Crusades were a series of intermittent military campaigns sanctioned
by various Popes in the Middle Ages, beginning in 1095.
The goal was to gain access to the holy sites in the Holy Land
that were under Muslim control.
The First Crusade saw Jerusalem fall to the Christians in 1099.
It took Muslims nearly half a century to respond under the leadership
of Salah al-Din (Saladin).
Life for the Jews during the crusades was no picnic. One of the
most prominent Jews during the crusades was Rabbi Solomon ben
Isaac (Rashi). During the First Crusade
he had an encounter with the leader of the French knights. Rashi,
predicted a short lived success for his campaign.
Control over the Holy Lands went back and forth and after the
failure of the Fifth Crusade in 1221, hope for Christian success
in the East was centered upon Frederick
II, the new Holy Roman Emperor. After years of delays he lead
a Crusade in 1228.