Friday, July 8, 2016

Spain 5

Thursday, July 7

This morning, we took an early morning train to Madrid.  After a get-a-little-acquainted-with-Madrid-bus-tour we had another lecture by Professor Eliezer Papo -- "Yishma'el and 'Esaw, the Jews of Spain and Tor ha-Zahav"

He said. . . . People say that the Inquisition punished Jews. Is that true? Not so much. The inquisition punished Jews who had become Christians. The Catholic Church had no jurisdiction over Jews.
Unlike Judaism, where someone typically becomes a Jew as an adult (Papo's statement, I'm not sure I agree), baptism makes a different path.

1391: After a mass pogrom across Spain, hundreds of thousands leave. This wasn't perpetrated by the government or the Church. Uneducated people were at the heart of these actions.

Approximately 1/3 of Jewish Spain was converted. Captured, brought to church, baptized.
This brings huge problems for the Jews, but also some problem for the Church. They weren't really looking for 200,000 educated new members who didn't really believe.  (Educated people -- again, according to Papo's view -- present an unfamiliar challenge to the Church, which is used to having people who are illiterate, not worldly and aren't likely to question Church doctrine.)

4 categories of the Jewish converts to Christianity across a spectrum:
1 We didn't want this. We'll be secret Jews.
2 In between. We'll follow Christianity in THIS world, Jewish in world to come.
3 In between toward:
4 I'll go along. Maybe this IS God's will

1392 Christian Spain passes for the first time Laws of the Purity of Blood

(Sidebar:) Why do Spaniards have such long names, and women don't take their husbands' names? To demonstrate their heritage. Paternal grandfather and Maternal grandfather.  So you really know the legitimate Catholic lineage of your partner or neighbor.

The Inquisition was established to determine whether the Jewish converts to Christianity were faithful.

(Sidebar): Joke: You baptized ME. I baptized the LAMB.
(Priest smells something suspicious at the home of a Jewish convert to Christianity -- on Good Friday.  "Why do I smell.. . Lamb?"  "Father, how could such a thing happen?  Of course, it's fish."  "It smells like lamb."  (Keep in mind that the lamb is likely to be for Pesach, considering the season.) "Father, you baptized ME.  I baptize the LAMB."

Inquisition...Saving your soul. They would torture to get "truthful" responses. Denunciation was also a path. Also a convenient way to get rid of creditors and other unwanted neighbors and relatives. People would give names under torture and those would do the same and so would those.

Jews fled in various directions.

Papo says that the key message is: We have never really studied the connection between forceful conversion of Jews and growth of secularism.

1492 Jews expelled from Spain, creating a disaster for World Jewry. Because it had been the heart and soul of Jewry.  4 responses:

1 The beginnings of a form of  political Zionism
2 Lurianic Kabbalah. Most popular and soothing answer for the masses. God is suffering? Makes ME feel a little better. This also works against Jewish involvement in the real world.
3 Messianic. Shabbetai Tzvi. Judaism is LEGO. You construct it however you like. Everyone dismissed him, but today all groups make their own LEGO.  (Again, this is Papo's point of view.  I'm not sure that I agree or find it illumative.)
4 Let us be. Let us live like you and contribute to your state. Conversos.

Papo says that the same thing happened in Islamic world.
Check out Atatürk Jew on YouTube or Google and you will find lots of stuff.
Shabbetai Tzvi becomes a Muslim (convert or die). But he still believes he is Messiah.
Conversos are at the root of all progressive Islam. (Again, a Papo claim that I think could draw a lot of argument.)

Later that day we had a lovely reception at Casa Sefarad, an institution that builds relations between Spain and Jews and the State of Israel.

Free to roam the city for dinner...

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