The expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 was an epoch-making event, and it has cast its shadow over our perception of times before and after it. Jonathan Ray’s book peers into that shadow and provides a detailed account of what actually happened in the months, years, and decades after the Edict of Expulsion. Bringing together a wealth of recent scholarship in English, Hebrew, and Spanish, this book refines our understanding and loosens the hold of some of our preconceptions. It shows, for example, how many Jews, alone or as clans or even entire communities, reconsidered their decision to leave Spain, and chose to return and pick up where they had left off while adopting a new religious identity as Christians. The many specific details and anecdotes provide texture to the account, emphasizing the extent and complexity of human suffering that resulted from the Expulsion, and which continued to play out generations after the event itself. Ray’s writing is accessible to the wide variety of readers who would benefit from this book’s portrayal of Jewish history in the sixteenth century.
After Expulsion: 1492 and the Making of Sephardic Jewry
Pinchas Roth (PR) is a post-doctoral fellow at Ben Gurion University of the Negev.
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