Skip to comments.Majorcan Descendants of Spanish Jews Who Converted Are Recognized as Jews
Posted on 07/10/2011 7:04:06 PM PDT by Palter
Centuries after the Spanish Inquisition led to the forced conversion of Jews to Catholicism, an ultra-orthodox rabbinical court in Israel has issued a religious ruling that recognizes descendants from the insular island of Majorca as Jews.
The opinion focused narrowly on the Majorcan community of about 20,000 people known as chuetas and did not apply to descendants of Sephardic Jewish converts in mainland Spain or the broader diaspora of thousands of others who scattered to the Ottoman Empire and the Spanish colonies in South and North America.
The island, isolated until a tourist boom that began in the late 1960s, is a sociological preserve for descendants of Jews who formed an insular community of Catholic converts that intermarried through the centuries because of religious persecution and discrimination that barred them from holding certain positions in the Roman Catholic Church through the 20th century. Most carry the names of 15 families with ancestors who were tried and executed during the 17th century for practicing Judaism.
The religious court in Israel, led for more than 40 years by Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, sent another rabbi to the island in May to explore its warren of streets where a synagogue once stood and to examine the family trees of some of the chuetas who trace lineage back 500 years.
In a two-paragraph opinion typical of the private rabbinical court that deals with matters of conversions, marriage conflicts and financial disputes Rabbi Karelitz issued a statement that said because of the intermarriage patterns of the chuetas, all those who are related to the former generations are Jews.
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
“Don’t know about others, but vlad clearly has an axe to grind. Just read the last 50 comments on this thread.”
If I have an axe to grind it is this: over the last decade I have noticed that online posters have routinely opined about the inquisition even though they almost always have NEVER READ EVEN A SINGLE BOOK OR SCHOLARLY ARTICLE ABOUT THE INQUISITION. They know essentially nothing but fables, myths, half-truths, misrepresentations, misinterpretations, distortions and outright lies. That’s why - in many threads where the inquisition comes up - I often ask what books these people have read. Invariably they have NEVER READ EVEN A SINGLE BOOK OR SCHOLARLY ARTICLE ABOUT THE INQUISITION. In instances where they have read a book - which can’t be more than two or three percent of cases - they can’t get the thesis of the author right, can’t discuss the contents of that books, and often directly contradict it! It is the ignorance and lack of common sense that shocke me most. They opine and opine and never have anything to back up what they claim. It’s bizarre. They make claims that directly contradict every fact we have and every modern historian we know of, such as: the inquisition forcibly converted people through torture; everyone was tortured; torture was really common; millions were executed; everyone was terrified of the inquisition; the inquisition retarded the growth of entire nations; there are massive conspiracies to keep the facts about the inquisition quiet, etc. It boggles the mind that people could be so obviously wrong ACCORDING TO EVERY REPUTABLE HISTORIAN ALIVE.
” I do remember him on one of the old threads defending the burning of heretics by the catholic church.”
Untrue. You can’t possibly remember me saying something I never said. I have never said the Catholic Church ever once burned a heretic.
Franco was a great man...but like Pinochet, the Left love to skewer him at every opportunity.
Again, it was a holocaust, and not even the biggest one in terms of numbers or percentages. Tragic? Yes. Isolated? No.
Would you fight to the death to prevent its recurrence? If so, what are you doing about the millions of Christians in the Sudan who are being killed today simply because of their religion as an example?
“Denial of the persecution of Jews in Spain from 1000-1600 CE is on-par with holocaust denial.”
When a Jew accuses you of “holocaust denial”, you know he has lost the argument.
“Would you fight to the death to prevent its recurrence? “
If so, what are you doing about the millions of Christians in the Sudan who are being killed today simply because of their religion as an example?
The very same thing they are doing for Israel.
“Midda Kinnegid Midda”
I once had this very conversation with an employee in Tel Aviv. She stated, in no uncertain terms, that the US did not do enough to stop "the holocaust". When I told her that over 360,000 American's died, including some of my relatives to stop Hitler she said "it obviously wasn't enough. When these things happen all of humanity must respond." When I then asked her what she and Israel were doing about the Sudan she gave me the same hypocritical answer you just did.
It was the US that sent ships with Refuge Jewish children back to Germany and directly into the gas chamber. FDR refused to let them in. Groups of Rabbis, after raising the money themselves within the Jewish community went to the president and told him that it would not even burden the tax payers- the Jewish people would support them. And still he said no. Those children died, as did the people on other ships.
Those American soldiers did not fight to free Jews. Although there were plenty of Jewish soldiers who died among them. My mother’s cousin died in the Battle of the Bulge. They did not go there to free the Jewish people from the camps. So, don’t even try to insinuate it.
More revisionist history. The ship you are referring to was the German registered MS St. Louis. It had a total passenger manifest of 937 passengers, seven of which were not Jews. The ship's initial destination was Cuba and when Cuba denied the passengers entry on tourist visas because the ship attempted to dock in Florida. It was denied by the US for the same reasons. It eventually returned to Europe where 200 passengers offloaded in England and the rest in Antwerp which had not yet been occupied by Germany.
The really sad thing is that the ship was informed that the Dominican Republic would accept up to 100,000 Jewish refugees but declined the offer.
19 year old soldiers do not set policy and the motives of the armed forces are rarely considered when the decision to fight is made so don't give me crap that we should be ashamed of our sacrifices because we didn't single out the Jews as the cause. The US military fought totalitarianism in that war and a dozen others. We fought for the liberty of others. That is a lot more than can be said for the IDF.
Roosevelt like the Democrat party today was antisemitic. You are going to have to ask yourself why he maintained greater than 90% of the Jewish vote even after that sad episode.
“More revisionist history”
“19 year old soldiers do not set policy and the motives of the armed forces are rarely considered when the decision to fight is made so don’t give me crap that we should be ashamed of our sacrifices because we didn’t single out the Jews as the cause. “
Your words: “ When these things happen all of humanity must respond.”
“The US military fought totalitarianism in that war and a dozen others. We fought for the liberty of others. “That is a lot more than can be said for the IDF.”
Not surprising, considering the IDF, known as the Haganah, in the 1940’s was made up of soldier-farmers who were fighting for their own survival against hostile arabs and the British. 20% of the combat roles were filled by women. They had a handful of tanks. But HaShem was, as always, on Israel’s side. That was HIS Promise.
@Natural Law "If so, what are you doing about the millions of Christians in the Sudan who are being killed today simply because of their religion as an example?"If we maintain that we as Jews are insular and separate from the nations of the world, and our business is our own, is it a realistic expectation then, that they should have any kind of moral obligation to us? People anywhere at any time are likely to feel affinity and sympathy first and foremost towards "their own", i.e. people of same or related blood AND culture, no matter how much multiculturalism and secular progressive "humanism" tries to deny it. And as we set ourselves apart, we should not be surprised that we are not being viewed as "their own". I do not suggest assimilation as a goal. I merely point out the fact, that if we are truly "a nation of Israel in exile" (galut), then we should not expect to be treated "just like everyone else".@Never A Dull Moment "The very same thing they are doing for Israel. Midda Kinnegid Midda"
Being Jewish is, from a human standpoint, a matter of religious legality. DNA is interesting from a historical standpoint, but has no religious standing in Judaism.
What is a person has fully Jewish blood, yet becomes I don't know, a Hindu. Is he Jewish"?
Traditionally, a person born to a Jewish mother OR converted to Judaism according to Jewish law is 100% Jewish forever.
Certain actions may prevent one from being treated as a Jew, but the essential Jewishness remains, and, if the person in question is female, her children are fully Jewish. Should such a person return to Jewish observance, no ‘conversion’ is necessary.
If Sammy Davis and Liz Taylor were converted according to Jewish law, they are 100% Jewish despite having no Jewish DNA.
I am not aware of anyone being denied or granted the privileges of being a Kohen based on DNA.
There is frequently confusion between popular usage or phraseology and the actual facts. Even the term “Jew” itself is not official; the proper term is “ben/bat Yisrael”.
Thank you for clarifying. I always wondered about Sammy. But liz was born Jewish, right?
Taylor was born in England into a Christian Scientist family (from Kansas no less). He parents were reportedly horrified when she converted to Judaism in 1959. Though not noted for any religious devotion, she nevertheless desired a traditional Jewish funeral.
It is an interesting question that you raise. When, as a people, have we ever declined a “moral obligation”? The Torah teaches us that we are forbidden to “feed” an enemy.
If one is cruel to you, threatens you, and your people’s existence, you are forbidden to aid this person. That includes anti-semites, and their nations who stand against you. Sudan is but only one of them. We live in a world that does not embrace Torah/Jewish values. Thus, nothing is relative. Jews must discern. Torah and Halacha are the derek.
If one is kind to us, yes, by all means we should be kind in return. The Medrash teaches “Whoever is kind to the cruel will end up being cruel to the kind.” A current example of this teaching is what happens when Israel tries to placate her enemies, and in turn ends up gravely harming her own people.
It is a realistic expectation that the nations should have a moral obligation to us, as they were commanded to follow the Noahide Laws, which demands this of them. Sadly, they do not follow these laws, and the history of our own people living among them, clearly demonstrates this.
HaShem commanded us to be separate. Primarily, so we do not emulate the ways of goyim (which means “the nations”).
There are a number of reasons for this, you probably know at least a few, but to sum them all up- Jews have a different “job” to do, Tikkun Olam, and acquiring the ways of the goyim prevent us from doing this job. HaShem was very, very clear on this. Even the way we must keep Shabbos, eat, bless our foods, daven 3 times a day, and do Tzdakah,.....the 613 Mitzvot we are to perform, are for this very reason.
We accepted “the yoke of Torah.” We have a sacred Covenant with HaShem. We are commanded to perform the 613 Mizvot and live it, regardless of how the nations treat us. It is when we live Torah that we bring Ohr to the world.
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