January 7 1256 – 9 Shevat 5016
Rabbi Berechiah de Nicole, a Tosafist and rabbi of the English town of Lincoln, was released from prison. He’d been jailed along with close to a hundred other Jews as the result of a blood libel following the discovery of a dead child, “Little Hugh.” All Lincoln’s Jews were accused of the murder, and eighteen were hanged. The trials of those remaining was still in progress when Rabbi Berechiah was declared not guilty and released. All his property – which had been confiscated – was returned. A well-known rabbinic authority in his day, Rabbi Berechiah is known for his lenient ruling allowing a quorum to gather for the evening prayer an hour and a quarter before nightfall on Friday night – a boon on long English summer days.