Sephardic Jews could be Spanish again. Latest news

Sephardic Jews could be Spanish again. Latest news
Isabel del Rio

Old Sephardic dresses in Sephardic Museum of Toledo, Spain

Sephardic Jews. Latest news. Sephardi basically means “Spanish”. The word comes from Sepharad, a Biblical place identified by later Jews as the Iberian Peninsula or current Spain.

Thus, Sephardic Jews are the descendants of Jewish, who lived in Spain until their expulsion in 1492 by Isabella de Castile and Ferdinand of Aragon, under the Alhambra Decree. They use a Sephardic style of liturgy and continue with different customs and traditions from the Iberian Peninsula, even they know the Spanish language before Cervantes.

They are about 3,5 million (half a million in Israel) and now they could be Spanish again.

Last Friday, the Spanish government amended the Civil Code. They can grant Spanish nationality to every Sephardic Jews who request it and prove its origins. Of course, they can they can maintain their current nationality too.

** The Edict of Expulsion or The Alhambra Decree was an edict delivered on 31 March 1492 by the Kings of Spain Isabella I of Castile and her husband, Ferdinand II of Aragon. Then, less than three months after the capitulation of Muslim Granada. The kings had the intention to link strongly their recent united countries (Castile and Aragon) and create a Spain without religious diversities.

The edict order the expulsion of Jews from the Kingdoms of Castile and Aragon and its territories and possessions (soon America) by 31 July of that year. However, they could stay in the Kingdom of Navarre. The edict was revoked on 16 December 1968 in the context of the Second Vatican Council.

If they would like to live in Spain, they had to convert to Christianity.

The Spanish Jews who leave Spain were permitted to take their belongings with them, except “gold or silver or minted money.” They dispersed throughout the region of North Africa and also they settled in Istanbul, Salonika and Sarajevo, where they formed flourishing local Jewish communities.


Synagogue Transito in Toledo, Spain

View Comments (3)
  • A really important happening.

  • Barry Kaplan

    It now seems that after 522 years, Spain is trying to make amends.

    BLIND VISION, the epic historical novel by the award winning best selling author, Vivian Jeanette Kaplan, is now available on Amazon. It is the story of the Inquisition in Spain and the expulsion of the Jews and Secret or Crypto-Jews from there in 1492, of their descendants living today, many in secrecy. They call themselves B’nei Anousim (Hebrew for sons of those forced to convert – Marrano means “filthy pig” in Spanish and should never be used. It was the extremely derogatory word used by the Spaniards to refer to the Conversos in the 15th century and unfortunately is commonplace today). It also finally uncovers the involvement and true identity, beyond any reasonable doubt, of Christopher Columbus who left Spain with his three ships on his voyage to the New World, on the exact same day of expulsion, with several Jews aboard.

    The title BLIND VISION comes from the impassioned plea of one of most famous Court Jews of the time, Don Isaac Abravanel, Chief Royal Tax Collector of Spain, to King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, to stop their planned Edict of Expulsion. Rabbi Don Abraham Seneor, Chief Rabbi of Spain, was at his side. In his speech, Don Isaac said “For generations to come it will be told and retold how unkind was your faith and how blind was your vision”.

    Maybe Spain has finally got the message.

  • Ana

    iberia is also Portugal . Sephardi Jews are jews of Spain and Portugal decent. Get it right

Isabel del Rio

Managing Editor at Yareah® Magazine. Author of ‘Ariza’ (2008) and ‘The Girls of Oil’ (2010)

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