Are there Jewish sources regarding this degradation of the Jews of Prague? (Allowing it, protesting it (they should have been killed and not do it))

From https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_statues_on_Charles_Bridge

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The golden Hebrew text on the crucifix was added in 1696. In 1696, the Prague authorities accused a local Jewish leader, one Elias Backoffen, of blasphemy. As his punishment he was ordered to raise the funds for purchasing of gold-plated Hebrew letters, placed around the head of the statue, spelling out "Holy, Holy, Holy, the Lord of Hosts," the Kedusha from the Hebrew prayer and originating in the vision from the Book of Isaiah. The inscription was a symbolic humiliation and degradation of Prague Jews, forcing them to pay for a set of golden letters referring to God and hung around the neck of the statue of Christ (information from Steven Plaut, The "Vav" from the Charles Bridge). A bronze tablet with explanatory text in Czech, English and Hebrew was mounted under the statue by the City of Prague in 2000. The tablet's placement came after an American Rabbi, Ronald Brown of Temple Beth Am in Merrick, New York was passing over the bridge and noted the possibly offensive nature of the placing of the text. Upon a direct request to the mayor, the tablet was soon placed to the side of the statue.

  • 1
    +1 I had always meant to ask this. I heard a slightly different story from a relative who went there. An unnamed Jew spit at the cross, the entire population faced death if they didn't raise the money for the Hebrew words. A side point, didn't the Nazis steal the gold plating off the words? Ive seen pictures without the gold. When was it restored?
    – user6591
    Feb 21, 2016 at 6:54
  • I'm wondering why you bothered blurring out the cross but left the name of Hashem visible. Feb 21, 2016 at 9:31
  • -1 What are you asking? That people get killed rather than pay for perceived degradation? There are a very limited set of things for which one is supposed to get killed for - how does this fit into one of them? Feb 21, 2016 at 9:33
  • @DannySchoemann maybe avoda zorah maybe hillul hashem
    – hazoriz
    Feb 21, 2016 at 9:51
  • @hazoriz: 1. How is this avoda zorah of the type you have to forfeit your life? What are you worshipping when you pay for it? Even if you had to write it, what worshipping is going on here? 2. For paying for hillul hashem you have to give up your life? Source, please. (They paid money and then to non-Jews executed the actual blasphemy.) Feb 21, 2016 at 9:57


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