The Jews of York
Gyora Novak
During the course of one day, the 17th of March 1190, all the Jews living in the city of York were killed. Attacks on Jews had begun six months earlier outside Westminster Abbey in London, during the coronation of Richard the Lionheart. When their entry into the abbey was barred, the crowd realised that the Jews, who were identified by the yellow badges they wore, had lost their royal protection. Jews who had lived in York for many generations were attacked by their neighbours. Seeking refuge, survivors fled to the Tower of York, leaving behind a trail of the dead and dying. Even the King's Guard, whose duty it was to protect the Jews, turned against them. All hope of survival vanished. After much deliberation, and after farewells and prayers, all the Jews committed suicide.
It is probable that in a manner true to the tradition of their faith, adult males killed the women and children, then setting fire to the tower, killing themselves.
No trial was ever held. No-one was ever punished. No requiem was ever sung over the tower's smouldering ruin. There was no dirge, no lamentation. This Elegy gathers together the souls of the living and the dead in a covenant of sorrow and forgiveness.
CC4832-2 CD
Hebrew Version: Tracks 1 - 25

English Version: Tracks 26 -50

SH'MAA! Is the Jewish expression of faith, bearing witness to the Oneness of God. The word sh'maa means "listen". It is the first word of the prayer which begins: "Listen O Israelů."