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 ...
When the first line of the story only repeats an age old lie you know the rest of the story isn't worth reading...
Who says it is?
When the first line of the story only repeats an age old lie
Not precisely a correct depiction of history.
The Jews in Spain were given the choice of converting to Catholicism or leaving Spain.
The commonly held notion that Jews were tortured and forced to renounce their religion and become Catholics is untrue.
“Centuries after the Spanish Inquisition led to the forced conversion of Jews to Catholicism,”
Nonsense! Jews starting converting many years BEFORE the inquisition was founded in the late 15th century in Spain. Most conversions were in the 13th and 14th centuries. Some Jews converted under feelings of duress, but many converted freely.
I don’t know the number that creates the myth, but certainly, many Jews were burned at the stake and others converted from such threats. Are you saying that didn’t happen?
“Who says it is?”
Well, some reputable Jewish historians do. Look at Henry Kamen’s 1998 book called Spanish Inquisition.
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“Roman Catholics who think that 1,700 years of church history is pristine.”
So why do Jewish historians like Kamen say it then?
“Anyone who has read the writings of the Jewish sages in Spain can read the history of a severly persecuted people, no matter what Roman Catholic revisionism tries to do.”
No one denies the persecution. It is a matter of the source. The inquisition did not forcibly convert Jews. It had no authority over people who were not baptized unless they somehow violated the natural law. Thus, a Jew, who just practiced Judaism and minded his own business could not legally be forced to do anything by any inquisitor.
Christopher Columbus departed Spainshalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
on the 1st of Av 5252( Aug 3rd, 1492 CE ).
This was the last day for all Jews
to leave Spain under pain of death.
Could it be that many of his sailors were Jews.
“I dont know the number that creates the myth, but certainly, many Jews were burned at the stake and others converted from such threats. Are you saying that didnt happen?”
I’ll say it - it didn’t happen - on the part of the inquisition. The inquisition only had authority over baptized Christians. No Jew was ever burned at the stake by the inquisition for refusing to convert to Christianity. Those who were threatened into converting were threatened into converting in the 13th and 14th centuries by civilians in pogroms. The inquisition was established in the late 15th century. One of the reasons why it was founded in Spain was to stop abuses of converted Jews by Old Christians.
I am not saying that Jews were not persecuted. I am saying that the order of events is incorrect.
The Jews in Spain were given the choice of converting to Catholicism or leaving Spain.
Many Jews converted because as was the custom across the world at the time, if you left a country by royal decree your lands and wealth were forfeit. So convert or leave Spain as a pauper. Wealthy Jews understandably converted.
Many Jews were baptized and then continued to practice their religion in secret.
So King Ferdinand requested permission from the Pope for the Inquisition. The Pope reluctantly gave his permission. So many Jews were left open for persecution either because they still practiced their religion or simply because they were accused by rivals or suspicious neighbors.
I object to news papers continuing to print flawed history. Get your facts right or get out of the business.
And as far as many Jews being burned at the stake the number is widely exaggerated. It is at most 300 over 356 years. Not a small number when talking about individuals but certainly a tiny number when talking about man's inhumanity to man throughout history.
Jews were pretty much restricted to MAKING STUFF and LEARNING ~ or TRADING.
There are quite elaborate laws regarding how things got "turned over" when a Christian prince conquered a Moslem principality, or vice versa.
Jews were left right where they were ~ so they could be taxed.
Obviously there were folks who managed to "convert", but the greater part of the literature on the matter suggests that Jews couldn't convert if they wanted to until the late 1400s. The Crown issued an edict that told them to convert, and evidence is most Jews converted to Christianity, as did Moslems. There were remarkably few people expelled.
Some analysts of this question have come to the conclusion that about 1/4 of the Spanish population is descended in whole or in part from Jews, with another large chunk being descended from Arabs and North Africans.
The smart guys went to the colonial empire as it developed.
It's worth reading about the Inquisition. Yes, it was bad, but not as bad as it's portrayed. It wouldn't hold a candle to the slightest of atrocities commited by the Nazis several centuries later.
Medieval Spain was considered quite Progressive by just about everybody alive at the time who could read and write and travel.
None of these places were anything you'd wanted to live in ~ compared to today ~ maybe like palaces stuck in the mud surrounded by dusty farmland with impoverished peasants and lots of pigs.
Your grasp of history is better than mine.
“Could it be that many of his sailors were Jews.”
Unlikely since Columbus and the leaders of his expedition were committed to Christianity. Columbus believed he was specially chosen by God to bring the Gospel to the East.
Columbus’ Book of Prophecies is a study of the prophets of the Old Testament and the teaching of Christ about the duty to proclaim the Gospel to all nations. Columbus was a devout Catholic who attended Mass and received Holy Communion regularly. Columbus was a Third Order Franciscan who believed that the world should be converted to Christ.
Columbus’ journal in 1492, day after day, refers to Jesus and the need for divine help.
“Obviously there were folks who managed to “convert”, but the greater part of the literature on the matter suggests that Jews couldn’t convert if they wanted to until the late 1400s.”
Jews converted in droves in the 13th and 14th centuries.
“The Crown issued an edict that told them to convert, and evidence is most Jews converted to Christianity, as did Moslems. There were remarkably few people expelled.”
Half converted and half left. See Henry Kamen, Spanish Inquisition (1998) pages 29-31.
Jews benefited, as did Christians and Moslems. The North African Islamofascist dictators actually invaded Spain once to straighten out the Moslems and bring them back into conformance with Islamic law.
I referred to it above ~ but there was even a custom, with laws, governing "forced conversions" ~ and I'd guess the new local prince would make some decisions on the basis of whether or not he liked ham and eggs for breakfast.
By the time Ferdinand and isabella wrapped up the Reconquista most of the hard part had been done and people were "converted" according to law ~ with the Jews still having an exceptional status because they'd been prohibited entry into the mainstreams of Spanish society for hundreds of years.
The final forced conversion (or expulsion) was probably more of an afterthought about straightening out the kingdom than anything done in anger.
To a degree it was progressive in the sense it did offer Jews a way to enter Spanish society ~ which was shortly to become the wealthiest and most powerful on Earth!
The Slimes just can't help themselves. The must throw the unnecessary modifier "ultra" in there - just to let you know their editorial board's opinion.
A Russian Jewish friend of mine once spent quite a bit of time reading through Jewish genealogies and family stories in Moscow that dated back to Spain.
He was quite astounded to find out how open all of this was ~ not at all like a really oppressed minority fleeing the ovens.
BTW, I doubt any almost any sort of estimations that involve the last half the 14th Century and the first half of the 15th Century. The plague definitely tipped a lot of scales.
Which may or may not be meaningful. These guys had entered Europe only a century before in Bulgaria.
You forget !shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
Yah'shua was a Jew
ls a Jew and
will always be a Jew
and never a Roman catholic.
“You forget !
Yah’shua was a Jew”
No, actually I have never forgotten that. Perhaps you have, but I never have.
“ls a Jew and
will always be a Jew
and never a Roman catholic.”
Christ established the Catholic Church. He doesn’t know your puny, johnny-come-lately, man-made sect.
That myth is not supported by the Holy Word of G-d. The Roman "church" was created by the pagan Yah'shua started His Ekklesia in Deuteronomy 4:10.
Yah'shua did not create the Roman "church". shalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
Pontiff Constantine at Nicea in 325 CE.
That myth is not supported by the Holy Word of G-d.
The Roman "church" was created by the pagan
Yah'shua started His Ekklesia in Deuteronomy 4:10.
You’re wasting your time. Too many people are invested in being victims. The scholarship on the Inquisition tells a very different story from the false one originally propagated by humanists and my fellow Protestants that everyone “knows”. In fact, the common understanding is about as unhistorical as the “flat earth” myth.
Another historical lie is the myth of the “Andalusian Paradise”, according to which everyone in Spain got along and prospered under Mohammedan rule. See, e.g., The Myth of the Andalusian Paradise by
Professor Darío Fernández-Morera here: http://www.mmisi.org/ir/41_02/fernandez-morera.pdf
Morera, interestingly, notes the persecution of Karaite Jews (who rejected authority of the Talmud) by Orthodox Jews in Catholic lands and that at times during the Mohammedan occupation of Spain Jews collaborated with the Mohammedans against the Catholics.
In an adult reading of history, Jews, Christians, and Mohammedans have each been victims and victimizers. The cartoonish narrative that casts certain groups as beyond criticism and others as merely evil oppressors is just an attempt to create guilt so that people today can be manipulated into doing absurd things - Affirmative Action, for example.
“Yah’shua did not create the Roman “church”.”
I said He created the Catholic Church. The Roman Church is part of it.
“That myth is not supported by the Holy Word of G-d.”
You’re the one peddling myths here.
“The Roman “church” was created by the pagan
Pontiff Constantine at Nicea in 325 CE.”
Nope. Constantine came to power almost 300 years after the Roman Church was already in existence. What you’re peddling is an ahistorical idea put forward by people out of touch with reality and history.
Mazol Tovshalom b'SHEM Yah'shua HaMashiach
Have a wonderful life on the wide road.
When you meet Yah'shua try to explain His WORD to Him.
The road is actually narrow - but one can only journey on it when he knows the truth. Your posts are filled with errors.
“It’s worth reading about the Inquisition. Yes, it was bad, but not as bad as it’s portrayed. It wouldn’t hold a candle to the slightest of atrocities commited by the Nazis several centuries later.”
Might make a good slogan: “The Spanish Inquisition - Hey, they weren’t as bad as the Nazis!”
That's false on many levels. To begin with, there were periodic forced conversions throughout Judeo-Spanish history, but they picked up beginning in the mid-14th Century.
Second, the idea that "remarkably few" Jews were expelled is just false. Most scholars estimate that about 165,000 Jews were expelled in 1492. Less than 50,000 stayed in Spain. And many of those 50,000 fled over the next two centuries -- witness the emergence of Western Sephardic communities in the Netherlands, France, Germany, etc., beginning in the early 17th Century.
Columbus’ first officer was a Jew who wrote the ships logs using Hebrew characters. It’s a near certainty that there were many others.
You are (largely) right that the Spanish Inquisition did not torture non-baptized Jews. But you are blatantly wrong that Spanish Jews weren't forced to convert. Starting in the early 14th Century, periodic mobs (often led by Catholic Priests) would ransack Jewish neighborhoods, often giving Jews the choice of the cross or the sword. Moreover, in 1492, it wasn't simply a choice of converting or "leaving Spain." It was a choice between converting, or being stripped of your property and forced to emigrate penniless.
These guys are nuts.
They constantly throw rocks at anyone who is not Catholic, distort all difference of opinion, quote unheard of sources with no credibility and expect everyone else to see things their way.
I refuse to discuss anything further with them, it is an absolute waste of time.
I finally came to the conclusion that they are only here to stir up controversy and divide us. To remove our focus on dealing with the lying Liberals/Socialist and worse we face in our government.
Those who oppose freedom always lie about everything, because it is the only way to stay in power.
I elaborated further in My Post 13.
But you must admit that this choice of emigrate penniless or convert is/was a better deal than the Muslims were offering.
Yes pogroms occurred. They occurred pretty much across Christendom. However the original discussion was centered on the Inquisition which was an official action of the Spanish government.
. . . some reputable Jewish historians do. Look at Henry Kamens 1998 book called Spanish InquisitionKamen was an historical revisionist. WADR, I'll pass.
It appears that some are either totally ignorant of well documented, historical facts, or in denial, or just plan Anti-Semitic revisionists.
But, there is so just much documentation available on the subject, it is absolutely amazing that anyone could even possibly claim it did not happen.
There are actual letters from people who had lost family members, as well as government and church communications from that event in time that are available to see if you can read Spanish.
The incredible brutality of Tomas de Torquemada, a Spanish Dominican monk, who was appointed Grand Inquisitor is well documented, and matter of recorded history. He is how the Inquisition got its bloody reputation. There is an incredible amount of documentation available from a variety of sources. Including the Catholic Church, itself.
Visit Spain, they have some of the original torture devices on display in various exhibits. Read the little placards that tell you about them. They feature them in many languages.
Here is a link that will provide a “crash course” on the subject:
Also, in regard to Columbus, there is very convincing evidence that he, in fact, was a “secret Jew”. You will find some interesting information here:
“Kabbalistic Signet Indicates Columbus was an Exiled Jew”
I simply am stating that the sequence of events are not what the popular press and Hollywood films portray.
Certainly Jews and others were tortured and killed. But the history leading to the Inquisition and the underlying events are omitted
The context of historical events are important.
No, the people here are insisting on historical accuracy. No one is saying these things didn’t happen....what they are complaining about (and quite rightly) is the muddled picture that is used to discredit Catholic Spain.
As people have said, the Inquisition was an ecclesiastical court. It had ZERO jurisdiction over people who were not Catholic. ZERO. If you were Jewish or Muslim or pagan, you could not be brought before the Inquisition.
The folks who were brought before the Inquisition were the Conversos...those who were baptized (and so became Catholic), but did not live as Catholics. Once they joined, they were supposed to live by the rules...and anyone who didn’t, Jew or not, faced some pretty stiff penalties. That wasn’t anti-Semitism, that was just the law of the time. If you were born Catholic and did the same thing, you would face the same penalty.
Where the confusion comes in is that the Spanish *state* and the Spanish *mobs* were indeed persecuting Jews. If Jews felt they had to convert to Christianity by force, it was because of pressure brought to bear by the state and the mobs....not the Church. Also, the Church didn’t execute anyone. A person was executed by the state...as is clear in the many records of the Inquisition where it said “and he was handed over the secular arm to be burned.”
The Inquisition came about for a very good reason. Nonconformity to the state religion was a crime. Heresy then was actually illegal, and had been so since Roman (pagan) times.
Now the problem in Christendom was that this could very easily be abused. Say I was a lord and I wanted to despoil your family of land. Well, I could just accuse you of heresy, get you talking about the Trinity in front of a panel, and it’s certain that SOMETHING you said would be heretical or could be twisted to sound so. It was just way too open for abuse....and moreover, why should any secular authority have the power to decide what was heretical or not?
So the Inquisition was born. Impartial Church authorities took over the process of investigation from the State, and they decided whether the person was guilty of obstinate heresy or not. If not, then they were freed. If so, then the accused were turned back over to the State for punishment.
It’s well to keep in mind that just because *Christians* did something, doesn’t mean *Christianity* did it.
You peoples’ protestations are pitiful.
Juan de la Cosa was a Christian. I have no idea what his background was, nor does it really matter. This is the only thing from him that anyone really cares about: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:1500_map_by_Juan_de_la_Cosa-North_up.jpg
“Kamen was an historical revisionist. WADR, I’ll pass.”
Most likely you would pass on all scholarship. The simple fact is that all modern research and scholarship on the inquisition is revisionist. By necessity it has to be because people are actually looking at sources rather than simply making up tales to fit their preconceived ideas. Most likely you’ve never even read a single book on the inquisition. That’s usually how it goes.
The facts bother you. Too bad. Deny history all you like.
“That is really too funny. You are the denier of history.”
Nope. I have studied it all my life and have a PhD in history. Have you read even a single reputable book on the inquisition? Even one?
“That’s OK, we know your type.”
My type is apparently far better informed than yours.
Again, have you read even one reputable book on the inquisition?
No, I'd pass on all fake scholarship.
Most likely you would pass on all scholarship
I think you got lost on the way to another message board?
The simple fact is that all modern research and scholarship on the inquisition is revisionist. By necessity it has to be because people are actually looking at sources rather than simply making up tales to fit their preconceived ideas. Most likely youve never even read a single book on the inquisition. Thats usually how it goes
If youd like to be on or off, please FR mail me.
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