March 18

History events
1190 — (9th of Nisan, 4950) Crusaders killed 750 Jews in Bury St Edmonds England
1389 — (20th of Adar-1, 5149) A priest living in Prague, Czechoslovakia was hit with a few grains of sand by small Jewish boys playing in the street. He became insulted and insisted that the Jewish community purposely plotted against him. Thousands were slaughtered, the synagogue and the cemetery were destroyed, and homes were pillaged. King Wenceslaus insisted that the responsibility rested with the Jews for venturing outside during Holy Week.
1478 — (14th of Nisan, 5238) In Spain, a group of Jews and conversos gathered for a Seder on the first night of Passover. “A young cavalier” discovered the group and reported the matter to the authorities. Since it was holy week, the Spanish decided that the Jews had gathered to “to blaspheme the Chrisitian religion.” When Alonso de Hojeda, the prior of the Convent of San Pablo in Seville and enemy of the Jews and New Christians heard of the event he took the news to Ferdinand and Isabella. Supposedly this was the “straw that broke the camel’s back” and the two monarchs petitioned the Holy See to issue a Bull authorizing an Inquisition. The Bull would be granted and the road to the expulsion of 1492 opened up like a superhighway
1540 — (10th of Nisan, 5300) Today “R. Isaac Porto ha-Kohen obtained from the Duke of Mantua permission to build an Ashkenazic synagogue.”
1968 — (18th of Adar, 5728) “Two people were killed and 28 children were in landmine attack on a school bus in the Negev north of Eilat.”

1580 — (2nd of Nisan, 5340) Rabbi Benjamin ben Moses of Lemberg, author Tavnit ha-Bayt passed away
1762 — (23rd of Adar, 5522) Rabbi Judah ben Eliezer passed away
1886 — (11rd of Adar-1, 5646) Leopold Zunz, Jewish scholar, died
1930 — Eight one year old Arthur James Balfour, a prominent British politician who served as Prime Minister from 1902 to 1905 passed away today. During World War I, Balfour served as Foreign Minister. It was while serving in this position that he gained his place in Jewish History by giving his name to the Balfour Declaration, which read in part, «His Majesty’s Government view with the favor the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and will their best endeavors to facilitate the achievement of this object…» The Balfour Declaration came to be one of the basic documents in the Jewish diplomatic efforts to establish what would become the modern state of Israel