Havia cossacos judeus no século 17?

Havia cossacos judeus no século 17?

Com base em minha pesquisa, parece ter havido cossacos judeus. Com base no que li, é possível que fossem caraítas que procuraram a ajuda dos cossacos para resgatar crianças e / ou famílias removidas de seu controle por comunidades judaicas mais 'tradicionais' (há conversas sugerindo que 'alguém' havia levado filhos ou esposas de Caraítas e eles procuraram ajuda para recuperá-los).

No entanto, as fontes que encontrei na internet até agora não fornecem muitas evidências. Há alguma evidência factual que confirme a existência de cossacos judeus no século 17?


A Wikipedia diz que os judeus eram aceitáveis ​​para os cossacos zaporozhianos até que se tornassem uma ameaça econômica no século XVII.

A ideia foi brevemente ressuscitada por Potemkin um século depois.


Esta é uma pergunta difícil de responder, devido aos vários significados de um cossaco, conforme mostrado a seguir:

Isaac Babel, por exemplo, autor de Cavalaria Vermelha (início do século 20), era conhecido como o cossaco judeu. Veja Jon Leonard, O cossaco judeu, a nação, 26 de novembro de 2001, p. 14 No entanto, um livro relativamente científico sobre a Ucrânia (que incluía os cossacos), escrito no século 19 por Henry d. Krasinski, Cossacos da ucrânia, não menciona nenhum cossaco judeu (provavelmente porque cossaco é usado em seu significado étnico), e o casamento misto realmente não existia (palpite absurdo, se aconteceu foi de vida curta).

Portanto, isso significa que a questão é se havia algum criminoso judeu sem lei alistado no exército tzarista. E essa é uma pergunta muito difícil de responder, além de Issac Babel.


Cossaco

Nossos editores irão revisar o que você enviou e determinar se o artigo deve ser revisado.

Cossaco, Russo Kazak, (do turco kazak, “Aventureiro” ou “homem livre”), membro de um povo que vive nos sertões setentrionais dos mares Negro e Cáspio. Eles tinham uma tradição de independência e finalmente receberam privilégios do governo russo em troca de serviços militares. Originalmente (no século 15), o termo se referia a grupos tártaros semi-independentes, que se formaram na região de Dnieper. O termo também foi aplicado (no final do século 15) a camponeses que fugiram da servidão na Polônia, Lituânia e Moscóvia para as regiões de Dnieper e Don, onde estabeleceram comunidades militares autônomas livres. No século 16, havia seis anfitriões cossacos principais: o Don, o Greben (no Cáucaso), o Yaik (no meio do rio Ural), o Volga, o Dnieper e o Zaporozhian (principalmente a oeste do Dnieper).

Os reis poloneses no início do século 16 começaram a organizar os cossacos zaporozhianos em colônias militares para proteger as fronteiras da Polônia. Ao longo do século 16 e na primeira metade do século 17, esses cossacos mantiveram sua autonomia política, formando brevemente um estado semi-independente sob Bohdan Khmelnytsky (c. 1649). Ameaçados pelo domínio polonês, os cossacos zaporozhianos assinaram um tratado com a Rússia em 1654, segundo o qual sua autonomia deveria ser respeitada. Os russos também usaram os cossacos primeiro como defensores da fronteira russa e depois como guardas avançados para a extensão territorial do Império Russo. Internamente, os cossacos recuperaram um grau maior de suas queridas liberdades sob os russos do que haviam conhecido sob os poloneses. O trono russo reservou-se o direito de aprovar as negociações dos cossacos com os poloneses e os turcos, os povos com os quais as relações russas eram mais sensíveis. Caso contrário, o governante principal, ou hetman (ataman), do exército cossaco tinha mão livre na política externa. Assim, em troca de algumas obrigações militares, os cossacos haviam restaurado parte de sua autonomia - a curto prazo. Com o passar dos anos, porém, a Rússia passou a dominar cada vez mais os cossacos.

Sob o guarda-chuva russo, os cossacos se expandiram para o leste de sua casa no Don e foram os primeiros colonizadores da Sibéria. De fato, o líder cossaco Yermak Timofeyevich se tornou um herói popular russo por seu papel na conquista daquela região. No final do século 19, o número de grupos cossacos havia aumentado para 11, incluindo os cossacos Don, Kuban, Terek, Orenburg e Ussuri.

Quando seus privilégios foram ameaçados, os cossacos se revoltaram, seus líderes rebeldes mais famosos dos séculos 17 e 18 foram Stenka Razin, Kondraty Bulavin e Yemelyan Pugachov. Hetman Ivan Mazepa contribuiu com 5.000 cossacos para a causa de Carlos XII da Suécia durante a Segunda Guerra do Norte. Como resultado, eles gradualmente perderam seu status autônomo. No final do século 18, todos os homens cossacos foram obrigados a servir no exército russo por 20 anos e, embora cada aldeia cossaca (Stanitsa) continuou a eleger a sua própria assembleia, o hetman foi nomeado pelo governo central. A estrutura social dos cossacos, que tradicionalmente se baseava na igualdade e na posse de terra comunal, deteriorou-se, principalmente depois de 1869, quando oficiais cossacos e funcionários públicos foram autorizados a possuir terras privadas e alugá-las a estranhos.


Havia cossacos judeus no século 17? - História

Enciclopédia da Ucrânia diz: O nome cossaco (kozak) é derivado do turco kazak (homem livre), significando qualquer pessoa que não conseguiu encontrar seu lugar apropriado na sociedade e foi para as estepes, onde não reconheceu nenhuma autoridade. Em fontes europeias, o termo aparece pela primeira vez em um dicionário da língua cumana (ver cumanos) em meados do século XIII. Também é encontrado em fontes bizantinas e nas instruções emitidas por cidades italianas às suas colônias na costa do Mar Negro, onde é aplicado a homens armados que prestaram serviço militar em regiões de fronteira e caravanas comerciais protegidas que viajavam pelas rotas das estepes. No final do século XV, o nome adquiriu um sentido mais amplo e foi aplicado aos ucranianos que iam às estepes para praticar diversos ofícios .

Em meados do século 16, a estrutura cossaca na Zaporizhia foi criada no processo de luta dos colonos das estepes contra os ataques tártaros. Os ataques tártaros forçaram o exército do Grão-Ducado da Lituânia a construir fortalezas na região sul da Ucrânia Uma segunda categoria de cossacos, conhecida como cossacos da cidade (horodovi kozaky), foi formada para a defesa das cidades. . Com o tempo, os cossacos adquiriram força militar e experiência, bem como prestígio em sua própria sociedade e fama em toda a Europa, que na época resistia ao ataque turco .

Outro fator importante no crescimento dos cossacos ucranianos foram as mudanças socioeconômicas que ocorreram na Comunidade polonesa-lituana no século XVI. Isso piorou substancialmente a sorte do campesinato: suas parcelas de terra diminuíram, sua liberdade de movimento foi limitada e a corvée foi ampliada. A nobreza e o governo polonês tentaram impor o catolicismo e a polonização à população ucraniana. A forma básica de oposição dos camponeses e, em certa medida, dos burgueses, era a fuga. Os camponeses e camponeses fugitivos fugiram para a estepe escassamente povoada, estabeleceram assentamentos, receberam, por um período determinado (até 30 anos), o direito a um assentamento isento de impostos (sloboda), e se autodenominavam homens livres Cossacos.

Mas os nobres impulsionaram uma economia baseada na servidão mais profunda da população local - tanto camponeses quanto cossacos. No final do século 16 e início do século 17, essa pressão dos magnatas e da nobreza levou a conflitos sangrentos nos quais os cossacos lutaram contra a nobreza ucraniana e o governo polonês: os levantes de Kryshtof Kosynsky (1591 3), Severyn Nalyvaiko (1594 a 6), Hryhorii Loboda (1596), Marko Zhmailo (1625), Taras Fedorovych (1630), Ivan Sulyma (1635), Pavlo Pavliuk e Dmytro Hunia (1637) e Yakiv Ostrianyn e Karpo Skydan (1638), todos eles brutalmente suprimidos.

Houve várias rebeliões anteriores, das quais talvez três foram em tão grande escala que tiveram uma chance de sucesso. Todos foram suprimidos, e a maioria foi, de fato, nas palavras da Enciclopédia Ukraniana, brutalmente suprimida . No entanto, esse termo não se ajusta aos resultados da grande revolta camponesa-cossaca em março de 1630 liderada por Taras Fedorovych. Suas forças derrotaram o exército polonês em Korsun e a revolta terminou com o Tratado de Pereiaslav de 1630.

A enciclopédia continua: O governo tentou regular e controlar o problema dos cossacos estabelecendo um registro, inicialmente pequeno, para até 3.000 pessoas depois, sob a pressão dos acontecimentos, aumentou para 6.000 e depois para 8.000 pessoas . . Em 1578, o rei Stephen B thory concedeu-lhes certos direitos e liberdades. Gradualmente, os cossacos começaram a conduzir sua própria política externa independente do governo e freqüentemente contrária aos seus interesses (por exemplo, eles tomaram parte nos assuntos da Moldávia e fecharam um tratado com o imperador Rodolfo II na década de 1590).

Antes de 1648 O registro dos cossacos diminuiu significativamente, os cossacos registrados (reiestrovi kozaky) foram isolados daqueles que foram excluídos do registro e da hóstia zaporozhiana.

Como os cossacos foram integrados / cooptados no "sistema" do Grão-Ducado da Lituânia exatamente se perdeu no tempo, mas podemos imaginar um período interessante de discussões sobre "o que fazer", pesando opções como a guerra e terminando em um solução que concedeu certos direitos em troca do controle de banditismo e certos benefícios militares ao Estado.

Os cossacos eram (como indivíduos) geralmente novos na área, já que eles ou seus pais ou avós haviam imigrado, principalmente da Polônia ou de outras partes do Grão-Ducado da Lituânia. A imigração de pessoas com capacidade militar para as áreas fronteiriças subpovoadas era a política durante os anos 1500, e essas novas pessoas inundaram os grupos iniciais em número. Por uma questão de necessidade prática, as aldeias nessas áreas eram frequentemente fortificadas e os homens mantinham armas. Com efeito, eles formaram assentamentos armados e milícias nas perigosas terras fronteiriças, em troca do direito de portar armas e de ter um status superior ao dos camponeses ucranianos nativos. Eles eram uma espécie de colono militar nas terras áridas ucranianas (uma situação um tanto comparável ao kibutz israelense). Outros vieram para a Ucrânia como uma terra de oportunidades - um leste selvagem - da mesma forma que outros inundaram o oeste selvagem americano mais de um século depois. A analogia do oeste americano também é válida porque a região, embora rica, era perigosa e isolada, a principal forma de transporte da produção era pelo rio e todos os rios corriam para terras turcas ou tártaras. Você poderia cultivar toneladas de trigo, mas não conseguiria colocá-lo no mercado. Você poderia criar gado, mas teria que conduzi-lo por centenas de quilômetros além de uma manopla intransponível de salteadores. Portanto, o povo cossaco era bem alimentado e saudável, mesmo se os bens de luxo fossem escassos e se houvesse ataques escravistas tártaros a serem evitados.

Eles eram de origem étnica altamente diversa, mas predominantemente polonês-lituano-ruthien. Culturalmente, eles eram os mesmos, e a maioria falava polonês e ruthien, eles também aprenderam o tártaro e outras influências culturais regionais. Por religião, eles eram 70-80% ortodoxos, 15-20% católicos e unitaristas e 5-10% muçulmanos, luteranos e outros. Até a década de 1550, eles somavam apenas vários milhares, mas um grande influxo de novos imigrantes, como pequenos boiardos deslocados da Lituânia, Smolensk e Bielo-Rússia, expandiu muito suas fileiras. Mais algumas gerações de prosperidade como fazendeiros, lutadores e bandidos de meio período, e seu número ultrapassou 200.000.

A União de Lublin 1569 foi um fator importante, porque como condição os boiardos e nobres lituanos e rutianos - geralmente os proprietários de terras - tornaram-se iguais em status aos nobres poloneses, uma promoção, exceto para os magnatas.

o boiardos mesquinhos, uma classe militar profissional que geralmente não era proprietários de terras (tinham recebido propriedades para sua manutenção durante algum anos ou vida) perdeu o status e arriscou a descida para o campesinato, talvez não tanto pessoalmente, mas eles tinham motivos para temer, especialmente por seus filhos e netos. Eles poderiam manter um pouco de seu status, liberdade e direito de portar armas movendo-se para o leste selvagem e se tornando cossacos. Sem esta 'válvula' de alívio de pressão, a União pode ter desencadeado uma rebelião.
Os moscovitas mantiveram o mesquinho sistema boiardo. Uma coisa, se sua população está crescendo, você precisa de mais terra para distribuir para o seu estoque crescente de meninos atingindo a maturidade - incentiva guerras constantes de expansão.

Muitos mitos foram criados mais tarde para justificar o domínio imperialista da Rússia e do socialismo soviético, que são inteiramente fantasiosos. Outros mitos derivam da suposição falaciosa de que o que é verdade hoje ou cem anos atrás era o caso há 400 anos. O primeiro é o cossaco como nobre selvagem. Taras Bulba é um filme / vídeo divertido, mas bastante duvidoso em termos de história (mas bastante fiel às histórias oficiais publicadas durante a era Imperial Russa e Soviética). Os cossacos são retratados como uma espécie de tribo nativa - como tantos índios Sioux - nobres selvagens lutando pela independência e liberdade dos opressores militares e invasores culturais na forma da Comunidade Lituana Polonesa.

Enquanto que os cossacos - muitos ou a maioria dos quais eram imigrantes de primeira ou segunda geração, étnica e linguisticamente poloneses, mazurianos, bielorussos e lituanos, e incluíam mais do que alguns alemães, romenos, húngaros e outros de todo o mundo em busca de aventura e fortuna no leste selvagem.

O segundo mito famoso: os cossacos são herdeiros da Rus de Kiev, que é a pátria-mãe da Grande Rússia e, portanto, são irmãos culturais e políticos e almas gêmeas da Moscóvia, ansiando por se reunirem sob o governo benevolente de seu pai, o Czar (ou Joe Stalin).

A monumental História da Ucrânia de Hrushevsky argumentou que o período do estado de Kiev (século 10 a 13) pertencia apenas à Ucrânia, repudiando assim a tradição nacionalista russa que traçou a história da Rússia (Moscóvia) desde a antiga Kiev. Depois disso, este ex-presidente da Ucrânia (1918) teve a sorte de Stalin apenas o exilou, em vez da alternativa.

A outra parte da história é que os mongóis limparam Kiev e as áreas vizinhas, duas vezes, com extremo preconceito. Histórias contadas de montanhas de crânios. A terra ficou nitidamente despovoada pelos próximos dois séculos e, portanto, convidou recém-chegados de todos os pontos da bússola. Os lituanos, que cultivaram cuidadosamente uma reputação de senhores fáceis e inimigos difíceis, acharam os dispersos Principados fáceis de digerir e, geralmente, de parceiros dispostos. Seja como for, parece que o século XVI de Kiev e ucranianos viam os moscovitas como uma cultura estrangeira e, em geral, como um inimigo ou, pelo menos, como um rival. A língua e os trajes eram típicos da Comunidade, não da Moscóvia, a escrita era romana, não cirílica, seu primata ortodoxo ficava em Kiev, não em Moscou. Sublinho este ponto, porque é um erro comum presumir que o vínculo estreito entre a Ucrânia e Moscou -que foi criado após a absorção e várias gerações de assimilação pelo império russo- existiu durante um período anterior.

Um terceiro mito pode ter um elemento de verdade. Diz-se que os 'bandos cossacos foram criados em 1400 pela mistura de servos fugitivos misturados com tártaros'. O aspecto do “servo fugitivo” desse mito é anacrônico porque o sistema de servidão foi imposto principalmente no século XVII. Antes disso, os camponeses tinham liberdade de movimento legal, embora nem sempre na prática. Embora possa haver algo na influência dos primeiros tártaros, de qualquer maneira, os cossacos geralmente não pareciam ter o tártaro como primeira língua, o cossaco médio tinha muito mais probabilidade de ser loiro do que mongol. A origem exata pode não ser muito importante, porque seu pequeno quadro inicial foi finalmente inundado por uma maré de recém-chegados.

Um quarto mito é que os cossacos eram a melhor cavalaria leve do mundo - presumivelmente junto com aqueles outros nobres selvagens, os índios americanos das planícies. Como sugerido no artigo da batalha do Rio Amarelo, os cossacos, associados hoje à cavalaria russa, eram famosos na época como excelente infantaria. Apenas uma pequena fração dos cossacos militares profissionais eram cavalaria no século XVII.

Quinto mito: ser cossaco nos anos 1500 era ser ortodoxo, enquanto a maioria era, e embora isso fosse parte da base ideológica da rebelião, a Ortodoxia não se tornou um teste de lealdade e assimilação até depois da rebelião de 1648, assim como não aconteceu até depois do Dilúvio de 1655.

Toda a Comunidade era religiosamente diversa e (fiquei surpreso ao saber) praticamente todas as cidades com mais de mil habitantes, mesmo no Báltico, tinham pelo menos três casas de culto: sinagoga, mesquita e Igreja Católica. A maioria também tinha uma igreja ortodoxa e luterana, e casas armênias, quacres e outras seitas.

Uma pequena porcentagem dos melhores lutadores foi "registrada" como soldados profissionais pagos. Tecnicamente, por uma lei do final do século 16, um cossaco não tinha o direito de portar armas se não fosse registrado - uma disposição que foi essencialmente ignorada. No entanto, exceto para aqueles poucos milhares registrados, o resto dos cossacos, por não terem legalmente esse direito legal, foram efetivamente rebaixados à condição de camponeses. O fato de tais cargos serem poucos causou ressentimento e desemprego. O aumento do controle pelo governo regional (Voiviode) e central gerou mais ressentimento e, eventualmente, Guerra Civil.


Como os cossacos russos se tornaram tropas de elite do imperador chinês

Em meados do século XVII, as civilizações russa e chinesa, que até então tinham uma ideia muito vaga uma da outra, se encontraram pela primeira vez no campo de batalha. Aconteceu quando destacamentos de cossacos chegaram às margens do rio Amur, que era habitado pelas tribos Daur que prestavam homenagem a Pequim.

O Império Qing viu a chegada dos & ldquobarbarbarios de longe & rdquo às terras de seus pagadores de tributos como uma invasão de sua zona de interesses. Forças consideráveis ​​de chineses e manchus (a dinastia manchu subiu ao trono da China em 1636) foram enviadas para lutar contra os russos. O principal confronto era sobre o povoado de Albazin, que aos poucos se tornava o principal posto avançado da Rússia em sua conquista do Extremo Oriente.

Quando, em junho de 1685, um exército Qing de 5.000 homens se aproximou de Albazin, sua guarnição consistia em apenas 450 homens. Apesar de sua superioridade decupla em mão de obra e artilharia, os chineses e manchus eram muito inferiores aos cossacos em seu nível de treinamento de combate. Os russos resistiram com sucesso por um longo tempo, até que ficou claro que não adiantava esperar por ajuda externa.

Cerco de Albazin. Pintura chinesa do século XVII.

Sob termos de rendição honrosa, a guarnição de Albazin foi autorizada a partir e retornar para o seu lado. No entanto, os chineses ofereceram aos apreensivos da longa e difícil jornada de volta para casa para virem ao serviço dos chineses por uma boa remuneração. Quarenta e cinco cossacos expressaram o desejo de servir ao imperador.

O melhor dos melhores

Foi ideia do próprio imperador Kangxi e rsquos atrair os russos para o seu lado. Desde os primeiros confrontos com eles, percebeu que os russos eram um inimigo perigoso e forte e que seria difícil expulsá-los do Extremo Oriente. O imperador decidiu que precisava de lutadores como eles, então, sempre que possível, ele os incorporou alegremente ao seu próprio exército.

Esta política fez com que mais de cem russos se juntassem ao exército do Império Qing. Alguns o fizeram por sua própria vontade, enquanto outros foram capturados como prisioneiros em campanhas militares e depois decidiram ficar em um país estrangeiro. Todos eles entraram para a história como & lsquoAlbazinians & rsquo, depois do maior grupo de voluntários do forte do rio Amur.

Os cossacos foram tratados com grandes honras. Eles foram classificados entre a classe militar hereditária, que estava quase no topo da estrutura social da Dinastia Qing na China. Apenas a nobreza privilegiada estava acima deles.

Os albazinos foram alistados em um contingente de elite das tropas Qing sob o comando direto do imperador & mdash, o chamado & lsquoBordered Yellow Banner & rsquo (havia oito estandartes no total, cada um chegando a 15.000 soldados). Dentro do banner, eles tinham sua própria & ldquoRussian company & rdquo & mdash & lsquoGudei & rsquo.

Além dos russos, apenas jovens aristocráticos manchus foram autorizados a ingressar na unidade de guardas da Faixa Amarela Fronteiriça. Os chineses foram impedidos de fazê-lo.

Uma vida confortável

Os albazinianos foram regados com privilégios: eles receberam moradia e terra arável e receberam pagamentos em dinheiro e rações de arroz. Aqueles que não tinham família (ou seja, a maioria) receberam mulheres chinesas e manchus locais & mdash as viúvas de criminosos executados & mdash como esposas.

Os chineses não violaram a fé religiosa de seus soldados russos. Pelo contrário, eles permitiram que os cossacos usassem uma velha casa de orações budista e a convertessem em uma igreja ortodoxa. Até então, os cossacos tinham que ir para a capital chinesa da Igreja Católica Romana do Sul para orar.

Liturgia albaziniana em Pequim no século XIX.

O cristianismo ortodoxo ganhou espaço na China precisamente graças aos albazinos e, em particular, ao padre Maxim Leontiev, que também chegou a Pequim após a rendição do forte de Amur. Como o primeiro sacerdote cristão ortodoxo no país, ele realizou todos os serviços divinos e batismos mdash, cerimônias de casamento e serviços funerários para seus irmãos crentes e participou de todos os negócios da colônia russa na capital chinesa. “Ele revelou a luz da fé ortodoxa de Cristo a eles [os chineses],” o metropolita Inácio de Tobolsk e da Sibéria escreveu sobre ele.

Mesmo assim, os cossacos não foram recrutados para levar uma vida ociosa. Há evidências de sua participação em várias campanhas das tropas Qing, em particular contra os mongóis ocidentais. Além disso, os albazinos foram usados ​​para fins de propaganda & mdash para persuadir ex-compatriotas a se juntar à causa do imperador & rsquos.

Declínio

Com o tempo, China e Rússia resolveram seus conflitos de fronteira e a importância militar e política da & ldquoRussian Company & rdquo na Faixa Amarela Fronteiriça começou a diminuir. Suas tarefas foram reduzidas principalmente a deveres de guarnição na capital.

Tendo se integrado à população local chinesa e manchu, depois de várias gerações, os albazinianos perderam toda a sua russidade. No entanto, eles continuaram a praticar a fé ortodoxa e muitas vezes se gabaram de sua posição privilegiada. De acordo com os viajantes russos que visitaram Pequim no final do século 19, o Albazinian & ldquoin o senso moral é um parasita que vive de esmolas na melhor das hipóteses e um bêbado e um trapaceiro na pior & rdquo.

Descendentes dos albazinos em 1900.

Uma provação séria para os cossacos chineses foi a rebelião dos boxers de 1900 contra a dominação estrangeira e o cristianismo. Várias centenas de albazinianos se tornaram suas vítimas & mdash, mas mesmo em face da morte, eles se recusaram a renunciar à sua fé.

Após a queda do Império Qing em 1912, os descendentes dos cossacos foram forçados a procurar novas ocupações na vida. Muitos deles se tornaram policiais ou trabalharam para o Banco Russo-Asiático e para a imprensa na Missão Espiritual Russa.

A Revolução Cultural de Mao Zedong e rsquos, dirigida contra tudo que fosse estrangeiro na China, desferiu outro golpe na diáspora albaziniana. Como resultado da perseguição, muitos de seus membros foram forçados a renunciar às suas raízes.

No entanto, ainda hoje na China moderna, existem pessoas que se consideram descendentes dos cossacos de Albazin - o imperador e soldados de elite rsquos. Eles não estão familiarizados com a língua russa e é impossível distingui-los dos chineses. No entanto, eles ainda guardam a memória de onde vêm.

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A insurreição Khmelnytsky

As tensões decorrentes do descontentamento social, conflitos religiosos e ressentimento cossaco contra a autoridade polonesa finalmente se uniram e chegaram ao auge em 1648. Começando com uma revolta cossaca aparentemente típica, sob a liderança de Bohdan Khmelnytsky, a Ucrânia foi rapidamente envolvida em uma guerra e revolução sem precedentes .

Khmelnytsky era um pequeno nobre e oficial cossaco que, incapaz de obter justiça pelos erros sofridos nas mãos dos poloneses, fugiu para o Sich no final de 1647 e logo foi eleito hetman. No início de 1648, ele começou os preparativos para uma insurreição, garantindo para esse fim o apoio militar tártaro. Um exército polonês enviado à Ucrânia para impedir a rebelião foi destruído em duas batalhas em maio. Esta vitória deu o sinal de uma revolta popular massiva. A violência se espalhou por toda a Ucrânia à medida que cossacos e camponeses descarregavam sua fúria contra aqueles que associavam à tirania polonesa e à opressão social - proprietários de terras, funcionários públicos, clérigos latinos e uniatos e judeus. Os poloneses, por sua vez, sofreram represálias sangrentas contra a população rebelde. Em setembro, Khmelnytsky infligiu outra derrota esmagadora ao exército polonês recém-formado, marchou para o oeste pela Galícia e, finalmente, sitiou Zamość na própria Polônia. Ele não pressionou sua vantagem, entretanto, e, com a eleição de um novo rei polonês em novembro, ele retornou ao centro da Ucrânia. Em janeiro de 1649, Khmelnytsky entrou em Kiev para a aclamação triunfal como libertador.

Embora inicialmente buscando apenas uma reparação das queixas da coroa polonesa, Khmelnytsky, após sua chegada a Kiev, começou a conceber a Ucrânia como um estado cossaco independente. Ele começou a estabelecer um sistema de finanças do governo e do estado, criou uma administração local sob uma nova elite governante oriunda dos oficiais cossacos e iniciou relações com estados estrangeiros. Ainda preparado para reconhecer a soberania real, no entanto, ele entrou em negociações com os poloneses. Mas nem o Tratado de Zboriv (agosto de 1649) nem um acordo menos favorável dois anos depois se mostraram aceitáveis ​​- tanto para a nobreza polonesa quanto para as bases cossacas e as massas radicalizadas do lado ucraniano.

Enquanto as operações militares continuavam inconclusivas e porque o apoio tártaro se mostrava pouco confiável em momentos cruciais, Khmelnytsky começou a procurar outros aliados. Em 1654, em Pereyaslav, ele concluiu com Moscou um acordo cuja natureza precisa gerou enorme controvérsia: historiadores russos enfatizaram a aceitação da Ucrânia da suserania do czar, que posteriormente legitimou o domínio russo, mas a historiografia ucraniana enfatizou o reconhecimento de Moscou da autonomia da Ucrânia (incluindo uma heterogeneidade eletiva , autogoverno e o direito de conduzir relações externas) que era virtualmente equivalente à independência (Vejo Acordo de Pereyaslav). Moscou agora entrava na guerra contra a Polônia. Nenhum avanço decisivo ocorreu, entretanto, apesar das ocasionais vitórias conjuntas, e Khmelnytsky ficou cada vez mais desiludido com a aliança moscovita. Houve disputas sobre o controle do território conquistado na Bielo-Rússia e conflitos sobre a interferência russa nos assuntos internos da Ucrânia. Especialmente irritante para o homem foi a reaproximação russo-polonesa que se seguiu à invasão em 1655 da Polônia pela Suécia, adversária de Moscou, mas potencial aliado da Ucrânia (Vejo Primeira Guerra do Norte). Khmelnytsky novamente procurou novas alianças e coalizões envolvendo Suécia, Transilvânia, Brandemburgo, Moldávia e Valáquia, e havia indicações de que o hetman planejava cortar a conexão moscovita, mas morreu antes que pudesse fazê-lo.


LEVANTAMENTO DE COSSACKS:

Desde o século XV, bandos semimilitares de cossacos se espalharam pelas estepes do sul e sudeste da Rússia e influenciaram materialmente a história dos judeus naquela região. Os cossacos originalmente apareceram como mercadores viajantes, perseguindo sua vocação geralmente nas estepes do sul da Rússia, além dos limites de seu próprio país. Por uma questão de proteção mútua, eles se organizaram em bandos armados, liderados por hetmans ou atamans. Tornando-se colonos permanentes, eles mantiveram suas organizações militares e sociais. Mais tarde, aparecem grupos de agricultores cossacos, assentamentos cossacos e aldeias cossacas.

Dos diferentes ramos dos cossacos, apenas os da Ucrânia (Pequena Rússia) são considerados aqui. Quando o rei Casimiro Jagellon transformou o principado de Kiev em um condado polonês (1476), os nobres russos da Ucrânia receberam direitos iguais aos da nobreza polonesa (Kostomarov, "Bogdan Chmielnicki", i. 114). Com as cidades, vilas e aldeias livres sendo distribuídas entre a nobreza, o antigo sistema de autogoverno foi abolido e o primeiro passo foi dado para a adoção forçada dos costumes e métodos poloneses pela nobreza russa. Os camponeses da fé grega tornaram-se assim servos dos latifundiários. Logo depois, os cossacos da Ucrânia tornaram-se visíveis. Suas organizações tinham alguma semelhança com as da ordem da cavalaria, pois se anunciavam como campeões da cristandade. Quando a Polônia e a Lituânia foram fundidas pelo rei Sigismundo Augusto em uma comunidade (1569), as províncias de Volínia, Podólia e Ucrânia foram separadas da Lituânia e ficaram sob o domínio imediato da Polônia. Naquela época, o senhor ucraniano Wishnewetzki (polonês, "Wisniowiecki") construiu em uma ilha no rio Dnieper a fortaleza de Khortitza e colocou cossacos lá para proteção contra as invasões dos tártaros da Crimeia ("Akty Yuzhnoi i Zapadnoi Rossii," ii . 148). Esta fortaleza com sua guarnição era conhecida como "Zaporogian Syech" (o acampamento fortificado além das corredeiras). A esses cossacos juntaram-se pequenos camponeses russos de fé grega que haviam rompido com seus proprietários católicos poloneses, fugitivos da justiça e aventureiros. Pode ser mencionado aqui que os judeus também serviram nas fileiras dos cossacos. Em 1681, Aḥmad Kalga, conselheiro-chefe do Khan da Crimeia, queixou-se ao embaixador polonês, Piasaczinski, de que os cossacos do Baixo Dnieper haviam feito ataques à Crimeia. Piasaczinski respondeu afirmando que os cossacos não eram súditos do rei polonês, e que, portanto, ele não poderia ser responsabilizado pelos atos de vagabundos incontroláveis ​​do deserto, pois enquanto havia alguns poloneses, havia também moscovitas, valáquios, turcos, tártaros, Judeus, etc., entre eles (Kostomarov, l.c. p. 55).

Na responsa de Joel Särkes é feita menção a "Berakah, o Herói", que lutou nas fileiras dos cossacos e caiu na batalha contra os moscovitas (1601 Harkavy, "Yevrei-Kazaki", em "Russki Yevrei," 1880, p. 348). Em 1637, um certo Ilyash (Elijah) Karaimovich (o nome indica uma origem caraíta) foi um dos oficiais dos cossacos registrados e se tornou seu "starosta" (ancião) após a execução de Pavlyuk (Kostomarov, l.c. p. 135). In ballads of Little Russia reference is made to a colonel named Matvi Borochovich (1647), who, as his family name (meaning "son of Baruch") indicates, was probably also of Jewish origin. The feeling against the Jews spread very rapidly from Poland into the Ukraine in the reign of Sigismund III. (1587-1632), who was an obedient pupil of the Jesuits. The gilds, which always feared the competition of the Jews, were prominent in connection with the accusations. The higher nobility, however, depended largely on the Jews to act as their leaseholders, agents, and financial managers, and this served in a measure as a bar to persecution.

Stephen Bathori (1575-86) intended to disband the Cossacks, who were a menace to the union of the Ukraine with Poland. Not long before his death he said: "Some day an independent state will spring up from this scum" (Kostomarov, l.c. p. 21).

As the power of the Jesuits increased, and with it their determination to force the peasants and Cossacks into the Catholic Church, there were manifest signs of trouble between the Cossacks and the Polish nobility. From time to time armed Cossack bands swept over the Ukraine, plundering the estates of the nobility, pillaging the Catholic churches, and robbing the Jews. When the Polish nobles Wishnevetzki, Potocki, and Koniecpolski settled in the Ukraine and began to build palaces and castles, the Jews were their trusted agents and managers, leasing their estates, mills, inns, rivers, lakes, and all other sources of revenue.

The Jews increased rapidly in the Little Russian territories at the beginning of the seventeenth century. They farmed not only the taxes, but even the revenues of the Greek Orthodox Church. At every christening or funeral the peasants had to pay a fee to the Jew. The lords were the absolute rulers of their estates, and the peasants their dependent subjects. When a lord or any other member of the nobility leased his villages or estates to a Jew, his authority also was delegated to the latter, who even had the power to administer justice among the peasants ("Yewen Mezulah," p. 2a). The extravagant life of the Polish landlords, who spent most of their fortunes abroad, frequently placed them in pecuniary difficulties, and their Jewish tax-farmers were often forced into exactions against the advice and warnings of the wise leaders of the Council of Four Lands, and the Jews of the Ukraine often suffered grievously for the sins of individuals of their race. The uprising of the peasants in the Ukraine has been ascribed by most historians to their oppression by Jewish leaseholders, as well as to the privileges granted to the latter by the kings and nobles of Poland. Recent historical research, however, indicates that the Jews living in the cities, particularly in those of the Ukraine, were not afforded the protection enjoyed by other citizens, and moreover were excluded from the privileges granted to the Christian merchants and burghers (Antonovich, "Monografii po Istorii Zapadnoi i Yugo-Zapadnoi Rossii," i. 188). Notwithstanding this, the Jews managed to gain control of the commerce of the country, as is evidenced by the complaints of the Christian merchants of Lemberg, Kamenetz, Kiev, and many other cities, shortly before the Cossack uprising ("Archiv Yugo-Zapadnoi Rossii," v., part i., xxxiv. 134, xl. 156, cxxi. 323 "Starozytna Polska," 11, 1023, 1369 "Sbornik Mukhanova," p. 192 Antonovich, l.c. p. 189). It was the combined opposition to the Jews of the urban and the peasant populations that made it possible for Chmielnicki to arm the entire country against them within so short a time.

During their first uprising under Nalivaika and Kossinski (1591-93), and that under Taras (1630), the Cossacks did not exhibit any special animosity toward the Jews, but complained only of the Roman Catholics. But in the subsequent revolt, under Pavlyuk (1637), 200 Jews, mostly leaseholders and farmers of taxes, were killed in Pereyaslav, Lokhvitza, and Lubny, and many synagogues were destroyed and when the Polish government restricted some of the rights of the Cossacks their animosity toward the Jews was still further increased.

In 1646 a general European alliance, including Ladislaus IV., was formed for the purpose of driving the Turks out of Europe. The Polish chancelor Ossolinski visited the Ukraine and opened negotiations with the Cossacks. The king was accused before the Diet of 1646 of attempting to curtail the rights of the "Shlyakhta" the proposed war with Turkey was not sanctioned by the Diet, and the Polish cause was thus injured.

The contents of the agreement between King Ladislaus and Bogdan Chmielnicki, the leader of the Cossacks, have never been positively ascertained, nor has it been shown how far, if at all, the latter was encouraged by Alexis, the Russian czar. It is only known that on Oct. 1, 1653, the Russian government decided to include the Cossacks among its subjects, whereupon war was declared against Poland by the Muscovites. Most of the historians, Russian, Polish, and Jewish, think that the personal animosity of Chmielnicki against Koniecpolski and Chaplinski (see Chmielnicki, Bogdan) caused the Cossack uprising yet even such a shrewd, ambitious, and daring leader as Chmielnicki could not so soon have become such a popular hero throughout the Ukraine had not the ground been prepared. When Koniecpolski learned of the alliance formed by Chmielnicki and the Tatars to make common war on Poland and to drive the Poles out of the Ukraine, he cast Chmielnicki into prison. A Jew, Jacob Sabilenki, helped Chmielnicki to escape and when he was subsequently imprisoned for the second time, he again succeeded in effecting his escape. He then went with his fellow conspirators to the Syech, whence he issued his appeal to the Cossacks to rise and take revenge on both the Poles and the Jews. In his address to the Cossack elders Chmielnicki said: "You must be aware of the fact that the Polishnation is gaining power daily and that it oppresses our coreligionists. But it is not the noblemen alone who lord it over us: even the most abject nation [the Jews] hold us in subjection" ("Yewen Meẓulah"). This was enough to excite the people of Little Russia. The flame of revolution spread with great rapidity throughout the Ukraine, and Chmielnicki, encouraged by Ladislaus himself, concluded a treaty with the Khan of the Crimea. Chmielnicki still derived encouragement from the king himself, who, being often opposed in the Diet by the nobility, desired to make use of the Cossacks. Some historians hint that he even secretly promised to help them assert their rights against the nobles.

One of the paragraphs of this treaty stipulated that all prisoners of war should belong to the Tatars, as also the right to sell them as slaves in Turkish markets and that the property of the Polish nobility and Jews should be allotted to the Cossacks. When the Tatar general Tugai-bey joined Chmielnicki with an army of 4,000 men, the whole of Little Russia, Podolia, and the Ukraine rose en masse, and, leaving their estates and homes, assembled in the Syech. The Jews soon learned of the plans of the allied armies, and warned the Polish field-marshals Potocki and Kalinovski to be on their guard (Kostomarov, i. 264) but they disregarded the warning. On May 18, 1648, the Poles were defeated near the Yellow Waters ("Zholtyya Vody"). Potocki was killed and Kalinovski made prisoner.

After this, bands of the Zaporogians, the Little Russian peasants, and the roving Cossacks of the Ukraine joined the insurrection, and invaded the towns of Pereyaslav, Piryatin, Lubny, and Lokhvitza, plundering, robbing, and cruelly torturing the Jewish inhabitants. The Jews of Pogrebishche, Zotov, and Bozovka, about 3,000 in number, were more fortunate for they gave themselves up to the Tatars, who, though they took them into captivity, treated them humanely. They were taken to the Crimea, and subsequently ransomed by the Jews of Constantinople. On the day of the above-mentioned battle, King Ladislaus died, which was a great misfortune-for Poland as well as for the Jews. During the interregnum (May to Oct., 1648) the dissensions throughout Poland increased, and the conflicts between the different parties in the confederation weakened the resistance of the Poles.

While Chmielnicki negotiated with the Polish magnates, and especially with the Archbishop of Gnesen, troops from the Ukraine, both regular and irregular, were organized under brutal leaders, who reveled in the death-struggles of their Polish and Jewish foes. These bands, called "Haidamaks," were ordered by the Greek Orthodox popes to murder both Roman Catholics and Jews in the name of religion, and soon changed the whole country into a desert only those Jews who fell into the hands of the Tatars, or those who changed their religion, escaped death. The most cruel leaders of the Cossacks were Krivonos, Morozenko, and Chmielnicki's son, Timofei.

After the defeat of the Poles near Korsun, the Cossack troops and the peasant bands under their leader Ganzha advanced against the fortified town of Nemirov, which had 6,000 Jewish inhabitants, and where the fugitives from the neighborhood were assembled. This was a very wealthy community, and contained many prominent and learned men. The Jews, who were in possession of the fortress, had closed the gates but Greek Christians of the town, disguised in Polish uniforms, urged the Jews to open them again for their friends. They did so, only to be mercilessly slaughtered by the Cossacks and the Russians, those escaping immediate death undergoing frightful tortures (June 10, 1648). Among the victims was Jehiel Michael ben Eliezer, the cabalist, and the head of the yeshibah of Nemirov. While most of the Jews remained true to their faith, some escaped by embracing Christianity, although most of these returned to Judaism when the riots were over (Graetz, "Hist." Hebrew ed., viii. 135).

At the town of Tulchin about 600 Polish soldiers and 2,000 Jews had taken refuge in the fortress (called Nestrow) some of the latter being brave soldiers, sworn to defend the town and fortress to the last man. The Cossack peasants, knowing little of tactics, resorted to a trick. They assured the nobles that their hatred was directed solely against the accursed Jews, and that if these should be delivered up to them they would withdraw. The nobles, forgetful of their oath, proposed that the Jews should give up their arms to them. The Jews, who exceeded the Poles in number, at first thought of revenging themselves on the latter for their treachery but Rabbi Aaron of Tulchin warned them that the Catholics would take bloody vengeance, and that all Poland would be excited against the Jews, who would doubtless be exterminated. The Jews then delivered up their arms, whereupon the Poles admitted the Cossacks into the town. After the Cossacks had taken everything from the Jews, they offered them the choice between death and baptism. Three rabbis, Eliezer, Solomon, and Ḥayyim, urged their brethren not to change their religion and about 1,000 Jews who remained steadfast were tortured and executed before the eyes of the Polish nobles (June 24, 1648). Ten rabbis were spared by the Cossacks in order to extort large ransoms from their communities. The Poles were immediately punished for their treachery. Deprived of the assistance of the Jews, they were slain by the Cossacks. This sad event had a good effect, as the Poles after that sided steadfastly with the Jews, and were not opposed to them throughout the course of the long war ("Yewen Meẓulah," p. 23).

From Podolia the bands of rebels penetrated into Volhynia. Here the carnage continued during the whole summer and autumn of 1648. About 10,000 Jews were slain by the Cossacks or taken captive by the Tatars at Polonnoye. The cabalist Samson of Ostropol, who had been revered by the populace, with 300 pious inhabitants, was put to death in the synagogue. Similar massacres took place in Zaslavl, Ostrog, Starokonstantinov, Bar, Narol, Kremenetz, and other towns of the Ukraine. The Polish troops, especially those under Jeremiah Wishnevetzki, subdued the Cossacks here and there, but they were unable to put down the rebellion. In Sept., 1648,the forces of Chmielnicki had advanced to the very walls of Lemberg, which was subjected to a protracted siege. Having reduced the inhabitants by starvation, the Cossacks withdrew upon receiving from the city an enormous ransom, a considerable share of which was paid by the Jews (Caro, "Gesch. der Juden in Lemberg," pp. 51-64). From Lemberg, Chmielnicki with his hordes turned to Zamoscz and Lublin, even approaching Warsaw, where the election of the king was in progress. The choice fell upon the primate of Gnesen, Cardinal John Casimir (1648-68), brother of King Ladislaus IV.

The new king at once entered into peace negotiations with Chmielnicki, but owing to the excessive demands of the Cossacks no conclusion was reached. The war broke out afresh, and lasted to the end of the summer of 1649. In the course of it many more Jewish communities were desolated. After a series of battles unfavorable to the Poles a treaty of peace was concluded at Zborowo, between John Casimir and Chmielnicki. In this treaty there was a clause forbidding the Jews to live in the Ukraine: that is, in the waywodeship of Chernigov, Poltava, Kiev, and part of Podolia (Aug., 1649).

After eighteen months of torture and hardship the Jews could once more breathe freely. To all who had entered the Greek Orthodox Church under threat of death, the king gave permission to return to their former faith. Jewish women who had been forcibly baptized fled in numbers from the Cossack husbands who had been forced upon them, and returned to their families. The Council of Four Lands, at its session in the winter of 1650, worked out a long series of measures intended to restore order in the family and social life of the Jews. The 20th of Nisan, the day of the Nemirov massacre, was the day previously set apart as a fast-day in memory of the martyrs of the Crusades, and was now made a day of mourning for the victims of the Cossack rebellion as well. The prominent rabbis of the time composed many elegies and prayers, which were recited in the synagogues on every anniversary of the fatal day.

But the Jews were not to rest for a long time. The treaty of Zborowo was satisfactory neither to the Polish government nor to the Cossacks, and in 1651 war again broke out. This time the Poles gained the advantage over Chmielnicki's forces, and the campaign ended with a treaty advantageous to the Poles. Under the treaty of Byelaya Tzerkov (Sept., 1651), many of the Cossacks' claims were rejected, and the right of the Jews to settle in the Ukraine was restored.

It was at this time that the agitation among the Cossacks and the Greek Orthodox Ukrainians was renewed. Bogdan Chmielnicki opened negotiations with Czar Alexis with the view of transferring Cossack-Ukraine, under the name of "Malorossia" (Little Russia), to the Muscovite realm. These negotiations were successful in 1654. In the same year the Russian troops penetrated into White Russia and Lithuania and began a war with Poland. During this war, which lasted two years (1654-56), the Jews of White Russia and Lithuania underwent much suffering. The seizure of many cities by the united Cossack-Muscovite army was accompanied by the extermination or exile of the Jews. When the city of Mohilev on the Dnieper surrendered to the Muscovite forces, Alexis, as requested by the local Russian inhabitants, ordered all the Jews to be banished from the city, and their houses to be distributed among the magistrates and other Russian officials. The Jews, however, trusting that the military disturbances would soon cease, did not immediately leave, Mohilev and for this they paid a heavy penalty. At the end of the summer of 1655 the commander of the Russian garrison at Mohilev, Colonel Poklonski, learned that the Polish army, under Radziwill, was marching on the city. Fearing that the Jews might unite with the advancing enemy, Poklonski ordered them to leave the city, promising them an escort as Polish subjects to Radziwill's camp. No sooner were the Jews, with their wives, children, and belongings, outside the walls, than the Russian soldiers, acting upon Poklonski's orders, fell upon them, killed nearly all of them, and appropriated their possessions.

At Vitebsk the Jews took an active part in the defense of the city against the besieging Muscovites. For this the enemy took ample revenge, the Jews being either forcibly baptized or sent into exile to Pskov, Novgorod, and Kazan. The Jews in the community of Wilna also suffered in the sack of that city by the Muscovite-Cossack forces in Aug., 1655. Most of the Wilna Jews, however, found safety in flight those remaining being either slain or banished by order of the czar. It was soon the turn of the native Polish provinces to become the scene of war and invasion. The irruption of Poland's third enemy, the Swedes (1655-58), under Charles Gustavus, brought carnage into the very heart of the country. The greater portion of Little and Great Poland passed into the possession of the Swedes, and King John Casimir had to flee. At the hands of the Swedish invaders Jews suffered equally with Christians but they often found themselves between the hammer and the anvil. The Polish leader, Czarniecki, while escaping from the Swedes, devastated all the country through which he passed, but manifested exceptional harshness in his treatment of the Jews. The Polish auxiliary bands were equally severe in their treatment of the Jews and other non-Catholics.

The horrors of the war were brought to a climax by the outbreak of the plague in Poland. The Jews in the provinces of Cracow, Posen, Kalish, Piotrkov, and Lublin perished in large numbers, both by the sword of the enemy and by disease. Only after 1658 did the disturbance caused by the war begin to subside. According to the chronicles, the number of Jews who perished during this time (1648-58) exceeded half a million. Over three hundred Jewish communities (740, according to the unreliable Samuel Phoebus in "Ṭiṭ ha-Yawen") were massacred and sacked. Approximately only one-tenth of the Jewish population remained in Polish Ukraine, Volhynia, and Podolia. The remainder had either perished or had emigrated into Lithuania, Poland proper, and the states of western Europe. Jewish fugitives from Poland, and captives ransomed from Tatar bondage, could at that time be met with in all the countries of Europe and Asia.

The following is a list of the towns in which out-breaks occurred during the uprising of the Cossacks (1648-58):


Jewish History

By the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th centuries, there were a number of instances of severe religious dissention among Jews. They were the harbingers of the future problems. Let us discuss two of them, both of which occurred in Amsterdam.

The first deals with a Jew by the name of Uriel Acosta (Uriel da Costa).

Uriel Acosta

Acosta’s father was a Marrano, and Acosta himself was born Catholic and baptized as a Catholic. He lived in Spain and Portugal. Many members of his family were high-ranking people in the local Roman Catholic Church. He received a traditional church education.

He was very bright, but from the earliest age he was a skeptic – and a particularly great skeptic in Roman Catholicism. So much so that his family feared for his life, because a Marrano or Marrano family that “lapsed” into Judaism would be burned at the stake by the Inquisition.

Due to this fear the family began to make arrangements in the late 1590s to move from Spain to the Netherlands. As a wealthy and influential family they were able to arrange for permission to leave. In the 1590s, we already find the Acosta family in Holland and Amsterdam.

There — as did countless other Marrano families — they officially reestablished their Judaism. They publicly stated in the synagogue that their conversion to Catholicism was null and void they did not intend to be Christian at any time and were forced into it. Then they formally asked the Jewish community of Amsterdam to readmit them within the fold of Israel.

This was a fairly common occurrence in Amsterdam, where the estimates of the Spanish Portuguese community at the end of the 1500s and at the beginning of the 1600s were that 50% of the community was either Marranos or descendants of Marranos. The Acosta family was accepted, welcomed and treated with respect.

Uriel, who had changed his name from Gabriel, attempted to become a scholar in Judaism. Here one sees a problem that existed throughout this period of time: the Marranos really knew next to nothing about Judaism. Acosta’s version of Judaism was pure fantasy. It denied the immortality of the soul. It assumed that all the observances and commandments were merely customs and rituals. They were beautiful, but had no divinity to them.

He also harbored another misconception. To him the Jewish people were the perfect people.

Acosta could not come to grips with the fact that the Jews in Amsterdam exhibited the problems that exist in Jews and in non-Jews throughout the world. He saw greed and avarice. He saw political exploitation. He saw cheating.

An outspoken person, he made comments in the synagogue and in the Jewish street, and then finally he wrote them in a book in Latin. The book he exposed his beliefs, which did not resemble Judaism. There was very little ground left for him to be a Jew.

He still might have gotten away with it, especially since it was written in Latin, but in the second half of the book he caricatured certain leading members of the Jewish community of Amsterdam for their greed, avarice and bad habits. He included a two-page criticism about picking one’s nose.

This did not endear Acosta to the community. They had, after all, accepted him back into the community as a full-fledged Jew despite his family’s baptism. In 1598, the rabbinate of Amsterdam issued a ban of the excommunication against him.

Now, he had nowhere to go. He wandered from town to town in Europe for a long period of time, perhaps six or seven years. It embittered him. Finally, he came back to Amsterdam and said he would recant everything, and they took off the ban of excommunication.

Not surprisingly, he acted the part of a good Jew for about six months, and then he started again speaking and writing what he really thought. He wrote another pamphlet that was very negative about Judaism. They, of course, excommunicated him again. By now he was probably mentally unbalanced.

Even though Acosta was a heretic who was hypercritical and mentally unbalanced, even though virtually everything he wrote about Judaism was wrong, he eventually attracted a following in the Jewish community, especially the community in Amsterdam. Before the issue could really come to a head, however, Acosta died.

Nevertheless, this incident would serve as the prelude to an even more famous and infamous incident that happened 30 years later in the same community.

Baruch Spinoza

Baruch Spinoza did not come from a Marrano family. He was born to a Jewish family in Amsterdam in 1632. By the 1640s he had already earned his reputation as a brilliant student.

He had attended the yeshiva in Amsterdam. During an interlude in his schedule, Spinoza taught himself Latin and Greek and became a scholar in in philosophy and mathematics. He obviously possessed an unusual mind. He also became an excellent writer and wrote in many languages. However, his ideas were not very Jewish.

Today, Spinoza is described as a pantheist, but he was really more of a deist. In either event, his vision of God was certainly not the Jewish vision of God. It was another religion entirely. As a consequence, the leaders of the community excommunicated him.

Historians debate whether or not the world would know about Spinoza had he not been excommunicated. Was he really a great a philosopher? Was his contribution to philosophy substantial? Would his legacy have been as great? No one can say for sure. However, it is certain that the excommunication cemented his fame.

The Rise of Capitalism

The 17 th century marks the beginning of the modern world with its great exploration and colonial empires. The world was undergoing fundamental changes. The king of England was executed. The divine right of kings was successfully challenged. The beginnings of the democratic system were taking root.

Perhaps most of all, a new world economy emerged – one in which the Jews were extremely influential bringing about.

Max Weber, in his classic text on economic sociology, Protestantism and the Rise of Capitalism, argued that when Luther mounted the Protestant revolution he unwittingly gave freedom to the marketplace. In breaking the power of the Church, he broke feudalism, the monopoly of the guilds and thereby unleashed a new economic reality, allowing the marketplace to come into existence, which led to the rise of capitalism, industrialism as well as the technological revolution which completely changed the face of the civilization.

This monumental change was part and parcel of the Jewish experience. Jews found it difficult to hold high positions publicly, but behind the scenes they were extremely influential. In fact, it was the Jewish influence that transformed tiny Holland into a ranking colonial empire.

Jews made Rotterdam and Amsterdam the main ports of the continent. The Jews moved down to Antwerp, and established the diamond trade in Amsterdam, which was the first place in Europe that had a diamond trade. And Jews made deals all over Europe through other Jews.

That was good and it was bad. On one hand, it was good for business — not just Jewish business. On the other hand, in a sense, it can be said that the Jews gave birth to the idea of an international conspiracy by Jews. There was no conspiracy and it was not intentional – but the prevalence of Jews in trade could give cause to those who felt left out or who had anti-Semitic leanings that the Jews were conspiring to take control of the world.

The Long Arm of the Inquisition

An important event transpired which marks the end of the 16 th century and the beginning of the 17 th century. Pope Paul IV was one of the most anti-Semitic radically anti-Jewish popes in the history of the papacy. In 1556, his fanatical anti-Semitism came to the fore.

In Ancona, a port city in Italy, a large number of Marranos who had escaped from Spain did a brisk business with merchants in the cities of Venice and Florence. They were extremely skillful merchants. They were too good, in fact. Their success aroused the enmity and jealousy of their non-Jewish neighbors.

As a result, their enemies came to the pope and asked him how he could tolerate the presence of Marranos in his papal state. They had escaped Spain, thrown away their Roman Catholicism and proclaimed themselves Jewish — and yet were living under the protection of the pope! The pope did not need much of an excuse and decided to take immediate action against the Jewish community.

However, Florence and Venice needed the Jewish merchants. Therefore, the cardinals from Florence and Venice told the pope to ignore it. However, this pope was a “true believer.” There is a short but highly recommended book called The True Believer by Eric Hoffer. It is a study of religious fanaticism throughout the ages. It shows what can happen if one does not see things with any sort of perspective. Pope Paul IV was fanatic. He felt certain that he was going to gain heaven on the backs of these Jews in Ancona. Consequently, he sent in the Inquisition there.

They found 51 Jews who had converted to Roman Catholicism but had since “relapsed” into Judaism, which was a capital crime punishable by execution by burning at the stake. Twenty-six Jews who could not withstand the trial were re-baptized. They were sent to the island of Malta for life imprisonment and hard labor. Interestingly, the Jews pirated the ship on the way to Malta and never served their sentence. However, 25 were burned at the stake. The execution took place in the square in the city.

This incident shook up the Jewish people very badly. All of the Marranos – even those in Amsterdam — were frightened. They had thought that as long as they were out in Spain and Portugal they were beyond the reach of the Inquisition. Now they knew otherwise.

The Jews tried every way possible — through bribery and influence — to somehow quench the ardor of the pope. The only thing that helped was that he died. But before then, this raised a question. The Jews in Amsterdam wanted to fight back and boycott the port of Ancona. They would take their business elsewhere. It is reminiscent of what would happen before the Second World War. In the 1930s, after Hitler came to power and started issuing anti-Semitic decrees, there was a tremendous debate among the Jews whether or not to boycott Germany. Some thought it was a great idea others thought it was terrible.

A similar debate now raged between Jews about doing business with the port of Ancona. Some said to boycott it while others said not to. A boycott was in essence an open declaration of war between Christians and Jews — and the Jews certainly had more to lose. There were still Jews living in Ancona, they argued. This pope would not live forever. The anger will blow over.

The side calling for a boycott prevailed, but the attempt to enforce it failed, because a boycott requires almost universal agreement. Since there were Jews who felt very strongly that the boycott should not take place, that it was counterproductive and harmed Jewish interests instead of helping them, there was no true consensus. The whole boycott campaign fell apart and the Jewish community of Ancona remained active as a trading center – and continued until the Second World War.

The 1600s mark the coming of the modern era. Fundamental changes were taking place. The Jews would not only be active in bringing it about, but, perhaps more than any other people, they looked forward and adjusted to it in advance.


Bohdan Khmelnytsky

In 1648 Bohdan Khmelnytsky, whom contemporaries likened to Oliver Cromwell, assumed the leadership of the Zaporozhian Cossacks and, allied with the Tatars, defeated the troops of the Commonwealth and some magnate contingents. Khmelnytsky became the master of Ukraine, and its peasant masses, many of its townsmen, and even lesser noblemen were among his followers. The city of Kiev hailed him as a prince and the defender of the Orthodox faith. His objective became the creation of a separate Ukraine under the direct rule of a king.

In Poland, where the sudden death of Władysław IV left the country leaderless, a policy of compromise represented by the chancellor, Jerzy Ossoliński, and the last Orthodox senator, Adam Kisiel (Kysil), clashed with warlike operations of the leading “little king,” Prince Jeremi Wiśniowiecki. The nature of temporary agreements, which intervened between the Commonwealth and the Cossacks, varied depending on the changing fortunes of war. The Polish victory at the Battle of Beresteczko in 1651 was followed by the pact of Biała Cerkiew, which the Cossacks found hard to accept.

In 1654 Khmelnytsky submitted to Tsar Alexis in the Pereyaslav Agreement. Russian historiography characterizes that agreement as the reunification of Ukraine with Russia the Ukrainians interpret it as an alliance based on expediency. At any rate, war began between Muscovy and the Commonwealth, and Alexis’s armies drove deep into Lithuania. In 1655 they occupied its capital, Wilno. For the first time in nearly two centuries, an enemy invasion had taken place, and, when it was followed by a Swedish aggression, a veritable “deluge” overtook the Commonwealth.


Ukraine's Massacre of Jews-Worse Than Nazis

The Chmielnicki Massacre in Ukraine from 1648 to 1649 beats anything I've ever read about massacres. The behavior of the Cossacks, led by Bohdan or Bogdan Chmielicki/ Khmelnitsky was to begin a series of campaigns by instigating the uprising of the Cossacks against the Jews.

Chmielicki told people that the Polish had sold them as slaves "into the hands of the accursed Jews." The Cossacks, a military class of Ukranian-southern Russians were so angry when they heard this that they massacred tens of thousands of Jews during 1648-49 in a war that would later be known as among the worst of that time period. To me, it's the worst of any time on earth. Barring the recent reports out of Syria of a Syrian eating the heart of another Syrian enemy, this description of what happened in Ukraine is the most barbaric that I have ever heard. This leader, Bogdan, was against Polish landowners, the Catholic clergy and the Jews. Hundreds of Jewish communities were annihilated and hundreds of thousands of Jews were killed brutally.

Where Chmielnicki Massacres Took Place

One result was that the horror of this massacre sent a shock wave throughout Jewry and the consequent messianic impulse served to gather support for Shabbetai Tzevi, considered a false messiah. One was certainly needed after this experience. The gentile Ukrainians regarded Chmielnicki as a national hero.

At the close of the 16th century there were about 45,000 Jews out of the 100,000 Jews were lived in Poland living in the eastern region where Ukrainian Catholics lived. Before the massacre, they had increased to about 150,000. In the census of 1764, 258,000 Jews were listed, but it is known that their number was over 300,000.

From the Jewish Virtual Library are excerpts describing eyewitness accounts of the atrocities that took place in regions of Mogila, Zaslav and Nemirov from 1648 to 1651 3 years of hell.

The Cossacks wanted to free Ukraine from Polish domination and to be the rulers themselves. In Mogila 700 Jews with their wives and children were slaughtered. Some were cut into pieces. Others were ordered to dig graves where Jewish women and children were thrown in and buried alive. Jews were given rifles and ordered to kill each other. Cossacks surrounded young women and cut their clothes off their bodies and then performed abominations on them until they died screaming. It was probably gang rape. Cossacks came dressed as Poles to get in through the gates of the fortress and massacred about 6,000 townspeople. They drowned several hundreds in water. In the synagogue before the Holy Ark they slaughtered people with butcher knives. Afterwards they destroyed the synagogue and took out all the Torahs and books and tore them up then laid them out for men and animals to trample. They also made sandals out of them and several other garments.

Some were skinned alive and the flesh was thrown to the dogs to eat. Some had their hands and limbs chopped off and their bodies thrown on the highway to be trampled on by wagons and crushed by the horsses. some had wounds inflicted and were then thrown on the street to die a slow death. They tore open women and whipped them, forcing them to crawl to their deaths while others were buried alive. The cossacks slaughtered infants in their mothers' laps. They were sliced into pieces like fish. The infants were hung on the breasts of their mothers. some children were pierced with spears.

Jews had moved to Ukraine from Poland's western provinces. This was due to the economic opportunities because Poland was expanding with the consolidation of Poland-Lithuania. By the end of the 15th century, between 20,000 and 30,000 Jews were living in 60 communities throughout Poland-Lithuania, mostly in cities. Ukraine became the center of Jewish life in the area of Poland-Lithuania. Ukraine was part of it.

Life in Poland-Lithuania wasn't easy for Jews. The Catholic church continued to pressure nobles to punish and limit Jewish influence. The nobles were on the spot as they saw the economic contribution made by Jews in society. Jews became prominent in the trade business of Ukraine. They sold dye, cloth, horses, cattle and estates. They were ones who had connections with other Jewish communities in the Ottoman Empire and served as liasons between the east and the west in economic trade. What Jews were known for was the job they had with the Polish government: collectors of customs, duties and taxes for the Polish landlords, bankers and physicians. There were so many things they were not allowed to do, and this was one bestowed up them because the Christians didn't want the job.

The Jews prospered as they didn't throw their money away on drinking or gambling, and thus anti-Semitism grew. The lower classes of Ukrainian Cossacks saw Jews as workmen for the nation's wealthy landowners and accused Jews of robbing the wealth of poor people to better enrich themselves. By the end of the 16th century, Poland tried to get more control over the Ukrainian Cossacks by rising up against them along with the Jews in the Chmielnicki Massacre.

Such hated! Such violence for a people. De onde veio?

In 965 CE, the Khazar Empire, which had experienced a shift of the royal family to convert to Judaism, had become a haven for Jews escaping persecution. The Russians ransacked its capital. By 1241 the Khazars were defeated by the Mongol invasion which also devastated all of Poland. Poland recruited immigrants from Germany and promised to help them settle in villages and towns. German Jews who had ancestors who suffered from the Crusaders in 1200 and then the Black Death in 1300, immigrated to Poland. There were Jews already living in Poland, and they shared a heritage with the new immigrants. This is when Yiddish was developed which was a mixture of Middle German, Hebrew, Polish and German-Hebrew and beame the Ashkenazi national Jewish language.


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