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What is the history of the Jews from Castilla y Leon?

Answers:1   |   LastAnswerAt:2011.03  

Asked at 2011.03.14 02:16:00

answer SUE  Answered at 2011.03.14 02:16:00
I, personally, know less about the Jews, in fact the general history, topography, and culture of Catilla-León than those of
Andalucía, and I recently travelled through some sites to the East, near Barcelona. Contact me personally, and I´ll connect you to my photos...I think they´re pretty nice.

Some of the largest Jewish populations in Spain were, in fact, in Toledo, Córdoba, Sevilla. There is a synagogue in Gerona which can trace its history, I believe, to before the first century BCE.

Tarshish? There are scholars who think Tarshish was SPAIN? I never heard that! That´s one of the reasons I like this site. I keep learning new stuff.

Jonathan makes some good points, but saying that the Spanish Jews who weren´t killed in the Inquisition made it to America is a bit simplistic, and a bit off the mark, though I´ve heard there are many who believe Columbus was Jewish, or at least that enough of his sailors were to make him wait until one of our most holy days was over to sail on the first voyage. There are those who dispute that, saying that it was weather that delayed the sailing. But it´s an interesting theory. One which will not be proven or disproven until technology improves. (I won´t say never, because that´s a sure way to eventually be disproven.)

The Jews who were expelled from Spain in 1492 went in many different directions. It has been referred to as the second diaspora. Some went to Northern Africa, many of them still own the keys to their houses in Spain, and still get married in their 15th century clothing. Some went to Turkey, Greece, Yemen, and other places along the Mediterranean. Even today, if you go to these places, people will ask Jews if they are Ashkenazi or Sephardi, in the same way that here in the US, one will be asked if they are Orthodox, Conservative or Reform? Still others went to Portugal, and from there, were expelled again, when Spain swallowed Portugal in the 17th century for about a hundred years. Some wound up in Netherlands, Northern Germany, and Poland. There´s an area in Poland called Galitzia (sound familiar, anyone?) And they pronounce Yiddish a bit differently than others, and I remember my mother scolding one of her cousins for pronouncing something in that accent, saying: "Who do you think you are? a Galit?" Her tone saying that the cousin was putting on airs...Galits having been those who had more money and education than the poor Eastern European neighbors (Think of Tevye and his friends from Fiddler).

Still others returned to Israel, and were the seed of the current country. The language spoken there, I´m sure most know, is Hebrew, but many people do not realize that what we learned as "Modern Hebrew", not to be confused with "Ashkenazi Hebrew", which our parents speak/spoke, is actually Spanish accented Hebrew, brought back into the country by those very re-settlers. The new settlers who came in dribbles over the years, and then in floods since the late 19th century, adopted that pronunciation, even though many of them came from Eastern Europe (largely Ashkenazi).

Hmmm. Have I covered it all?

Sign me, a Jewish Hispanista. :)
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