Rabbi Wein.com The Voice of Jewish History

The Black Death
History Series / Part 2

Item #: 0037

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That the Jews suffered fewer deaths in the Bubonic Plague than the rest of Europe is a fact attributed to superior practices in hygiene, all of which were required by Jewish Law. Tragically, the lower death rate amongst Jews served only to further infuriate the already anti-Semitic masses, and entire Jewish cities were killed out. The plague may have killed fewer Jews than non-Jews, but at the end of this unparalleled calamity, the Jews suffered the most horrific fate of all.

• the superstitious medieval mentality
• poisoned wells, Jewish conspiracies, and other myths
• the Disputation of Tortosa
• excerpts from Barbara Tuchman's classic A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous Fourteenth Century
• What does Jewish Law say about treating people with contagious and deadly diseases?

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