THIS DAY IN JEWISH HISTORY
December 15th, 1647,
ISAAC DE CASTRO TARTAS
Portugal / burned alive at age 21 when he
refused to accept christianity!
Was burned at the stake in Lisbon. Originally born in France, where his parents had found refuge, he decided to travel to Bahia which was under Portuguese control. There he was arrested and sent to Lisbon for trial. Although a Dutch citizen, he was condemned when he steadfastly refused to accept Christianity. While being burned alive, he cried out the words of Shemah Yisrael... (Here oh Israel...) with such fervor and inner calm, that the local witnesses repeated the words to their friends. The inquisition became so obsessed with this that it banned Christians from repeating the words of Shema. He was twenty-one years old.
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