Expulsion

1250 French Bible illustration depicts Jews (i...
Image via Wikipedia

Searching on the web the other day for an example of an inquisition summons, I came across the translated version of the official edict to expunge Jews from Spain in 1492.

Which is, by the way, what my WIP is all about.  Added that just in case you didn’t know.

Anyway, it’s a bit of a bore to read as it is all legalese speak (side note: most of those Spanish inquisitors were lawyers), but it just cracked me up when I came to the part where they layout the why of it all.  Here’s a snippet:

…that great injury has resulted and still results, since the Christians have engaged in and continue to engage in social interaction and communication they have had means and ways they can to subvert and to steal faithful Christians from our holy Catholic faith and to separate them from it, and to draw them to themselves and subvert them to their own wicked belief and conviction…

Now, I have never met a Jew that has tried to convert me to their faith.  Never.  I have met plenty of Christians that have done so, but Jews?  No.  Somehow I doubt there were massive amounts of Christians converting to Judaism.  Rather, the reality was that many conversos (Jews converted to Christianity) were edging back to their roots, back to Judaism.  And why wouldn’t they?  They were most likely converted under threat of death (or worse).

The edict goes on to detail exactly what the Jews wicked ways were (bulleted for easier reading):

  • instructing them in the ceremonies and observances of their law,
  • holding meetings at which they read and teach that which people must hold and believe according to their law,
  • achieving that the Christians and their children be circumcised, and
  • giving them books from which they may read their prayers and declaring to them the fasts that they must keep, and
  • joining with them to read and teach them the history of their law,
  • indicating to them the festivals before they occur,
  • advising them of what in them they are to hold and observe,
  • carrying to them and giving to them from their houses unleavened bread and meats ritually slaughtered,
  • instructing them about the things from which they must refrain, as much in eating as in other things in order to observe their law, and
  • persuading them as much as they can to hold and observe the law of Moses, convincing them that there is no other law or truth except for that one.

Sounds kind of familiar, huh?  Maybe a lot like what Christians have done for eons?  Funny, how people never bother to look in the mirror.

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