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Sephardim, Essay Example

Pages: 1

Words: 271

Essay

Prior to reading about the Sephardim, I was a little confused about certain aspects of Jewish history in Spain. Although I still have questions, the picture has become somewhat clearer for me.

One question I still have is this. If Jews fled certain Moorish rulers to Catholic Spain during certain times, when things got bad in Catholic Spain, why did they not simply go back to areas of Moorish Spain where things were better?

Nevertheless, I was impressed with the details of history that were communicated in this piece. For example, it is interesting to note how certain practices of singling out the Jewish community originated in Catholic Spain. At times, they were required to wear symbols that identified them as Jews and were identified as descendents of those who opposed Christ.

Another interesting fact was the dynamic relationship between Spanish Jewry and noblemen. I was surprised to find that Jews were often considered property of the monarchy and that Jewish expulsion from Spain coincided so closely with Columbus’s first voyage to the New World in 1492. As Columbus’s trip was considered an ill-conceived, ill-fated venture, I wonder how many Jewish sailors ended up sailing with his “doomed” armada.

I am glad to have learned more about the history of the Sephardic Jews in particular. I regret that Jewry in general has had to suffer the consequences and fears of other people. Nevertheless, the history and migration of the Jewish people may be seen as a case study for many questions impacting the human sciences. From this crucible, we assay understandings about human (both Jewish and non-Jewish) linguistic, spiritual, economic, and political behavior over time.

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