Dear Listmembers:

	The story of the 1290 Paris host desecration libel (which came
to be known as the Rue des Billettes) describes the Jew, Jonathan, as
unwilling to relinquish a "book" he claims will protect him from
burning.  William Jordan has suggested this motif is evidence of a
Christian association of antiChristian activity and rabbinic texts
(specifically, the Talmud, which was "tried" and burned in Paris 50
years earlier).  However, I know of no other libel or host desecration
story that includes the motif of a Jew with a book -- any help from the
list here?

	One possibility I am toying with is that the Jew may have said
something in translation  which would be almost idiomatic in Hebrew,
echoing the expression "ledabbeq batorah" -- to cling to the Torah
(i.e., not to commit apostasy) --  which is, in fact, used in other
martyrological texts.

	I look forward to whatever you can offer on this.

				Susan Einbinder

Hebrew Literature
Hebrew Union College
3101 Clifton Avenue
Cincinnati, OH 45220