Lévy, Raphaël

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LÉVY, RAPHAËL

LÉVY, RAPHAËL (c. 1612–1670), victim of a *blood libel in France. Born in Chelaincourt, near Metz, Lévy was a livestock merchant in the village of Boulay, though the anonymous Christian account of his trial describes him as "filling the office of rabbi" there. He was accused of having abducted a Christian child in the village of Glatigny, on the eve of Rosh Ha-Shanah 1669, when he was on his way to Metz to buy a shofar. Giving himself up voluntarily ("to save the house of Israel"), he was condemned to death by the parlement of Metz after a scandalous trial, even though the remains of the child, devoured by wolves, had in the meantime been found. On Jan. 17, 1670, he was burned at the stake in Metz. The tribunal also demanded the permanent expulsion of the Jews from Metz. The latter belatedly laid the affair before the royal council which, on the basis of an address by Richard *Simon, concluded that there had been a judicial error.

bibliography:

J. Reinach, Raphaël Lévy, une erreur judiciaire sous Louis xiv (1898); R. Clément, Condition des juifs de Metz (1903), 52–66.

[Gilbert Cahen]