HaLapid Spring/Summer 2011

Miriam Bodian, Dying in the in Law of Moses:

Miriam Bodian, Dying in the in Law of Moses:

Crypto-Jewish Martyrdom in the Iberian World. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2007. xvii + 278 pp. In the aftermath of the explosive violence that began in 1391 and continued at various levels throughout the fifteenth century, many conversos resigned themselves to their status as New Christians. Many abandoned Jewish praxis for practical reasons. Noting this, Don […]

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Laura Cesana’s Artistic Exploration of Crypto-Jewish Portugal

Laura Cesana’s Artistic Exploration of Crypto-Jewish Portugal

Laura Cesana’s reputation as an internationally renowned artist is well warranted. Born in Rome, Cesana spent her childhood in New York City, and currently lives and works in Portugal. She has exhibited her work since the 1970s, held almost ninety one-woman shows on four continents, and is represented in museums and public collections in Portugal, […]

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Eliyahu Enriquez: Poet

Eliyahu Enriquez: Poet

Eliyahu Enriquez is a descendant of Filipino anusim. He has been in a long process of reawakening, acclimation, and solidarity. He has found himself not alone in the Filipino-Hudyo identity. Enriquez believes that Filipinim are in a unique position, with the potential to build bridges between East and Western Spanish-speaking countries as well as its […]

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“That Old Faggot Jew”

“That Old Faggot Jew”

Exploring the work of the converso poet Antón de Montoro This article is adapted from “Jewish Blood,” my nearly-completed history of the Jews in Spain. The book covers the period from the Visigoths to the expulsion of the Jews. Given the importance of this period in both Jewish and world history, my goal is to […]

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Writing The Lost Minyan

Writing The Lost Minyan

Poetic, Artistic and Literary Expressions Writing The Lost Minyan Research over the last four decades has deepened our understanding of crypto Judaism in Spain, Portugal, and their colonies. Numerous scholars, including myself, have logged countless hours in archives, gloved and masked, straining our eyes over ancient histories, wills, deeds, shipping records, letters, lawsuits, and testimony […]

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Contrafactum in Judeo-Spanish Song

Contrafactum in Judeo-Spanish Song

Contrafactum is a very old practice, well documented in both Jewish and Christian religious (and other) music—even some of the psalms include instructions to use certain melodies, though we have no idea what they sounded like. The word is Latin: literally, “constructed against,” and the plural is “contrafacta,” though in English it is often simplified […]

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The New Christian Home in Colonial Brazil, 1600s–1700s

The New Christian Home in Colonial Brazil, 1600s–1700s

Based on a paper presented at the First International Conference on ‘The Position and Self-Image of Women in Sefardi Sources,’ Jerusalem, 2011 Women were responsible for three centuries of clandestine practice of Judaism in America and they were among the most numerous prisoners of the Inquisition. From 1708 until 1735, one hundred and sixty seven […]

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The Islamic Concept of Taqqiya and Its Influence on Spanish Jewry

The Islamic Concept of Taqqiya and Its Influence on Spanish Jewry

Juan Marcos Bejarano Gutierrez For years, rabbis and scholars have speculated as to why so many Spanish Jews converted to Christianity beginning in the year 1391 when faced with violence or coercion in contrast to the tendency of the Jews in Germany to opt for death or even suicide when faced with similar circumstances. The […]

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The Tale of Belmonte’s Crypto Jews

The Tale of Belmonte’s Crypto Jews

Long after their Spanish neighbors, Portuguese municipalities have finally recognized the potential of Jewish tourism. This probably has to do with a surge of interest among the Portuguese to unveil their crypto-Jewish roots, concomitantly with a new momentum among young and not-so-young historians who engage in the research of Portugal’s Jewish past. Revisiting villages, where […]

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Book Review: By Fire, By Water

Book Review: By Fire, By Water

Mitchell James Kaplan, By Fire, By Water (New York: Other Press, 2010) pp.320, Reviewed by Deborah Wohl Isard If ever a book should be judged by its cover, it’s By Fire, By Water by Mitchell James Kaplan. The book’s cover immediately sets the tone for this well-crafted and engaging work of historical fiction that takes […]

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