24 Waglonloads of Talmudic Volumes Burned, 1242
Updated: Jun 18, 2021
On This Day in Jewish History: June 17th, 1242 🔥📚 https://www.instagram.com/p/CBis09PlZVT/
At the order of the Church & King Louis IX, 24 wagonloads of handwritten Talmudic volumes are burned in Paris, in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral after the Talmud itself is put on "trial". . .
In the furnace, up to 10,000 volumes of Hebrew manuscripts were included, some lost forever.
This tragic incident came at the culmination of a "debate" between the Franciscan Order (led by Jewish convert to Christianity, Nicholas Donin) and four of the leading Rabbis of France at the time: R' Yechiel of Paris, R' Moshe of Coucy, R' Yehuda of Melun, and R' Shmuel ben Shlomo of Château-Thierry.
The purpose of the "trial" was more to rid the Jews of believing in the Talmud & convert to Christianity and less to debate it's actual contents. Therefore, their fate was sealed before the disputation even began.
Since the printing press did not yet exist, all of the books - the thousands of Talmudic volumes, manuscripts, and commentary that were burned were lost forever and would take hundreds of years to fully recover. . . .
R' Meir ben Baruch, the Maharam of Rothenburg, was present for the burning and wrote Kinah 41 (lamentation piece of mourning) that we still say today on Tisha Ba'Av (9th of Av), this year being July 29-30.