Lead: Faced with the enormous loss of perhaps as much as a third of its population, Europe began to pick up the pieces in the wake of the Black Death.

Intro.: "A Moment in Time" with Dan Roberts

Content: With friends and family dying right and left Europeans in the fourteenth century were faced with grave social problems and a spiritual crisis as a result of the bubonic plague. They did not know what was consuming them. This ignorance provoked great acts of courage and compassion particularly among the clergy, but also near barbaric brutality. Many people fell back on that tired but convenient medieval explanation for the unknown: they blamed the Jews specifically for poisoning the drinking water. In the face of such a profound threat to life, Christian civility went out the window and thousands of Jews were murdered. According to one source, 16,000 killed in Strasbourg alone in 1649.

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