THE CRUSADES: PERSPECTIVES FROM THE JEWS
World History Mr.Burruel
1. Why was Jerusalem important to your group?
Jerusalem is VERY important to the Jews because, first of all Jerusalem has been the Jewish Capital since BCE 1500. But later on it was destroyed in AD73 by the Romans who then expelled all of the Jews from the land. Second, when they pray, wherever they are on the surface of the earth, they always face towards Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the focal point of prayer of the Jews. Last of all, Islam makes clear that the Land of Israel (which includes Jerusalem as well) belongs to the Jewish people. The clearest evidence for this comes in Surat al-Ma'ida Lines 5:20-21, where God gives the Jewish People Israel.
2. Cause of the Crusades from Jews perspective.
The Crusades began around 1095 A.D in Jerusalem. By 1096, an army of men prepared to go into battle. They first went to France then to Constantinople. In 1097, they left Constantinople and headed to Jerusalem. When they got there they started attacking the Jews and stealing all their money. I think the Crusades started attacking the Jews because they were jealous of the Jews for all their money and that they lived in Jerusalem.
3. Impact of the Crusades on your group.
Despite the fact that the Jews and Muslims were enemies, which can be true, in those days, there were some Jews who lived peacefully with Muslims. When the Christians came in, they had no ideas about the Jews being the original people of the Holy Land, they were not Christians, so therefore they were the 'enemy' just as the Muslims were. And in the process of war, anybody in the path were going to be victims if they were in the way. Crusaders knew that the Jews had been behind Jesus' crucifixion, so therefore they were the enemy and that it was ok to kill the Jewish people since they were not Christians. This resulted as thousands and thousands of Jews dead.
4. Your group’s perception of other groups during the Crusades.
First of all, Christians viewed Jews as inferior because they did not believe in Jesus and did not share the same religion as Christians. Jews viewed Muslims as enemies because they did not have the same religion and beliefs. In fact, most groups viewed the Jews as inferior and were referred to as 'non-believers'.