“They suffered unimaginably, but also thrived fantastically”

“Around eight centuries ago, Jews thrived in England, worshiping freely and living where they pleased. Then everything changed. You can uncover their stories, if you know where to look.” “The Jews of medieval York lived where they pleased — there was no ghetto, or even an informal Jewish quarter, known as a Jewry. They built their synagogue on Coney Street, then as now the heart of the city. In many ways, what unfolded in York eight centuries ago encapsulates the saga of all medieval England’s Jews, thousands of them spread out among dozens of communities. They suffered unimaginably, but also thrived fantastically; were inextricable from the fortunes of the country, yet are mostly forgotten today. Their story was dramatic, and sweeping — and ended all at once. You can still find remnants of it. But it’ll take some doing.” “The story of England’s medieval Jewish communities, she said, has ‘never been thought ‘important’ enough by mainstream academia, if you like, to be included as part of that narrative.’ This galls her: ‘You cannot talk about the medieval English economy without talking about the Jewish community,’ she said. ‘It’s ludicrous to have them excluded from this history.'” “At London’s fine Jewish Museum, you can view medieval artifacts, but also grotesque 18th-century caricatures that would have looked at home in Julius Streicher’s Nazi newspaper Der Stürmer 200 years later — and sadly, on certain websites today. At heart, they echo that sneer: Jews aren’t really English. It’s an archaic sensibility, though not as old as the Domesday Book, in which Jews are listed; or Magna Carta, in which Jews are mentioned — twice; or some of the country’s oldest standing houses, built by Jews; or many of the national treasures that wouldn’t exist without them.”—”Where You Can Discover England’s Lost Jewish Past

Hermetic Library Omnium They Suffered Unimaginably but Also Thrived Fantastically 13apr2023