Babylonian Talmud Says Jews Had Black Faces

Source: Tractate Megillah: Chapter 1 (Jewish Virtual Library) 450550 A.D.

signifies black

“In the beginning of the reign of Ahasuerus, they wrote slanders on the inhabitants of Judea and Jerusalem.” Samuel said: Ahasuerus signifies “black,” in his time the faces of the Jews were black as the bottoms of pots. R. Johanan says: Ahasuerus signifies “woe to his head” (ah, rosh); and R. Hanina says it signifies “poor” (rash)–his taxes were so heavy that men became poor.

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