Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Those Who Were Butchered for Your Sake


[Saint Dominic Presiding over an Auto-da-fe, painted 1475. Oil on wood. 60 5/8 × 36 1/4" (154 × 92 cm). Prado Museum, Madrid.]

Today is a fast day, the 17th of Tammuz. In the afternoon service we recited the prayer “Our Father, Our King! Help us for the sake of those who have been butchered rather than deny Your Unity!”

Yesterday, a woman from an Orthodox Jewish home posted an article writing that she did not apostatize in spite of the rudeness of her high school teachers.

Remarkable.

12 comments:

Tobie said...

The tremendous heroism of some is no excuse to mock the real suffering or smaller heroism of others. If somebody wrote a post about how they overcame an urge to speak lashon hara, would you derisively link to it, pointing to the far greater temptations that others have overcome? Every blog post is a personal story, and if you don't think that Chana's story or suffering is cool or impressive enough for you, than I hardly see why you feel the need to mock it.

jewish philosopher said...

You know something, last night dinner was ready late. And I did not murder my wife. Don't mock me.

Stephen (aka Q) said...

Your dinner was late? It must have been a sore trial to a man like you, who is used to having everything in his world ordered to suit his idiosyncratic preferences.

And yet you didn't murder your wife?! My hero! Truly you are worthy of the companionship of martyrs!

Joebaum said...

Stephen, you got a sirius problem getting a point.

Henry said...

Who were being burned in the Auto da Fe under the eye of St Dominic? Not Jews. And was St Dominic actually witness to anybody being burned?

Izgad said...

Looking at Marranos as Jewish heroes puts one in a very ironic situation. One has to rely on inquisition evidence to say that they were practicing Judaism. If you are going to rely on frum sources you will be forced to conclude that the Marranos were meshumadim. If you go with the frum sources you get a frei answer and if you go with the frei sources you get a frum answer.

Henry said...

The Marrano thing was long after St Dominic, who was concerned with fighting the Cathar heresy, which in turn entailed important political issues.

Without excusing what happened, one should not forget the sixteenth context in which the Inquisition took place. It was contemporary with the Reformation, which, amongst other things involved a redistribution of power and wealth and the grabbing of the property which had been held by the Chuch in order that it had the resources to provide what we nowadays regard as welfare services.

In these circumstances, there was paranoia all round, of which the Inquisition was just one manifestation. One only has to consider events in England and Scotland in the period from 1533 to 1660 to get the flavour. And in the later stages of the Reformation, much of Europe was to be devastated by a war with complex political alignments lasting from 1618 t0 1648. Even so orthodox a character as Ignatius of Loyola got investigated by the Inqisition.

As for the Marranos, it should not be forgotten that many of them became loyal Catholics, to the extent that two of their descendants, St John of the Cross and St Teresa of Avila, are canonised saints.

jewish philosopher said...

The Spanish Inquisition burned an estimated 3,000 to 5,000 heretics, primarily converted Jews convicted of secretly practicing Judaism.

The painting included in this post was made several hundred years after St. Dominic lived. It may be not be precisely accurate. However the Dominican Order was prominent in the Papal Inquisition and this painting symbolizes that role.

Henry said...

The main victims of the Spanish Inquisition was Protestants. And don't forget that the office still exists - the present Pope was head of it before he was elected.

As guardians of authoritative doctrine it has an essential job to do. Fortunately its sanctions are now restricted to preventing people from teaching if what they say does not conform to the teaching of the chuch.

A lot of what was said about the Inquisition is an over-statement, originating with Fox's Book of Martyrs. Like the rest of us, he had an axe to grind.

jewish philosopher said...

Just think of me as the Rabbinical Inquisition!

Henry said...

Yes but who has appointed you and on whose authority do you speak?

jewish philosopher said...

Seriously, just like any philosopher, I simply speak for myself. I'm a one man Inquisition.