Jews blood ritual

Kyiv, 1915: "Christians, take care of your children! It will be Jewish Passover on 17 March."

Ceremony and Ritual
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 Blood ritual or ritual murder is a canard that accuses Jews of murdering Christian or Muslims children (or other gentiles)

in order to use their blood in the performance of religious rituals.  Historically, echoing very old myths of secret cultic practices in many prehistoric societies, the claim as it is leveled against Jews was rarely attested to in antiquity but it was frequently attached to early communities of Christians in the Roman Empire, reemerging as a Christian accusation against Jews in the medieval period.  This ritual became a major theme of the persecution of Jews in Europe from that period to the present day.

 Blood rituals typically claims that Jews require human blood for the baking of matzos, an unleavened flatbread which they eat during Passover, although this element of the accusation was allegedly absent in the earliest blood ritual in which then-contemporary Jews were accused of reenacting the crucifixion. The accusations often assert that the blood of the children of Christians or Muslims is especially coveted, and, historically, blood ritual claims have been made in order to account for the otherwise unexplained deaths of children. In some cases, the alleged victims of human sacrifice have become venerated as Christian martyrs. Three of these – William of Norwich, Little Saint Hugh of Lincoln, and Simon of Trent – became objects of local cults and veneration; and although he was never canonized, the veneration of Simon was added to the General Roman Calendar. One child who was allegedly murdered by Jews, Gabriel of Białystok, was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church.

Fifteenth-century woodcut showing Jews murdering the child Simon of Trent

 In Jewish lore, the blood ritual served as the impetus for the writing of the Golem of Prague by Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel in the 16th century. According to Walter Laqueur:

 Altogether, there have been about 150 recorded cases of blood ritual (not to mention thousands of rumors) that resulted in the arrest and killing of Jews throughout history, most of them in the Middle Ages.

 Views of the Catholic Church

 The attitude of the Catholic Church towards these accusations and the cults venerating children supposedly killed by Jews has varied over time. The Papacy generally opposed them, although it had problems in enforcing its opposition.

 In 1911, the Dictionnaire apologétique de la foi catholique, an important French Catholic encyclopedia, published an analysis of the blood ritual accusations. This may be taken as being broadly representative of educated Catholic opinion in continental Europe at that time. The article noted that the popes had generally refrained from endorsing the blood libel, and it concluded that the accusations were unproven in a general sense, but it left open the possibility that some Jews had committed ritual murders of Christians. Other contemporary Catholic sources (notably the Jesuit periodical La Civiltà Cattolica) promoted the blood libel as truth.

 Today, the accusations are almost entirely discredited in Catholic circles, and the cults associated with them have fallen into disfavor. For example, Simon of Trent's local status as a saint was removed in 1965.