Anti-Semitism and the Bishop of Speyer
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This paper shows, through the work of the Bishop of Speyer in the 11th century, how though individuals during the Middle Ages were full of good intentions and tried to protect the Jews, in reality their actions added fuel to the anti-Semitism already rife in Europe. By allowing Jews to lend money, purchase gold, and the right to slaughter animals and sell them to the Christians, the problems of the time were heightened. The paper includes a discussion on the use of walls in Jewish history, used to keep Jews in and the other citizens protected and out. In Bishop Speyer's time, the purpose of the wall is to not only surround the Jewish populace, but also keep them out of the city. This means they also have to protect themselves from external violence. The paper finally discusses the Crusades and the resulting massacres of the Middle Ages.
From the Paper:"When first hearing about the decree made by the Bishop of Speyer made in 1084 that offers a place "out of town" for the Jews, it sounds relatively harmless if not positive. However, it is necessary to understand what is occurring behind the scenes that makes this a negative and harmful "gift and concession."
"The Bishop of Speyer says that he will bring in the Jews and place them outside the town away from the rest of the citizens and surrounded by a wall. This will be given to them on the condition that they pay 3 1/2 pounds every year. In addition, they have "full power to change silver and gold and to buy and sell what they please" and a cemetery with rights of inheritance. They can sell slaughtered meat, which they cannot eat, to Christians. This Jewish group will also have its own law, with the Rabbi hearing cases between Jews or against them. "But if by chance he is unable to decide any of them they shall go to the bishop or his chamberlain." They need to guard their own area. Lastly, they have the same privileges as other Jews in Germany."
Cite this Essay:
Anti-Semitism and the Bishop of Speyer (2006, November 22) Retrieved January 16, 2021, from https://www.academon.com/essay/anti-semitism-and-the-bishop-of-speyer-75045/
"Anti-Semitism and the Bishop of Speyer" 22 November 2006. Web. 16 January. 2021. <https://www.academon.com/essay/anti-semitism-and-the-bishop-of-speyer-75045/>