with his coreligionist, let's say, from Thessalonica, with shining eyes on a pale face, thin, . . .  We can maintain that the Jews on the whole possess the sort of morphological varieties that one can discover between two or more races."

     Adding to the examples of Professor Juan Comas, one can say that Moroccan Jews, who consider themselves the direct descendants of the Moors and true Sephards, are in no way distinguished from the overall mass of Moslem Moroccans; the Yemeni Jews, with dark skin and short stature, also are indistinguishable from the Yemenis.  The Egyptian, Iraqi and Iranian Jews, in appearance, are pure-blood Arabs and Persians.  

     One can divide the Jewish population in Russia into 2 parts.  The Polish and Rumanian immigrants of the 19-20th centuries introduced Polish and Rumanian features.   As a result, they were noticeable among the Russian and southern Ukrainians.  The enclaves of Russian Jews, not remembering their own immigration, are  anthropologically indistinguishable from the Slavs around them.

  

Another social phenomenon which is connected with Jewry is anti-Semitism, which,  in and of itself,  is inexplicable from the point of view of traditional history and  sociological phenomena.  It is everywhere. Its manifestations are found even in those countries such as Korea or Mongolia, where the Jews never were in the past.   Everywhere the words "Hebrew" or "Jew" evoke vigilance, anxious alarm, and the expectation of something bad.

One can find only weakly corroborated assertions that the first manifestations of anti-Semitism are found in the 4th century B.C. in Alexandria.  The pattern of  such manifestations continues in subsequent centuries, mainly in  laws prohibiting the building of synagogues.  But it is interesting that the nature of the accusations against the Jews changes from century to century, and only after the 16th century becomes uniform.

This concerns, for example, one of the fundamental accusations in the address of Jewry -   "blood libel."  The custom of the circumcision of Jewish infants is assumed to be the basis for the accusations of sucking the blood from Christian children. But only in the 13th century A.D. did they accuse the first Jew of this crime in England.

       Why only in the 13th?  Why before this time did no one anywhere write anything about this sinister, supposedly ancient custom of the Jews?  It would be more natural to suppose that, before the 13th century, the European Jews simply didn't have the custom of circumcision, and for that reason no one wrote about it. I.e., there was no doing this to accuse.

     The universality of anti-Semitism and its influence on people stumps researchers. Prominent men of letters, historians, philosophers and even businessmen (Henry Ford) have taken up this topic. They have held  different views of the Jews, often diametrically opposed. They have brought in as evidence whole libraries of works. Nonetheless, the problem up to now has not been cleared up, and on the basis of the traditional history it hardly can be cleared up.

     Many contemporary researchers see the motivation behind anti-Semitism in xenophobia.  Indeed, xenophobia, which means in translation from the Greek, "fear of foreigners," lies as the basis of many nationalistic views.  However, while analyzing xenophobic aggression in relation to other national minorities, we see that in the case of  the Jews, a whole series of the strongest emotions, which border upon paranoia, strongly distinguish anti-Semitism from simple xenophobia.  Here are some differences:

 

 - An anti-Semite, in contrast to a xenophobe, traces the presence of the Jewish ancestors all the way to the fourth and greater generations, which perfectly characterizes the level of the phobia;

 - Xenophobes usually assess an ethnic minority at which his xenophobia is aimed, extremely lowly, often comparing it with animals and disparaging its capabilities in every way possible.  But no one considers the Jews as "dull."

 - Almost all the characteristics ascribed to the Jews relate by convention to the "diabolic": crafty, greedy, blood sucking, sly cheats (although anti-gypsy xenophobia in this case is remotely similar);

 - In contrast to other national minorities, the Jews are not distinguished externally from the indigenous population and freely speak the language of the indigenous residents; however, this does not diminish the tension of rejection, but most likely - augments it.  

 

     The foregoing would allow one to conclude that anti-Semitism does not have any relationship to xenophobia.

     Other investigators see the reasons in religious intolerance.  This explanation is even more unfounded.

      A large percentage of contemporary, anti-semitically inclined people in general are not religious, and this although contemporary Islam and Christianity base themselves on the Jewish foudation.

     Concealed social self-reproach, which is congruent with the irreligious nature of anti-Semitism, is one of the interesting features of Judophobia. The individual ascribes to the Jews genetic abnormalities which are peculiar to a proper physiological type, prevalent in a given habitat.  This fixes his consciousness on a definite type of Jew, and  Jews with  different racial features are viewed as not real (psycho-fixation.).    

     For example, Uzbek and Tajik Judophobes, while describing a Bukharan Jew, absolutely have in mind an Asiatic Jew.  European Jews (Ashkenazi) are not recognized by them as real,and are considered simply people who, for some reason, have adopted Judaism.   Something similar is observed in European anti-Semites: the Russian-speaking often are fixed on the freckles, squint and red hair, the German-speaking on the slightly hooked large nose. At the same time, the Asiatic and African Jews are not considered "native" and are not the subject of negative emotions.  That is, the irreligious nature of the antagonism is present.

     The extent of the deficiencies and vices ascribed to the Jews is limitless.  There is hardly a single social vice which would not be used as an accusation.  In the presence of such social emotions, the fact that the Jews do not have their own anthropological type,and until recently have not had a language, is very strange.  Israeli historians explain this by a millennium of dispersion that does not address the main question: "And what in particular do the anti-Semites hate? ". It is necessary here to anticipate the first hypothesis : anti-Semites hate most of all the word JEW.

     Individual Jews are subject to ostracism only because, by misfortune, they have ended up under the identification of this fateful aggravation.  

     The process of deflection is well described in psychoanalysis, when unfavorable memories, especially childhood, can become suppressed and elude the memory so profoundly that it becomes very difficult to deliberately recall stressful events. However, the details of an unpleasant memory - smells, names, shapes - can remind one of the stress and, as reminders of it, evoke a cascade of negative emotions.

     In social psychology, when a memory is shared by millions of individuals, strangely enough, something similar can occur.  Political will suppresses the "unnecessary" history everywhere. Allow us to assume that the word "JEW" also is a reminder.  It reminds one of the fact that, in particular,  it is displaced into an unconscious area of  social memory.

     Speaking generally, the displacement of social memory occurs always in the presence of one or another idealization of the past, never mind of the personal or the social.   In the creation of the ideal, the inevitable negative facets of reality are suppressed and the replaced memory "rises to the surface" with a signature concept (since the absence of the object causes the symbol).

     Let us cite an example.  A description of the second world war in American history textbooks "swallows" the role of the USSR in the victory over Fascist Germany - which is politically profoundly well-founded, since society does not want to be even somehow connected to the Communists.

     While idealizing their own role in the victory and in many other things, Western society gets in exchange the negative signature symbol "Russians," which never loses its meaning, although the USSR has not existed already for nearly 15 years.

      I did not cite this example for nothing.  The real history of the Second World War is so well known, and its American idealization has such an extremely conventional form, that the only one who is mistaken is the one who wants to be mistaken. In the case of the "Jewish phenomenon," normal explanations of this phenomenon's social anomalies simply do not exist within the framework of the traditional history, and, therefore, the worldwide social consciousness is overburdened by mystical suppositions.

     Let us ask ourselves the question, what in particular does the substituted symbol "JEW" conceal behind itself?  Is it , even in a general sense, possible to make out a real picture?  You see, if there is a displaced form, that is, a form which has substituted for a negative memory, then that means there also is an idealized version of history somewhere  in which everything is represented ideally, that is "as everyone likes it."   Where is it?

     Most likely, one has to assume that the forms of the ancient Roman Empire, on which Europe's self-identification relies (and in the Russian tradition, for example, the form of Ivan the Terrible), also is an idealized side of reality, and behind the super-symbol "JEW" something that had to be forgotten, lost, and suppressed is hidden.  

 

(Much already has been written about the idealization of the ancient Roman Empire by the revisionists of the various schools, but allow us to add a few considerations of a social nature. It makes one apprehensive that the Romans practically did not have their own ideology, and this in a state that was permanently at war!  Just how did they recognize in the spiritual sense their fellows, and distinguish these from strangers ? Religious societies as an identification of "ours - not ours" use religious markers, for example, "Christian - non-Christian." National groups and communities build upon the recognition of "ours - foreign" by right of birth, for example, Mexican-Gringo, Jew-Goyan.  But here the gods of the Romans do not distinguish the Romans themselves from other peoples. Thus, Jupiter knows nothing about the barbarians.  The Roman historian Tacitus, writing about the Teutons, does not praise Rome and in general does not compare the Romans and the Teutons, although logically he should have done it.

The material and political reality of the ancient Latins virtually is not reflected in their spiritual life. More precisely, in that spiritual life, which they ascribe to them. )

 

     Most likely, before pulling our suppressed memory to the surface, it is worth touching on one more social paradox of the "chosen people" - their fantastic ability to be financiers.

Probably no other ethnic community in the whole history of mankind has exhibited such an unusual capability.

     The finances of all Europe were turned over, for whatever mysterious reason, to non-believers - to aliens ; to refugees.

Karl Marx was one of the first to notice this:  "The chimerical nationality of the Jew is the nationality of a merchant, generally of a man of means.  Money is the jealous god of Israel, in the face of which there is not supposed to be any other god," having forgotten, by the way, to explain why.  

     It is necessary to say that traditional history's explanation that it was impossible for Christians in the early Middle Ages to be involved with finances, and, therefore, that financial activity was assigned to the Jews, could have happened in only one case - if the Christians were not the masters in their own countries.  

    Not only did Christiandom, but also the world of the Orient in the 9-10th centuries A.D. trusted the Jews infinitely. Consider here a story from Spain in 929, and of Abd ar-Rahman III.   Jewry prospered during his rule and that of his heir, Al-Hakam.  Hasdai ben Saprut, an adviser to caliphs, was at the same time a leader of Spanish Judaism.

When Benjamin of Tudela comes to Iraq at the end of the 12th century, he reports about dozens of settlements (yeshivas) and about thousands of Jews.  He also reports that by this period, the caliphate was still very powerful and the Jews experienced the highest veneration.   (He quotes, moreover, the Old Testament: "The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs, and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples."  Genesis.  49:10)

 

     Here there is a basis to assume that all Europe and Asia at some brief moment in  history were under the heel of conquerors who had spread the publican collectors of duties - the JEWS - over all the conquered territory.

 

 

What problems does this assumption solve?

- The global distribution and ubiquity of the Jews;

- Their financial power and the prohibition against any other category of the population to perform financial operations (early Middle Ages);

- The rise of anti-Judaism as an original form of protest against the conquerors and their servants - the publicans;

- The rise of Jewry as a special social group, which absorbed into itself elements from dozens of tribes and nationalities,  subsuming these within a unity of faith and a profession.

 

    The word Judaeus itself is considered an ethnonym, from the name Judaca.  A link with the Latin Judaeus (Jew) - Judices (judges) is not acknowledged. They translate judex as jus dic, where the first word is "law" and the second is a root with the meaning "to speak."

   Traditional linguists declare that there is no word in Latin which, in composition, would give dae.  However, it is not considered that this could have been formed through Semitic influence, since in all Semitic languages the pentultimate stressed syllable with the consonant "khey" (which sounds like "khaye" at the end of a word) is very popular.  From  their habitual stress on the second syllable, the Semites clash with the unusual stressed ex in judex, which would naturally become the customary aec.   

     By the way, the vowel a in dae appears because of the inability to write this guttural sound in Latin.

And even in general, the notion "law" should be a derivative of religious notions.   If we acknowledge that secular notions grew from the religious, then one must consider that the Hebrew letter "yud" (the first in God's name) is considered as an expression of divine wisdom even in contemporary Judaism. (It is interesting that the related "jihad," also in the Latin, has acquired the characteristic "j".)  And this, in general, questions the direction of the borrowing.

 

Portrait of a mediaeval tax collector.

  

     So, then, if the Jews were the world's financiers, then there should be confirmations of this in the history of medieval Europe.  According to the logic of empires, the conquered territories should sometimes revolt, and these revolts should begin with , or include, attacks on government agencies.  And really, the whole history of the Jews is a history of pogroms which one can by convention divide into 2 parts - murders and banishments:

 

Murders :

 

     In 1096, during preparations for the first crusade, large groups of crusaders burst into the Jewish quarters and demanded that the Jews, under fear of death, be Baptized. There were 800 people murdered in Worms, at Mainz - 1,000.  The same thing was repeated on a lesser scale in connection with the second crusade of 1146.

  

     In 1189, a rebellion began in London which spilled over into mass murders of Jews.  It spread to all of England.  In York, for example, the whole Jewish population was exterminated.  

     In connection with the accusations of the desecration of sacred gifts in Belitz, near Brandenburg, almost all the Jewish population was burned.  

     In 1251, an attempt to organize a "crusade of shepherds" spilled over into a national revolt, known under the name of the revolt of the "shepherds" (Pastorelli.)  A second revolt of "shepherds" relates to 1320.  The Jews, whom they cruelly exterminated, were the invariable object of their hatred.  During the second revolt, the Jews, who then were banished from the Royal French estates, lived only on English estates.  But even there they were almost entirely exterminated.  

     Accusations of kidnapping and murder of Christian children in Rottingen (1298) led to the murders of Jews in Franconia, Bavaria and Austria.  

     In 1348-1349, a terrible plague epidemic broke out in Western Europe. The "Black Death."  Nearly 1/3 of Western Europe's population died.  The people were persuaded that this misfortune was the result of a conspiracy of the Jews. They killed and burnt them in the synagogues from the shores of the Mediterranean to northern Germany.  In 1349, all the Jews were slaughtered in Frankfurt-am-Main and in Mainz.  Mass exterminations occurred in Brussels (600 people died), Cologne and in the Netherlands.  

     In Seville in 1391, nearly 4,000 people were killed.  Insurrections against the Jews gripped even other cities of Spain.

Banishments :

In 1119, from St. Edmond (England.)  
In 1182, from the royal estates in
France
.  
In 1239, from
Brittany
.  
In 1234, from
Newcastle
.  
In 1236, from
Southampton
.  
In 1249, from
France
 
In 1290, from
England during the time of Edward I (the decree was abolished only by Cromwell in the 17th century.) ).  In 1306, from France
during the time of Phillip the Fair.  
In 1348, from
Berlin
.  
In 1426, from
Cologne
.  
In 1430, from
Saxony
.  
In 1450, from
Bavaria
.  
In 1475, from
Bamberg
.  
In 1499, from
Ulm
and from Nuremburg.  
In 1501, from
France
during the time of Louis XII.  
In 1267, from
Moravia
.  
In 1454, from
Brno
.  
From Frankfurt-am-Main in 1241, 1349 and 1618.  
In 1439-40, from
Augsburg
.  
In 1438, from Strasburg.  
In 1458, from
Erfurt
.  
In 1519, from
Regensburg
.  
In 1455-1670, from
Vienna
.  
At the end of the 15th century from the hereditary properties of the Hapsburgs. 
At the beginning of the 16th century from
Prussia
.  
In 1492, from
Spain and Sicily
.  
In 1496, from
Portugal
.  
In 1498, from
Navarre
.  
In 1510, from
Naples
.  
In 1550, from
Genoa.  

 

     If one does not take into consideration that the Jews are above all tax and financial agents, then it is impossible to understand how and why they steadily and imperceptibly returned to the places of the murders and banishments, and why their numbers always remained practically at the same level.  They appeared because the authorities, after getting things in order, returned them to their places. When the losses themselves were much too large, cadres from the local population swelled the ranks of the caste. A state cannot exist without the collection of taxes and duties or without finances.

    

     The regulation of relationships of the conquered people with the tax collectors was an extremely difficult matter, and, therefore, in many countries the Jews had self-government and their own court which had the right to impose any punishments.   Such was the situation, for example, in Moorish Spain.  There existed in Portugal in the 14th century a single community head for the entire state.  The situation for the Jews in France, Italy, Germany, Poland and Lithuania was similar.  In England, according to a decree of King Henry I (12th century), the Jews were supposed to be, everywhere in the realm, under the protection and patronage of the king.  

     Henry II published the so called "Jew's Charter."  According to these laws, for example, in a lawsuit between a Jew and a Christian, the testimony of two witnesses was necessary: one Jew and one Christian.  In France, Charlemagne's successor, Louis the Pious, established for the protection of the Jews the special post "Magister Judaeorum."  It was forbidden by the king's edict to Baptize serfs who belonged to Jews.

 

     The authorities understood and accepted the fact that the Jews were the tax collectors for a very long time.  Even in 1616, after the crowd sacked the ghetto in Frankfurt-am-Main, the ringleader of the riot, Fettmilch, and six other participants were executed by authority of the emperor.  The emperor secured the imposition of a fine on the city's Christian population.  The ghetto was placed under the immediate protection of the emperor, as a sign of which a shield with the emperor's coat of arms was displayed on the gate.  And the banishment of Jews usually was soon abolished in other imperial cities by imperial decree.  

     The reign of Louis the Pious was the period of the flowering of Jewish communities in France.  They were exempt from customs, and they were permitted to have serfs - Christians.   The Jews monopolized the trade of wine and meat, and because of them market days changed from Saturday to Sunday. Jews, in legal matters, were equal with Christians in Toulouse in the 13th century.  In the 14th century, they were permitted to accept any security for a loan except land.  Only royal judges were able to try them.  Their oath was accepted at court.  Charles VI forbade the taking of complaints about abuses by Jewish money lenders for ten years.  During his rule, the arrest of debtors, their corporal punishment and the sale of their property was permitted to the Jews in France.  

In Spain the Jews collected taxes both in the Moorish and in the Christian parts.  Thus  don Meyer was the treasurer of King Alfonso X (1221-1284.)  In 1300, don Fernando designated don Samuel as the chief collector of all taxes in Castile.  Judah Abarbanel occupied the same post in Seville.  Alfonso XI established in 1332 a system for control of   finances which were, on the whole, in the hands of the Jews.  In 1348, the minting of coins was entrusted to them.   Pedro I gave the post of treasurer to don Samuel Halevi: he collected the taxes, relying on a network of his own castles which were spread throughout the country.  

     Polish Duke Mieszko's first coins were minted with Hebrew inscriptions.

 

     The Medici, wishing to enrich themselves, adopted an unfailing decision in 1538 : to invite Jews to settle in Livorno.  In which connection not Venetians, but the oppressed Maranos, who were well versed in Mediterranean trade and who had effective links with Amsterdam, Turkey and all the Orient were favored. 

 

    We know the results. Even the list of epithets, by which the Jews were known is  practically indistinguishable from the reproaches of  a modern banking system anywhere:

- greedy,

- heartless,

- bloodsuckers,

- they don't want to see anything except money,

and the like.  

    

     By the way, although subjugated Europe saw Jews only as publicans and money-lenders,  the Jews were known also in another capacity in the 11th century.  For example, one of the most interesting figures in the 11th century in Spain was the Jew Samuel ha-Nagid, the Grand Vizier  of Granada.  He was a knight, a warrior and a poet.  He composed a war song in which the Jews appear very differently :  

 

"We, the champions of Moses, who have no dull swords,  

With which the greedy are never esteemed" . . . [G.   Stemberger, Epochen der Juedischen Literatur ("Epochs of Jewish Literature"],  page  124).

 

    Traditional history does not explain to us (even, can it ?) what the "champions of Moses" had in mind for the non-greedy.  

 

As already mentioned, the classically ideal Romans, who were invented in the Middle Ages, did not have their own unifying ideology, but here the real Jews had the Old Testament.  Despite the endless rewriting and editing, many words and expressions are preserved in it which sharply define what is their own and what is alien. One can cite very many quotations of the chauvinistic God-chosen doctrine from the Old testament, but we shall limit these to a few :

 

"Thus says the Lord of hosts: In those days ten men from the nations of every tongue shall take hold of the robe of a Jew, saying,  'Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you'." "

(Zechariah 8:23)

 

"Foreigners shall build up your walls, and their kings shall minister to you; for in my wrath I smote you, but in my favor I have had mercy on you.  Your gates shall be open continually; day and night they shall not be shut; that men may bring to you the wealth of the nations, with their kings led in procession.  For the nation and the kingdom that will not serve you shall perish; those nations shall be utterly laid waste.  "

(Isaiah 60:10-12)

 

"Kings shall be your foster fathers, and their queens your nursing mothers.  With their faces to the ground they shall bow down to you, and lick the dust of your feet.  Then you will know that I am the Lord; those who wait for me shall not be put to shame.  "

(Isaiah 49:23)

 

"For you will spread abroad to the right and to the left, and your descendants will possess the nations and will people the desolate cities.  "

(Isaiah 54:3)

 

and so on.

 

   Thus, the notion of "Jew" had a completely different sense and meaning over several centuries than it does today. There are serious grounds to assume that the meanings of  many other basic terms also similarly "drift." For example - a small excursion into the history of the Papacy.

 

     It is worth noting for a start that if one were to look at the beginning of the crusades as at a military and economic expansion, then the history of the Papacy in general before this does not make any political sense (and it is senseless to examine it within the framework of the report).   Some kind of logic in the events and actions of the Popes shows through, for example, in the pontificate of Gregory VII.  It is considered that in 1071, the Seljuk Turks took Palestinian Jerusalem, and Gregory VII ordered the Christians to the crusade, but the struggle for investiture (vassal law) prevented Gregory from the realization of this plan.

 

     There is a lot of socially detailed elaboration in the descriptions of the political processes that occurred which it is impossible to contrive.  Gregory VII pretended to the super-state and imperial status in a fragmented Europe, and a clear logic is found in his methods.  The institution of the "Patarias" (vagabond monks) accomplished the necessary ideological excitation, creating the hysteria necessary for the transition into the form of a religious state.  

     In the dispute over investiture with its leadership, a war was begun with Henry IV and Rome was captured, but the Pope was rescued at the castle of Saint Angelo when the  Normans and Arabs hurried to save him.  With fire and sword, destroying quarter after quarter, they forced their way to the castle of Saint Angelo and freed Gregory VII.  The traditional history further reports that the excesses of the Moslem Arabs led to the rebellion of Rome's population against them and against the pope, too (there is information that the Arabs sang the Surah from the Koran in Saint Peter's Cathedral).  The Romans rose up on the side of the Emperor for expulsion of the Arabs from the city.  

It is thought that the Normans and Arabs were mercenaries.  Is it interesting how the Pope succeeded in engaging his enemies and was able to await the united forces of the Normans and Arabs (Moslems and Normans in the same force? !), keeping Henry from  capturing the castle ? And this at the same time that Pope Gregory VII was ordering a crusade against the Moslems ?

     Such an account of events reminds a normal reader of an irrational dream, but it is interesting that it is difficult to call this a falsification, since the incoherence of these events speaks more about our fundamental lack of understanding of key notions: Arabs, Normans and even the pope, and about our ignorance of the actual political situation.

 

While summing up, it is worth listing the social peculiarities of medieval Jewry, which is evidence of its imperial essence:

 - amalgamation in the absence of a common anthropology,

 - the presence of striking imperial vestiges of chauvinism and of a tradition of superiority in the Old Testament and in some other early Judaic literature.

 - cohesion with authority,

 - an absence of documents about the original arrival in one or the other country. (Everyone knows that they drove the Jews out of Spain, but how they got there, plainly no one knows),

 - total financial supremacy, especially in the early Middle Ages.

 

     The situation of the Jews changes throughout all Eurasia with surprising synchronism.

In the 12th century, the situation in Spain begins to worsen.  Because of the persecution of the Jews in Spain, such a Jew as Judah ha-Levi leaves for Egypt and Benjamin of Tudela travels the whole world in search of sanctuary.  

    

     As it turns out, the situation of the Jews and Christians worsened distinctly also in Iraq and Iran in the 12th and 13th centuries.  Moses Maimonides, for example, as early as the 12th century was writing that under the Moslems things never went worse for the Jews.

 

     At the end of the 13th century, a Jewish scholar - a natural scientist - Said Al-Dawla becomes vizier of the Mongols' state.  This Jew spoke Mongolian, Turkish, Persian and Arabic, the four most important languages of the Mongol state.  In 1291, Said Al-Dawla and his Jewish colleagues were killed, and at the same time, the Mongol khan lay on his deathbed.  Anti-Jewish troubles flared up in the state.  In 1295, the Mongol ruling layer became Moslems.

 

     The 13th and 14th centuries are, on the one hand, times of anti-Jewish and anti-Christian polemics, and, on the other hand, increasing pressure on the Jews. Many Jews convert to Islam, such as, for example, Rashid ad-Din.

 

      On the whole, stages in the history of the Jews can be traced:

- 10th century.  Extremely little information.  Welfare.  The Jews occupy high posts, not only in finances.

- 11th century. Reports of pogroms in the Christian world are mostly linked with insurrections and the crusades.  

- 12-16th centuries. A general worsening of the situation in the Christian and Islamic world.

The Jews are exclusively financiers, reports of other high social roles are lacking.

 

     The question may arise: why did the Jews not adopt Islam ?  From whence comes  such stability in faith?  

    

     The solution is couched in different degrees of social inertia (or levels of conservatism), which are peculiar to different production chains.  The financial network always was the most conservative and distrustful part of society.  At the same time, international mutual payment which is founded on caste (Masonic?) trust of the members in each other, imparted an unflinching stability to this state of affairs, when the conversion to Christianity signified a loss of work (and often starvation).  

    

     Worldwide Jewry per se, in its imperial sense, ended its formal existence with the introduction of a banking system in Europe and the final loss of the necessity of caste for mutual payments. This occurred only at the end of the 18th century.

   In particular,  then was the true meaning of Jewry forgotten and, under the influence of the symbol "JEW," which was then gaining strength, the formation of a new community of Jews - that of a nation was beginning (see the history of the Hasids.)  And by the 20th century, they began to call everyone who did not repudiate the symbol of Israel (with which, by the way, the Karaims were very dissatisfied) "Jews."

 

     One can imagine the history of Eurasia of the late Middle Ages as a gradual liberation from the remnants of imperial authority in which a contradictory role had been passed to the financiers.  The understanding  that JEWRY is originally not an ethnic, but a professional feature of a special group of people, can be the first step in overcoming the irrational social phobias of the present.  

 

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