By Kenneth Macksey
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May their virtue and their saintliness and their piety and their purity and their sacrifice serve us as an intercessor and as an advocate before the Almighty. May he deliver us from this exile under wicked Edom speedily in our days. May our true messiah arrive. Amenspeedily in our days. 71 The heroism of the Jewish martyrs is seen as leading ineluctably to punishment of the erring Christians and to salvation for the faithful Jews. The chronicles are meant to bring this message to their Jewish readers, and at the same time to intone such a supplication before their divine audience.
Moreover, the Jews, a weak and exposed element in European society, probably suffered disproportionately from the general lawlessness of the period. Finally, 32 33 one element in the massacre of the Jews in 1096 was precisely the general tendency toward bestiality depicted above. The period that preceded 1096and that succeeded it as wellis thus revealed as an epoch of dramatic change and growth. A brilliant young civilization was beginning to emerge in northern Europe. The upsurge manifested itself in every sphere of societal activity and lent a new attractiveness to a heretofore backward area.
Indeed so important were the actions of these Jewish martyrs that the chroniclers see cosmic import in the events. Thus L continues the above-cited passage in the following fashion: For one [such act of self-sacrifice] the world shook, when he was offered up on Mount Moriah, as is said: "Hark! " The heavens darkened. What has been done [this time]? Why did the heavens not darken? Why did the stars not withdraw their brightness? . and lightwhy did they Â < previous page < previous page page_164 page_165 next page > next page > Page 165 not darken in their cloud cover, when one thousand one hundred holy souls were killed and slaughtered on one day, on the third day of Sivan, a Tuesday.
Afrika Korps by Kenneth Macksey