God, Humanity, and History: The Hebrew First Crusade Narratives

David Malkiel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As crusaders swept through the Rhineland in 1096 en route to the Holy Land, they brought destruction to Ashkenazic Jewry, through death or forced conversion. Record of this violence has survived in Latin and Hebrew chronicles as well as in Hebrew dirges. These chronicles have been the subject of intense scrutiny since their publication in 1892. Attention has focused on accounts that in Worms, Mainz, and elsewhere Jews killed their family members and then themselves when the enemy was at the door. The Hebrew sources glorify these acts of self-destruction as the embodiment of the religious ideal of martyrdom, Kiddush Hashem.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)124-126
Number of pages3
JournalAJS Review
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 2003


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