Spain’s Jewish heritage, ages after expulsion


This video is called International Holocaust Remembrance Day: Toledo Sephardic Museum remembers Nazi victims.

From the New York Times:

TOLEDO, Spain: Spain has sometimes been slow to recognize its own treasures.

Miguel de Cervantes was slipping into obscurity after his death until he was rescued by foreign literary experts.

El Greco‘s paintings were pulled from oblivion by the French.

The Muslim palace of Alhambra had fallen into neglect before the American author Washington Irving and others wrote about it in the 1800s.

Now, more than 500 years after expelling its Jews and moving to hide if not eradicate all traces of their existence, Spain has begun rediscovering the Jewish culture that thrived here for centuries and that scholars say functioned as a second Jerusalem during the Middle Ages.

“We’ve gone from a period of pillaging the Jews and then suppressing and ignoring their patrimony to a period of rising curiosity and fascination,” said Ana María López, the director of the Sephardic Museum in Toledo, a hub of Jewish life before the Jews were expelled or forced to convert to Christianity in 1492 during the Inquisition.

Sephardic Jews and Muslims in Spain: here.

The Chuetas, a community of forced converts from a collection of islands off the coast of Spain, are embracing their Jewish roots. Many are looking to return to the fold but are finding obstacles along the way: here.

ScienceDaily (Oct. 18, 2011) — A well-known collection of historical texts, the Cairo Genizah is one of the most valuable sources of primary documents for medieval historians and religious scholars. The 350,000 fragments found in the Genizah include not only religious texts, but also social and commercial documents, dating from the 9th to 19th century. But the collection is scattered among 70 institutions worldwide, including libraries in Cambridge, Jerusalem, and New York City, and scholars are hampered by both the wide dispersal of the collection as well as their fragmentary condition: here.

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