views updated


RUDOLPH ° (12th century), monk of French origin, preacher of the Second *Crusade in Germany, mainly in the Rhineland. His activity is recorded in the chronicle of *Ephraim b. Jacob of Bonn and the letters of *Bernard of Clairvaux. When recruiting the crusaders in 1146, Rudolph incited them to persecute the Jews by telling them: "Let us first avenge the crime of the crucifixion on the enemies amongst us and then wage war on the Jerusalemites [Muslims]." Intervening with letters to protect the Jews, Bernard of Clairvaux even traveled in person to Germany, declaring: "Whoever makes an attempt on the life of a Jew sins as if he had attacked Jesus himself." He also emphasized Rudolph's canonically irregular status since he had fled from his monastery and was not authorized to preach. Finally, he recalled the example of Peter the Hermit in the First Crusade: he too had instigated persecutions of the Jews but all who had marched with him to the Orient had perished miserably. It was to be feared, said Bernard, that the Christians who followed Rudolph on this occasion were marching toward a similar catastrophe.


A.M. Habermann (ed.), Gezerot Zarefat ve-Ashkenaz (1945), 115f.; B. Blumenkranz, in: Kirche und Synagoge, 1 (1968), 122ff.

[Bernhard Blumenkranz]