By Jonathan S. Ray
Honorary point out for the 2014 Medieval and Early glossy Jewish background part ebook award awarded by means of the organization for Jewish Studies
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Additional info for After Expulsion: 1492 and the Making of Sephardic Jewry
Their fate was sealed not by popular animosity or ecclesiastical pressure but by Dom Manuel’s decision to marry the Infanta Isabella of Aragon, presumptive heiress to the Spanish throne. The Catholic Monarchs feared that union with Portugal would, among other things, allow for the return of the Jewish exiles to their Spanish homes, essentially invalidating the Edict of Expulsion. As a precondition to the marriage, Ferdinand and Isabella demanded that Manuel help avoid such an event and show his support for their policy by banishing all Jews from his realm.
Jews remained a distinct group in each city, and social and religious tensions with their Christian neighbors often erupted into violence. However, such differences did not lead to insularity. Indeed, even the frequent and strident opposition to interreligious contact by both Christian and Jewish leaders failed to deter Jews from integrating into their host society in a number of ways. Jews formed business associations with their Christian neighbors, ate, drank, and socialized with them, and exchanged ideas with one another.
Second, the identification of the normative Hispano-Jewish community as a set of overlapping and highly contested relationships among individuals allows a greater appreciation of the individuality and effective pragmatism of the exiles. As we shall see, the same fractious tendencies that were such an obstacle to Jewish self-government, social organization, and standardization of religious norms would also play an important role in the survival of the Sephardim during their turbulent passage into exile.
After Expulsion: 1492 and the Making of Sephardic Jewry by Jonathan S. Ray