Monday, April 13, 2020

The Second Crusade

The Second Crusade


IN the year 1146 Israel’s communities were terror-stricken. The monk Rudolph who shamefully persecuted Israel, arose against the people of God, in order, like Haman of old, to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish.

He travelled throughout Germany to bestow the cross of the crusaders upon all who consented to set out for Jerusalem to fight against the Moslems. In every place where he came he aroused the people, crying, ‘Avenge ye first the vengeance of our God on His enemies who are here before us, and then we will go forward’.

When the Jews heard this, their courage failed them by reason of the rage of their oppressor who sought their destruction. They cried to God, saying: ‘Alas, O Lord God! Behold fifty years, like the period of a jubilee, have not yet elapsed since we shed our blood like water to sanctify Thy holy, great, and revered Name, on the day of the great slaughter. Wilt Thou indeed forsake us for ever and extend Thy wrath against us unto all generations? Shall misery follow misery?’

The Lord heard our supplications, and turned unto us, and had pity upon us, according to His abundant loving-kindness. He sent one of their greatest and respected teachers, the abbot Bernard, from the town Clairvaux in France, after this evil monk. And he also preached to his people according to their custom, crying ‘It is good that you are ready to go forth against the Moslems; but whosoever uses violence against the Jews commits a deadly sin’.

All honoured this monk as one of their saints, neither has it ever been said that he received a bribe for his good service to us. Many desisted from any further murderous attacks against us. We gladly gave our possessions as a ransom for our lives. Whatever was asked of us, silver or gold, we withheld not.

If our Creator in His great compassion had not sent us this abbot, there would have been none in Israel that would have escaped or remained alive. Blessed be He who saves and delivers. Praised be His Name.


Excerpt From A Book of Jewish Thoughts By Dr. J H. Hertz

Beautiful Moments Journal Paperback