Religion & Beliefs

Oooooh! Blood Libel Back in the News

Today the Jerusalem Post turns our attention to a new book by an Israeli Historian… a book about BLOOD LIBEL! Blood libels against the Jews were a common form of anti-Semitism during the Middle Ages, though there is no ritual … Read More

By / February 8, 2007

Today the Jerusalem Post turns our attention to a new book by an Israeli Historian… a book about BLOOD LIBEL!

Blood libels against the Jews were a common form of anti-Semitism during the Middle Ages, though there is no ritual involving human blood in Jewish law or custom. Though the first recorded instance was in the writings of Apion, who claimed that the Jews sacrificed Greek victims in the Temple, there are no existent records of the blood libel against the Jews from that period until the legend surrounding William of Norwich in the 12th century, first recorded in the Peterborough Chronicle, but the libel afterward became an increasingly common accusation. In many cases, anti-Semitic blood libels served as the basis for a blood libel cult, in which the alleged victim of human sacrifice was worshipped as a Christian martyr, but the claim has pre-Christian origins. Many Jews were killed as a result of false blood libels, which continued into the 20th century, with the Beilis Trial in Russia and the Kielce pogrom in Poland, and the persistence of blood libel stories in the Arab world.

But most of you already knew that, and blood libel is old news (although there are still cases today).  So why is this new news? 

Because Ariel Toaff's book, Bloody Passovers: The Jews of Europe and Ritual Murders, suggests something crazy.  It claims that some super-fundamentalist Jews actually DID carry out human sacrifices!!!  No shit! 

Toaff refers to kabbalistic descriptions of the therapeutic uses of blood and asserts that "a black market flourished on both sides of the Alps, with Jewish merchants selling human blood, complete with rabbinic certification of the product – kosher blood.

Yow-zA!

Of course, however horrible this is, it creates an obvious need for some serious Jewish vampire literature.  Anyone want to co-write a Hassidic goth-thriller with me?