Answers to Quora Questions by Yair Davidiy
Did crusaders ever take back any natives (e.g. Palestinians, Arabs) from the Holy Land back with them to their countries of origin? If so, what became of those people?
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Did King Richard converse with Maimonides in Palestine? Was Robin Hood Jewish?
Richard the Lion Heart of England (reigned 1189-1199) together with Philip of France led the Third Crusade against the Saracens who ruled over the area of Israel sometimes referred to as Palestine.
King Richard fought against Saladin who was of Kurdish origin and ruled from Egypt over much of the Middle East. After some initial victories Richard was eventually beaten, made his peace, and went home.
The personal physician of Saladin was Maimonides (the Rambam) who in addition to being a doctor of medicine was also one of the foremost Rabbinic legislators of all time!
The story goes that at one of the interludes in their fighting Richard fell sick.
As a gesture of good will Saladin sent Maimonides over to treat Richard.
The King of England was impressed by Maimonides and suggested that he come with him back to England.
One wonders what would have happened if he had have accepted?
Incidentally Richard was somewhat ambivalent in his treatment of the Jews.
Anti-Jewish feeling in England at the time was high and Richard may have attempted to moderate it.
The brother of Richard was John who served as regent while Richard was away fighting in the Holy Land.
Richard eventually returned, reigned for a few more years and passed away. John became king (reigned 1199-1216).
John was a tyrant. He was especially cruel towards the Jews whom he tormented.
The story of Robin Hood involves resistance to John both in his time as regent and effective ruler and later as monarch.
It has been suggested (see Roger Peyrefitte, "The Jews," 1965) that the real name of Robin Hood was 'Reuben Hod.'
Robin Hood may therefore have been a Jew fighting (as Jews have often done) against the tyranny and oppression of Wicked King John. Friar Tuck, one of the right-hand men of Robin Hood and his Merry Men, may have been a renegade monk siding with the Jews against their oppressors.
Humor aside, there may well be more to this story and it could be worth investigation. Where do we fit 'Maid Marion' into all this? What about 'Little John'?