“Don’t Hide from the Sins of Saint Louis”

“Don’t Hide from the Sins of Saint Louis” July 6, 2020

I’m in America:

I will pour forth tears until like a river they reach
Unto the tombs of your most noble princes,
Moses and Aaron, on Mount Hor, and I will ask: Is there
A new Torah, that your scrolls may be burned?

This is part of the lament “Sha’ali Serufah Ba’esh,” “O you who are burned in fire,” written by Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg in the aftermath of the burning of thousands of copies of the Talmud at the French royal court in Paris in 1242 and recited to this day by Ashkenazi Jews on the fast day Tisha B’Av. King Louis IX, whom Catholics know as St. Louis, ordered the burning after a rigged “disputation” in which a Jewish convert to Christianity debated a rabbi about whether the Talmud was blasphemous.


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