Jews of Spain – Assignment

Jews of Spain – Assignment Words: 328

A mere fourteen years after the establishment of this institution, the (unconverted) Jews of Spain were expelled. One of the reasons cited for this action was the very fact that they had served as mentors, teachers, and suppliers of Jewish goods for the crypto-Jews. With the expulsion, the situation was radically altered; now there were no rabbis or teachers, no ritual slaughterers to provide kosher meat, no circumciser, virtually no religious functionaries.

Not only was all spiritual and personal support cut off, but all sources of Jewish women knowledge and guidance, including the synagogues and the literature, so essential to the perpetuation of Jewish life, disappeared along with the Jewish community.

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Therefore, after 1492, crypto-Judaism both suffered and changed. The education of Jewish was also faced many difficulties during this period. Ironically enough, the numbers of the conversos increased because of those Jews who could not bear to leave their homeland and, in 1492, became the last group of Spanish converts from Judaism. It had its direct impact on the trade activities of Jewish women. Nevertheless, those who opted to judaize now had to make a greater effort to retain their Jewish memory; oral transmission, naturally, became the sole means for preservation of law, custom and ritual. Due to the very nature of memory, much was, and would be, forgotten; and certain observances, such as circumcision, became virtually impossible as they were tantamount to confession to the authorities. Embellishments and deviations also appeared as naturally as the lacunae. No standardized religion would or could develop in crypto-Jewish society. Therefore, we cannot judge the lifestyles of judaizantes by making a simple comparison to normative Judaism. The emphasis here must be upon the fact that, in the eyes of the Inquisition, the intention behind the deed was all-important; if the “perpetrator” intended to observe the Law of Moses, the act was heretical even if there was no halakhic basis to be found for a given observance.

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Jews of Spain - Assignment. (2018, Oct 20). Retrieved January 30, 2023, from