Jewish ritual murder

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Sacrifice of Isaac by Caravaggio, 1603. An angel intervenes to halt a ritual sacrifice of Isaac, by his father Abraham, biblical scene.

Jewish ritual murder, popularly referred to by deniers as Blood libel, is the alleged murder of a non-Jew by Jews in celebration of the Jewish religious festivals of Purim and Passover. The ritual's argued purpose is to drain the blood of a non-Jewish person (preferrably a young Christian boy) in order to make three cornered Purim pastries or matzo.[1]

While these may have been false charges, several books have argued the reality of Jewish ritual murder (possibly by religious extremist or occult-oriented individuals).


Examples of accusations

Accusations of Jewish ritual murders have a long history.

One of the earliest accusations came from the non-Christian Greek writer Apion (30-20 BC – c. AD 45-48).[2] The Jewish historian Josephus criticized this as well as other accusations in a work known as Against Apion.

Jewish ritual murder depicted by Hungarian artist Mihály Munkácsy

A well known instance happened in 1989 during the Oprah Winfrey Show, although it has been dismissed as the claims of a person undergoing long-term psychiatric treatment for multiple personality disorder.[3][4]

Ariel Toaff's work

Recently in Italy, Ariel Toaff, an Israeli university professor controversially published the book Ebrei d'Europa e Pasque di Sangue (European Jews and Blood Easters) where he hypothesized that some accusations of the past against Jews for their rituals were true. He was harshly criticized and had to call his book off. Israel Shamir was among the few who supported his research. The focus is set on the figure of 2-year-old Saint Simon of Trento, also called Simonino da Trento, who was kidnapped and murdered by Jews. His body was found in a cellar of a Jewish owned house in Trento, Italy by local magistrates. There was even an eye-witness. Eight Jews were sentenced to death and executed in late June 1475.

Books on Jewish Ritual Murder

See also

External links


  1. Reckless rites: Purim and the legacy of Jewish violence, by Elliott S. Horowitz, p. 225
  2. Josephus from Against Apion
  3. Willie Martin (1997) The History of Jewish Human Sacrifice
  4. Winfrey Show Evokes Protests
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