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The Expulsion of Jews from Spain Essay

The year of 1492 is a year the congregation of Jewish people will always remember. This was the year that over 200,000 Jewish people were forced to leave the land of Spain because of Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand ordering the removal in a somewhat peaceful manner, thanks to Father Tomas de Torquemada. Father Tomas de Torquemada stalled the time of the expulsion of Jews’ to March instead of January. Spain was under invasion by Muslims at the time and had just defeated the Muslims in Granada; thus being so, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella only wanted Spain to be among Christian citizens.

Therefore, the expulsion of Jews’ quickly began in March 1492. The expulsion of the Jews’ was the pet project of the Spanish Inquisition. Jews’ were encouraged to convert to Christianity, flee the country of Spain, or be killed; at the time, the total Jewish count was estimated to be 200,000. Jewish people had to liquidate their homes and businesses at absurdly low prices. The majority of Jewish people fled to Portugal and Italy; but nonetheless, some escaped to North Africa or the area of the Ottoman Empire at the time. The new name of the Jews’ from Spain became known as Marrano’s and Sephardi’s.

This horrific event set the rise of the Messianic Movement and the development of the Jewish communities in Europe and in the Ottoman Empire. The rise of the Messianic Movement is a very important chapter in Jewish history. The Messianic Movement started with Sabbetai Sevi the “Mystical Messiah” movement. He was an extremely talented individual that sang well and possessed personal charm. Nathan of Gaza is known to be the man who convinced Sabbetai Sevi that he was the true Messiah. Shortly, became very famous because of the words of Nathan of Gaza, which began in Egypt.

The rising question in the 16th century was “How could such a person, neither hero nor scholar nor saint, suddenly gain world-wide acclaim and reverence as the Messiah”? The Messiah is to be less than a man to destroy the enemies of Israel and inaugurate the age of human bliss, instead of a mystical master who could heal the cosmic rift and bring ultimate redemption[1]. From then on the new Messiah moved north to Safed and Demascus in route to Aleppo, having a large and fervid amount of followers. The result of the great Messiah built many communities all around Europe.

In the acceptance of Kabbalistic Messianism, spreading out from Safed in the 16th century after a few years of the expulsion of Jews from Spain in 1492. The prayer book had many kabbalistic additions thanks to Sebbetai and recited a prayer redefined kabbalistically. It was influenced by the Kabbalah movement that was established in Safed, following the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492. Besides the Marrano’s, Spaniard Jews whom converted to Christianity and back to Judaism, there were the Sephardic Jews, which were the Jews whom refused to convert to Christianity.

They became tied to the kabbalist R. Issac Luria and R. Hayyim Vital. Sephardic Jews received a goal, theology, and ritual to what had been abstract speculation concerning the nature of creation and the universe, “conceived that a cosmic disruption in the heavens, called that a cosmic disruption in the heavens, called in a kabbalistic metaphor the ‘ breaking of the vessels’, had taken place at the creation” (48)[2]. From then on the Jews went into exile along with the Divine Prescence. This led to a huge popularity into the Messiah followers.

The development of Jewish communities was spread out from Italy to Netherlands and Egypt to of course the Ottoman Empire. Once Jews’ found a temporarily home, Jewish people began spreading in the messianic Movement. Sebbatai went to Safed and Damascus to begin preaching and gaining followers at this time. “The Messiah won the support of rabbis when he prescribed penitence by prayers, fasts, and mortification of the flesh”, Sebbatai was finally recognized and non-Jews’ began to burn in turmoil, especially Islamic nations and empires.

A year after the movement caught fire, a man named Nehemiah Cohen “Challenged Sabbetai’s messiahship because it did not follow the course prescribed by mystic and apocalyptic literature; he asked: where was the Messiah of the house of Joseph? He had to come before the advent of the ultimate messiah of the house of David, Sabbetai himself”[3]. The known “Messiah” felt if he was truly the false Messiah, the disasters would crush the Jews’, Sebbatai converted to Islam in the matter of seconds.

Which later became controversial about Jews believing in him and some not believing in him as the Messiah. Since Massano’s found Portugal to be closest nation to Spain, they settled for a few years until the King of Portugal married Queen Isabella and promised her to expel Jews from Portugal. Sadly, Portugal was unfortunately not the new home for Jews. Italy was open to whoever wanted to settle in their lands without discrimination of religion. Popes Alexander VI to Clement VII was accepting Jews.

The 1492 expulsion of Jews from Spain, 9,000 Spanish Jews arrived at the borders of the Italy. Alexander VI welcomed them into Rome, declaring that they were permitted to lead their life, free from interference from Christians, to continue in their own rites, to gain wealth, and to enjoy many other privileges[4]. He allowed the immigration of Jews expelled from Portugal in 1497. Besides Italy, provinces of the Ottoman Empire accepted Jews from the expulsion of 1492 also. Soon Italy was removing Jews because of new rulers.

Sultan Bayazid II (leader at the time) ordered the governors and provinces of the Ottoman Empire, not to refuse the Jews entry or cause them difficulties, but to receive them cordially[5]. The Jews were not just permitted to settle in the Ottoman lands, but were encouraged, assisted and sometimes even compelled. The Marrano’s benefited the Ottoman Empire extremely; expanding the knowledge of Hebrew literature, gaining intelligence in science, and diplomacy was carried out by Jews. Court physicians were Jews; along the benefits Jews brought to the Ottoman Empire was the printing press.

Jewish communities continued to flourish all across the Ottoman Empire. Since the arrival of Jews, the Ottoman Empire continued to hold down as the power house in the world. Eastern European Jewry was probably the most vital force in Jewish history, it had a religious and intellectual dynamism. Jews settled in Poland which then led on to Jewish migration to the Netherlands. Laws about how weddings should be conducted and how disputes between Jewish communities could be adjudicated; One decree was that no Jewish woman could own a fur coat because it would raise the enmity of the non-Jewish neighbors[6].

The practicing of the Torah from its time in Eastern Europe was the ultimate life a Jew could live. Living in the Torah dream led by the messianic movement pushed into the Hassidic movement. The Hassidic movement was by founder of Hasidism, rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov was a great scholar and mystic, devoted to both the revealed, outer aspect, and hidden, inner aspect of Torah[7]. Notes 1. Gartner, Lloyd P.. “Glimmerings of a New Age. ” In History of the Jews in modern times. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. 47-49. 2. “Home | Jewish Virtual Library.

” Home | Jewish Virtual Library. http://www. jewishvirtuallibrary. org (accessed October 10, 2013). 3. “Jewish History – we bring Jewish history to life.. ” Jewish History – we bring Jewish history to life.. http://www. jewishhistory. org (accessed October 10, 2013). 4. “Projet ALADIN | Accueil. ” Projet ALADIN | Accueil. http://projetaladin. org (accessed October 10, 2013). [1] History Of The Jews In Modern Times by Lloyd G. Gartner pages 47-49 [2] History Of The Jews In Modern Times by Lloyd G. Gartner page 48 [3] History Of The Jews In Modern Times by Lloyd G. Gartner page 51ю

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