Statute of Jewry

Statute of Jewry
24 Shvat 

Meanwhile in England:

Did you know in England the Jews were known as the property of the crown? It’s interesting that the Jewish people have a very similar idea, we just have a different “king” in mind. On this day in 1253, Henry III issued the Statute of Jewry, of course not to be confused with the Statute of the Jewry of 1275 issued by Edward I, who was his even more anti-semetic successor.

The whole statute was designed to isolate and diminish the Jewish community. Henry III was one of the first autocrats to promulgate the idea of a Jewish badge to be worn “conspicuously on [the] breast” of all Jews (Article Nine). Article Three demanded that Jews lower their voice in the synagogue so Christians wouldn’t hear. Do you remember what happened the last time Moses asked the Jewish people to be quiet? Fuggetaboutit

So what does this mean to us today? First of all, as Jews in America, we still get to eat meat during lent (Article Six); there are enough Christian holidays that are already federal holidays, and I am not a vegetarian! Also, I am glad we do not need to pay taxes to local churches (Article Four), instead, I give tzedaka to a local Jewish organization (and that is even tax-deductible). Most importantly, there’s no antisemitism in America, right? What are you doing about it?

Parsha in T Words:
Yitro = Truly Torah Time Together, Ten Timeless Transformational Thoughts To Tackle, Temporary Tranquility, Thanks Theo


Authors Notes:

With gratitude to Manny Saltiel for sending out a weekly newsletter of Jewish history that helps inspire these thoughts. Also a big shout out to Wikipedia for all the endless blackholes of history. If you have any feedback on my new blog please let me know!

Alex is the Operations Director at TJE. With a degree in History (B.A.) and a schmaltz in Judaism (N.J.B.), this weekly “Blast from the Past” is a fun way to combine and share how the past can inform our future.