BLOOD FOR THE BREAD OF
Record - Saturday 26th Zul-Hijjah, 1255 H
(March 1, 1840)
Isaac Harari was brought first, and was asked what he knew about the slaying of Father Thomas Al-Capuci. He answered: "We brought Father Thomas to David Harari's house. This was done by an agreement among ourselves. We slew him for his blood, and we put his blood in a glass bottle at Rabbi Moussa Abou Al-Afieh's house, according to the teachings of our religion. The essence of the matter was to obtain the blood because this is what our religion demands of us."
The questioning continued by the Investigator:
Q: "What color was the bottle in which you put the blood? Was it black or white?"
A: "The bottle was white, a milk bottle."
Q: "Who carried the bottle and gave it to Rabbi Moussa Abou Al-Afieh?"
A: "Rabbi Moussa Salaniki carried the bottle and gave it to Rabbi Moussa Abou Al-Afieh."
Q: "Why do you need the blood according to your religious teachings?"
A: "It is needed (for mixing) in the bread
Q: "Did you distribute the blood among yourselves?"
A: "No! The blood was not distributed to everyone, it is only distributed to the religious leaders such as Rabbis and others."
Q: "How did you agree among yourselves, and how did you organize your group to bring the Priest?"
A: "The group was organized by Moussa Salaniki and Moussa Abou Al-Afieh. They were the ones who brought the Priest (Father Thomas)."
Q: "Where did you slay him?"
A: "In the new furnished room, above the
square shaped hall."
Q: "Who performed the slaying?"
A: "Moussa Abou Al-Afieh and David Harari
were the ones who did the slaying."
Q: "How did you collect the blood at the
time of his slaying?"
A: "A brass basin was brought for this
Q: "How long was he left in the room after
A: "Approximately, half an hour."
"Where did the cutting of the body
A: "In the second room, the empty
Q: "Who did the cutting up of the
A: "We all participated in the cutting
with Murad Al-Fattal."
Q: "Where did you place the body after you finished? And who did away with it?"
A: "The barber and the servant placed the pieces in a jute sack of white color with a shade of blue. Then they carried it away and disposed of it."
Q: "At what time was the slaying carried out? When did you finish?"
A: "Between half past one and (Arabic time)."
Q: "Did all of you sleep in the house after that? Or did you separate with each of you going to his house?"
A: "We separated and each went to his
Q: "Were there ladies present? If so, in
what room of the house were they in?"
A: "I think they were in the north room; but I did not see any of them."
Q: "In all probability the group must have this operation planned several days before the actual execution. Tell us what you know of this."
A: "The original group members, Moussa Abou Al-Afieh and Moussa Salaniki, worked together to bring the Priest Thomas with the pretence of performing vaccination against smallpox for the children. This was agreed upon two or three days earlier at Moussa Abou Al-Afieh's house. We brought him to my brother Aaron's house. There he was slain."
Q: "You stated that the blood was carried to Moussa Abou Al-Afieh's house. If we bring him and he denies this fact, do you have any proof against him? Or proof of the place where the bottle of the blood was kept?"
A: "It is true that Moussa Abou Al-Afieh was the one who took the bottle of blood. I am ready to confront him with this, but I do not know where he kept it."
Q: "When Moussa Abou Al-Afieh took the bottle, did he put it in a box? How did he carry it?"
A: "He placed it under his robe and took it with him; he did not put it in a box or in anything else."
Rabbi Moussa Abou Al-Afieh was brought in and was questioned about the blood of Father Thomas, which they had put in a bottle, as to where the bottle was, or with whom? Rabbi Moussa answered: "It remained in the house of David Harari."
Q: "Did you see the bottle with your own eyes?"
A: "Yes! I saw it with my own eyes."
Q: "Does Aaron Harari know that?"
A: "Yes! He knows that the blood remained there, in the house of David Harari."
Aaron Harari was brought in, and was asked about the blood, and he answered that Moussa Abou Al-Afieh was the one who took the bottle to his house.
The Investigator asked Aaron Harari:
Q: "In what way did he (Moussa) transport the blood?"
A: "He took it in a white milk bottle, the type used for milk."
Q: "Was Moussa Salaniki with you or not?"
A: "He was with us. He is the one of us - the seven." (He named the others exactly as has been stated before.)
Q: "How was the blood delivered?"
A: "We (the seven) agreed to give the blood to Moussa Salaniki, who in turn was to deliver it to Moussa Abou Al-Afieh."
Harari was called, and was asked by the Investigator:
Q: "Where is the blood bottle?"
A: "Moussa Salaniki received the blood, he in turn delivered it to Moussa Abou Al-Afieh in our presence. The blood was in a white bottle, milk bottle, the capacity of three of four pints."
Q: "Where is the blood now? and where was it placed originally?"
A: "It was placed in a basin." (David Harari confirmed that.)
Q: "Where did you deliver the blood?"
A: "The delivery was to the empty room in my house."
Q: "Why didn't you keep the blood with you?"
A: "It is a practiced custom that the blood be kept with the Rabbis."
Q: "Was Moussa Salaniki present during the slaying?"
A: "Rabbi Moussa was with us during the slaying of the Priest Thomas."
The Investigator shifted his questioning to Moussa Abou Al-Afieh as follows:
Q: "Was Rabbi Moussa Salaniki with you during the slaying of Father Thomas?"
A: "Yes! He was with us."
The Investigator turned toward Rabbi Salaniki:
Q: "What do you know about the blood question?"
A: "I do not know anything about this subject. I have no knowledge of it."
Turning toward Isaac Harari, the Investigator asked:
Q: "Where was the blood bottle kept?"
A: "It was kept with Moussa Abou Al-Afieh."
Q: "Why are your brothers denying knowledge of this case?"
A: "May be they are afraid of being beaten."
Q: "Did you not all - the seven - participate in the slaying of the Priest?"
A: "Yes! We all participated in his slaying."
Q: "Now that there is no doubt regarding the slaying case, tell us where the blood is."
A: "Moussa Salaniki delivered it to Moussa Abou Al-Afieh and it remains with him."
The Investigator turning to Aaron Harari:
Q: "Why did you slay the Priest, Father Thomas?"
A: "To get his blood, in accordance to the religious requirements." (Isaac Harari confirmed that his brother was telling the truth.)
Q: "Why was the blood not kept with you since the slaying took place in the house of your brother David?"
A: "Rabbi Moussa Salaniki delivered the blood to Rabbi Moussa Abou Al-Afieh because it is the traditional religious obligation that the Rabbis keep the blood."
At this point the investigation stopped. It was Saturday 26th, Zul-Hijjah. The investigation resumed again on Monday the 28th.
The Investigator addressing Rabbi Moussa Abou Al-Afieh:
Q: "Isaac Harari and his brother Aaron Harari admitted that Rabbi Moussa Salaniki received the blood and delivered it to you. Where did you put it?"
A: "Rabbi Yaqoub (Jacob) Al-Intabi made an agreement with the Hararis, and the others, to bring him a bottle of human blood. Afterward the Rabbi informed me that the Hararis promised him to secure the blood even if it cost them one hundred bundles (five hundred golden liras). After that I went for a visit to the Hararis' house. They told me that they had brought a man to slay and drain his blood. I entered their house after they had already slain him and drained his blood. They said to me: 'since you are a wise person, take this blood and give it to Rabbi Jacob.' I said: 'Let Moussa Salaniki carry it and deliver it to him.' They said: 'You take this - it is better. You are wise.' The slaying was carried out at David Harari's house."
Q: "Why is it so necessary to have the blood? Is it true that they put it in the bread? Do all Jews eat from that?"
A: "It is the established traditional religious custom to put blood in the bread for the religious leadership not for the common people. As to the way the bread is made, Rabbi Jacob Al-Intabi remains at the bakery the night of Yom Kippur. The Believers then come to him with flour for bread. He then mixes the blood into the dough to make bread without their knowledge. Afterwards he returns to them the bread he has made from their flour."
Q: "Did you ask Rabbi Jacob if he sent the
bread to the Jews living in
A: "Rabbi Jacob told me that he sent some
of it to
Q: "Does he have established communication
and contact with
A: "That is what Rabbi Jacob told
Q: "Is it true that you cut the body of the Priest into many pieces?"
A: "I took the bottle of the blood and
left at the time when the other remained in the house. I did not know about
their plan to cut the body into pieces. All I knew was that they wanted to bury
it. David Harari told me that they were going to bury the body under the
stairway in his house so that no one would know about it. It seemed that after
the news spread they decided to cut the body, break the bones, and throw them
Q: "Is it true what is being said regarding Soliman, the barber, holding him (the Priest) down during the slaying?"
A: "I saw all of them gathered around the Priest. Soliman, the barber, and Murad Al-Fattal, the servant, were with them. They slew him with the expressed feeling of pleasure on their faces because they felt that they were performing the teachings of their religion."
Q: "Did anybody know that you gave the blood to Rabbi Jacob?"
A: "Nobody knew except myself and my companions. I took the bottle that night and gave it to him in the library room of his house. Then I returned to my house."
Q: "Was the original agreement to slay a Priest or a Christian? How was the selection of the Priest Thomas Al-Capuci, in particular, was made?"
A: "The agreement was that any Christian would do. When the selection fell on the Priest I said to them leave him alone because his absence will draw the attention and inquires. They refused. Then they brought him and slew him."
Q: "And what about the Priest's servant Ibrahim Amarah? Do you know who slew him?"
A: "I do not know anything except what is related to the case of the Priest Thomas."
Q: "The Priest's servant, Ibrahim Amarah, was searching for his master in the Jewish Quarters before sunset. It is unreasonable for you not to know something in this regard."
A: "Perhaps the Priest and his servant were both slain in David Harari's house. They slew the Priest first. I saw a man tied up in the second room. I think he was the servant."
Q: "Can you recover the body of the servant so that we may be able to believe your statements?"
A: "I do not know anything about the body of the servant because getting rid of the body was the servant's job."
Q: "Yesterday you said that the blood was in your house and that it was in the cabinet. When the search for it was conducted nothing was found. Today you claim that you gave it to Rabbi Jacob Al-Intabi. Why the contradiction in your statements?"
A: "I did not confess the truth in the earlier investigation because I was afraid that my image and reputation among the Jews would be damaged. I am excused for not telling the truth because confessions are forbidden from a religious point of view."
David Harari showed some hesitation in his confession when he was asked the reasons for that. He said that what he admitted previously was the truth, and that he resorted to his denial out of fear. He confirmed that the blood was given to Moussa Abou Al-Afieh by Moussa Salaniki.
Aaron Harari was asked about that too and he replied that: "Rabbi Jacob Intabi talked to seven of us and said that he needed human blood for making the bread. Since Priest Thomas always visits the neighborhood, bring him by on any excuse and slay him and get his blood."
"He talked to us regarding this matter in the Synagogue. Thus we worked a few days later on the preparation of bringing the Priest Thomas to our house on the pretense of giving smallpox vaccination. He was slain and his blood taken by Moussa Salaniki in order to deliver it to Moussa Abou Al-Afieh, so that later he would hand it over to Rabbi Jacob."
The Investigator compared the confessions. They were found to be identical. The Committee then concluded that: "They - the accused - slew the Priest Thomas Al-Capuci to obtain his blood for the purpose of making The Bread of Zion."