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Destroying Hebrew Books

On this date in 1731, searches in all Jewish homes throughout the Papal States (a major swath of Italy) resulted in the confiscation of all Hebrew books. Similar searches were conducted in 1738, 1748, and 1753, the last by order of Pope Benedict XIV, “who had learned that books were being smuggled into the ghettos […]

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The Jewish Hat

The Synod of Vienna ordered all Jewish men to don the Pileum cornutum, a horned skullcap known as the “Jewish hat,” usually white or yellow, as a distinguishing piece of clothing, on this date in 1267. Half a century earlier, the Fourth Lateran Council convened by Pope Innocent III had established the Jewish hat as […]

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September 10: Simon Dubnow

Simon Dubnow, one of the founders of modern Jewish historical scholarship and a prolific memoirist and essayist about secular Jewish life and politics in Eastern Europe, was murdered at age 81 by the Nazis during the liquidation of the Riga Ghetto on this date in 1941. Dubnow was an advocate the Haskalah, or Jewish Enlightenment, […]

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