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The Jews of Spain: A History of the Sephardic Experience Paperback – January 31, 1994
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From the Back Cover
The history of the Jews of Spain is a remarkable story that begins in the remote past and continues today. For more than a thousand years, Sepharad (the Hebrew word for Spain) was home to a large Jewish community noted for its richness and virtuosity. Summarily expelled in 1492 and forced into exile, their tragedy of expulsion marked the end of one critical phase of their history and the beginning of another. Indeed, in defiance of all logic and expectation, the expulsion of the Jews from Spain became an occasion for renewed creativity. Nor have five hundred years of wandering extinguished the identity of the Sephardic Jews, or diminished the proud memory of the dazzling civilization which they created on Spanish soil.This book is intended to serve as an introduction and scholarly guide to that history.
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with insightful descriptions of key factors. Personalities, places and periods are presented as a flowing commentary that enables the reader to understand how Spanish Jewry evolved, developed and ultimately ended in forced evacuation. The impact of their eviction on Jewry in Europe is covered as well as the first Jews to settle in what would become the U.S. being a small group of Spanish Jews seeking refuge in a hospitable setting. Gerber's writing is easy reading. If you like history and/or a knowledge of Spanish Jewry this book is well worth the reading.
Side note: Abrabanel is the name of a famous mental hospital in Israel, and therefore is also kind of a slang way to call someone bonkers in Hebrew. This book allowed me to drop some knowledge on hubby about who Abrabanel really was. One-upping a spouse? Priceless.