The Latin dominion over Jerusalem came to an end on 2 October, 1187, when the city opened its gates to Saladin (Yusuf ibn Ayyub, Salah-ed-din, Emir of Egypt, 1169-93).
The Siege of Jerusalem was a siege on the city of Jerusalem that lasted from September 20 to October 2, 1187, when Balian of Ibelin surrendered the city toSaladin. Citizens wishing to leave paid a ransom. The defeat of Jerusalem signaled the end of the first Kingdom of Jerusalem. Europe responded in 1189 by launching the Third Crusade.
The Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem was a crusader state established in the Southern Levant in 1099 after the First Crusade. The kingdom lasted nearly two hundred years, from 1099 until 1291 when the last remaining possession, Acre, was destroyed by the Mamluks, but its history is divided into two distinct periods. The sometimes so-called First Kingdom of Jerusalem lasted from 1099 to 1187, when it was almost entirely overrun by Saladin. After the subsequent Third Crusade, the kingdom was re-established in Acre in 1192, and lasted until that city’s destruction in 1291. This second kingdom is sometimes called the Second Kingdom of Jerusalem or the Kingdom of Acre, after its new capital.
The fall of Jerusalem essentially ended the first Kingdom of Jerusalem. Much of the population, swollen with refugees fleeing Saladin’s conquest of the surrounding territory, was allowed to flee to Tyre, Tripoli, or Egypt (whence they were sent back to Europe), but those who could not pay for their freedom were sold into slavery, and those who could were often robbed by Christians and Muslims alike on their way into exile. The capture of the city led to the Third Crusade, launched in 1189 and led by Richard the Lionheart, Philip Augustus and Frederick Barbarossa, though the last drowned en route
Prayer: Throughout the centuries Jerusalem has been a focus of conflict, and continues to be so today. Whilst crusading armies and invaders from other countries are no longer the immediate threat, the instability of the region, the international interests at stake, and the inimical relationships between those who inhabit the land, all prevent genuine negotiations for a lasting peace. Lord, have mercy on your people and your land, and may all nations know your saving justice and mercy. In the name of Yeshua, the Prince of Peace, we pray. Amen.
According to Gilbert, from 1099 to 1291 the Christian Crusaders “mercilessly persecuted and slaughtered the Jews of Palestine.”
In 1099, the Jews were among the rest of the population who tried in vain to defend Jerusalem against the Crusaders. When the city fell, a massacre of 6,000 Jews occurred when the synagogue they were seeking refuge in was set alight. Almost all perished. In Haifa, the Jews and Muslims held out for a whole month, (June–July 1099).
Under Crusader rule, Jews were not allowed to hold land and involved themselves in commerce in the coastal towns during times of quiescence. Most of them were artisans: glassblowers in Sidon, furriers and dyers in Jerusalem. At this time there were Jewish communities scattered all over the country, including Jerusalem, Tiberias, Ramleh, Ashkelon, Caesarea, and Gaza. In line with trail of bloodshed the Crusaders left in Europe on their way to liberate the Holyland, in Palestine, both Muslims and Jews were indiscriminately massacred or sold into slavery.
A large volume of piyutim and midrashim originated in Palestine at this time. In 1165 Maimonides visited Jerusalem and prayed on the Temple Mount, in the “great, holy house”. In 1141 Spanish poet, Yehuda Halevi, issued a call to the Jews to emigrate to the Land of Israel, a journey he undertook himself.
In the crusading era, there were significant Jewish communities in several cities and Jews are known to have fought alongside Arabs against the Christian invaders.
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