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Second is a group of secret Sabbath-observers are burned to death.Commenting on these deaths, the author notes, “their piety kept them from defending themselves, in view of their regard for that most holy day (2 Macc 6.

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In times when persecution is either imminently feared or experienced, martyrologies flourish.

These generally appear first in narrative form and then subsequently interpreted theologically through poems.

These lamentations include a few of the many poetic martyrologies which were composed by European Jews during the Middle Ages.

The subject of martyrdom appears scattered throughout the daily and Sabbath liturgy in such prayers as “ Av Harachamim,” calling on god’s mercy for the sake of those “who laid down their lives for the sanctification of the divine name.” The phenomenon is also alluded to in several other prayers: the Avinu Malkeinu, our Father Our King, where God’s mercy and forgiveness is invoked “for the sake of those who were killed for your holy name;” the Yizkor recitation of memorial prayers for the martyrs; All of these liturgical commemorations of martyrdom owe their roots to a period following the persecutions of the 11th and 12th c.

The most extensive martyrology is the liturgical poem eleh ezkarah, found in the Day of Atonement’s long afternoon, or musaf, service.