The Black Plague in England – No Jews to Speak Of

I read Rabbi Shafran’s article (“Plagues Past and Present,” Hamodia Prime, March 11) with great interest, but feel I should point out there were no massacres of the English Jewish community between 1349 and 1390, as the whole community had been expelled by Edward I in 1290 and were not readmitted until 1656. This would mean that English Jews were not exposed to bubonic plague until 1665, and there were no recorded violent uprisings against them at that time.

Jeff Bennett, Edgware

Rabbi Shafran responds:

I thank Mr. Bennett — and others who wrote me as well — for the entirely valid correction. Hamodia has astute readers.

While some Jews, primarily people who had formally converted, R”l, to Christianity, remained in England after the expulsion in 1290, and historians say that some Jews seem to have surreptitiously returned as early as 1310, there was no real Jewish community in England during the Black Plague years. I stand corrected.