web analytics
August 28, 2014 / 2 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
Blogs
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Haifa’s Last Stand

Haifa was probably mostly Jewish, if not exclusively so, with a small Muslim military presence. The story of Haifa's conquest, in the summer of 1100, is reported by Christian chroniclers.
Crusader dining room under the city of Akko

Crusader dining room under the city of Akko
Photo Credit: Linda M. McKinney

A year after the Crusaders captured Jerusalem, they turned to conquer Israel’s coastal cities.

Haifa’s Jewish community is mentioned in the Genizah documents.  The city was one of three forts (מבצר) that we know of – Haifa, Dan (Banias) and Rafah (Rafiah).  Each had a major Jewish community.  Haifa was probably mostly Jewish, if not exclusively so, with a small Muslim military presence.

In the mid-11th century, Haifa was visited by the Persian Nasir Khusraw.  He described the town’s shipbuilders who built a local brand of boat named ‘Judi.’

In the 1070s, following years of internal Muslim battles, Jerusalem was conquered by the Seljuq Turks.  The security situation turned dire and the Israeli Yeshivah moved to Tyre.  In 1082/4, the Israeli Gaon came back to the Land of Israel and conducted the Hoshana Raba ceremony in Haifa.

The story of Haifa’s conquest, in the summer of 1100, is reported by Christian chroniclers.

An anonymous Venetian monk writing in the early 12th century tells us that Haifa stood in ‘God’s way’ and that the pagans (ie, Muslims) trusted its fortifications and its ‘important residents’ to withstand the Crusader assault.  So who were those residents?

The Crusaders first proposed the residents convert.  They promised them they wouldn’t pay more to the Christian kings than they’re currently paying the pagans.  Haifa’s residents refused.

The Crusaders attacked the “City of Satan”.  The “Enemies of God” bravely defended the city, withstanding the sword, fire and heavy stones.  Night and day they cursed Jesus saying:

Your crucified God, in which you believe, never entered this city, and neither did his students.  You stupid cowards will never conquer it bravely!  The kings of Persia and Babylon [meaning Egypt] put this city under siege, with armies far greater than yours, and could never conquer it, and how will you do so, when you are so few and so foreign in your religion?  Neither your God nor any other can submit us to their faith; we do not worship a God worshiped by others, and we do not submit to a prince of flesh and blood, and we only keep the faith we choose.

The monk’s description of the city’s residents (“enemies of the Cross”, the “Anti-Christian city”) is similar to that used for Jews in that era.

A more direct reference is found in the account of historian Albert of Aachen.  He writes howTancred, the Norman leader of the Crusades, together with Venetian forces, surrounded Haifa from sea and land and put the town under siege.  But when the Norman knights approached the walls with their heavy siege machine, the Jewish residents stood armed on the walls.  For fifteen days they fought against the attackers, leaving the Crusaders with heavy casualties, until the Christians withdrew.

Patriarch Daimbert came to console Tancred, who was jealous that Haifa was already promised to a different knight.  Daimbert told him that it would be a disgrace to the Crusader efforts if the city, defended so valiantly by the Jews, will not be conquered.  He promised Tancred that the city will be given to whomever conquers it.

Tancred charged the city again.  The Jewish defenders, together with the Muslim troops, stood bravely against them.  They hurled boiling oil and tar down on the Christian attackers.  But as the battle progressed, the defenders suffered fatalities and those remaining realized they couldn’t win.  They defenders fled and with them the rest of the city’s residents.  Whoever was caught by the Christians was killed.

After a month-long battle, the Jews of Haifa lost the battle and the city was conquered by the Crusaders.  As the anonymous monk puts it: Haifa was conquered, and for the first time ever, submitted to the rule of Christ.

Under Crusader rule, the city became a Christian-Muslim town.  The shipyards were never rebuilt.

Visit the Muqata.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Haifa’s Last Stand”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

muqata logo 486x300
Current Top Story
The three salesmen -Netanyahu, Ya'alon and Gantz
Netanyahu Tries to Sell Bill of Goods that Israel Won Goals in the War
Latest Blogs Stories
A Jewish wedding.

Is it because of corrupt values and lack of meeting opportunities that we have a shidduch crisis?

Islamic Law

Israel is fighting the war that none of the Western world has the ability or courage to fight.

netanyahu-phone.jpg

Finish the job! Sayyem et a missima!סיים את המסימה!

Doug Goldstein

Life after 50? You better believe it! Tips on how to prepare and enjoy life after retirement.

While I am no fan of the two-state solution, I think I have a solution for the Gaza strip. Let me make it perfectly clear that in no way do I believe a Palestinian people, nation or Arab State ever existed in the history of the world and certainly was not occupied by Israel. If […]

Hamas targeted the Erez Crossing when it knew that Gazans and Israeli Arabs would be there, out in the open…

Does it really take Jewish innovation to come up with this idea?

If you don’t know who’s behind The terror in your mind The answer’s not hard to find, Blame the Jews

If feminism is mentioned at all, it is usually to condemn it as an anti Torah ideal.

“…people making jokes about turning this into a shelter rave, taking #bombshelterselfies…”

Marriage is not just about emotional fidelity but about financial fidelity as well.

So you want to blame Israel? First answer these 5 simple questions, and see if you even have a leg to stand on…

Hamas’s online Jihadi supporters and groupies are desperately trying to differentiate between their support for Hamas and supporting ISIS.

We all got degrees. We got married. We had families. We worked. We and were Koveih Itim

But the real culprit is William Schabas, who by comparison makes Richard Goldstone look like a saint

“The Jewish board of deputies, who are complicit, will feel the wrath of the People of SA with the age old biblical teaching of an eye for an eye.”

More Articles from Orat@Muqata
Eilat

From the Islamic sources, it is clear that Eilat had a significant Jewish population, which existed for hundreds of years after the Muslim conquest.

F130114MH01

Two people have reported snow in the late May-early June, though in both cases, it was hearsay.

Jews of 14th century Jerusalem celebrated Purim on both the 14th and 15th of Adar.

Historically, the Christian residents of Bethlehem did not identify themselves as Arabs.

I had often wondered, if Jews love Israel so much, why didn’t they just get up and come here. The Mahram’s Aliyah attempt showed that Jews did.

A year after the Crusaders captured Jerusalem, they turned to conquer Israel’s coastal cities. Haifa’s Jewish community is mentioned in the Genizah documents. The city was one of three forts (מבצר) that we know of – Haifa, Dan (Banias) and Rafah (Rafiah). Each had a major Jewish community. Haifa was probably mostly Jewish, if not exclusively so, with a small Muslim military presence. The story of Haifa’s conquest, in the summer of 1100, is reported by Christian chroniclers.

We’re now entering the period when we begin to pray for rain. Lack of rain was often an excuse to persecute the Jews, specifically those living in Jerusalem. There are quite a few examples from our history of this rain libel, which was very often linked to the ‘sin’ of drinking wine.

The main holiday events took place on the last day of Sukkot, Hoshana Raba. The Gaon would lead the people around the Temple Mount, and then the crowd made its way to the Mount of Olives. After they climbed the mountain, they circled it seven times. A monumental stone marked the spot where God looked over the Temple Mount. The Gaon would sit on this stone as he spoke to the assembled crowd.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/blogs/muqata/haifas-last-stand/2012/10/28/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: