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Yom Tov (alt. Yom Tob) of Joigny, also denoted of York (died 1190) was a French-born rabbi and liturgical poet of the medieval era who lived in York, and died in the massacre of the Jews of York in 1190. A Hebrew language hymn attributed to him,[1] transliterated "Omnam Kayn" or "Omnam Ken" (Heb: "indeed thus") is still recited in all Ashkenazi synagogues each year on the evening of Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. He was a student of Rabbenu Tam.[2]

Clifford's Tower, where the Rabbi Yom Tob and the Jews of York were killed in 1190.

At York on the night of March 16, 1190, (the day of the Jewish feast of Shabbat ha-Gadol, the shabbat before Passover, March 17, 1190), the Jews of York sought refuge in the Castle of York from a mob. The mob was led by Richard de Malbis (Richard Malebisse). When a fire broke out in the city of York, de Malbis used the opportunity to incite a mob to attack the home of Benedict of York, the recently deceased agent of Aaron of Lincoln, to whom de Malbis was believed heavily in debt, killing his widow and children and burning the house. Josce of York (Joseph), the leader of the Jewish community of York, obtained the permission of the warden of York Castle to remove his wife and children and the rest of the Jews into the castle, where they probably took refuge in a tower that stood where Clifford's Tower now stands. The Jews were also alarmed by massacres of other Jewish communities in the preceding weeks, in the wake of religious fervor during preparations for the Third Crusade against the Saracens, led by Richard I of England. However, the tower was besieged by a mob, demanding that the Jews convert to Christianity and be baptized.

Trapped in the castle, the Jews were advised by Rabbi Yomtob of Joigney to kill themselves rather than convert; Josce began the self-immolation by slaying his wife Anna and his two children, and then was killed by Yomtob. The father of each family killed his wife and children, and then Yomtob stabbed the men before killing himself. The handful of Jews who did not kill themselves surrendered at daybreak on March 17, leaving the castle on a promise that they would not be harmed; they were also killed. In the aftermath the wooden tower was burnt down.

See also

References

  1. ^ Jacobs, Joseph. The Jews of Angevin England. London:David Nutt, 1893. pp.109-111. See:[1]
  2. ^ Yom Tob of Joigny at the Jewish Encyclopedia

Further reading

  • Encyclopaedia Judaica, articles Omnam Kayn and Yom Tov of Joigny
  • Macy Nulman, The Encyclopedia of Jewish Prayer, article Omnam Kayn
  • Service of the Synagogue: Day of Atonement, Part 1 Evening Service; pub. Routledge & Kegan Paul Ltd., p.38







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