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Conversos and Maskilim: Similar issue, different approaches

Conversos and Maskilim: Similar issue, different approaches

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Published by dramirezg
The present article is on the subject of modern-day Conversos, that is, the descendents of Spanish and Portuguese Jews forced (physically or under circumstance) to convert to Christianity from 1391 to 1497. This article will attempt to (1) cover the identification of Conversos (that is who can be considered Jewish under the requirements of Jewish Law), (2) the challenges faced for their inclusion into the Jewish fold, and (3) the challenges for their further education within Jewish tradition to cement their identity and sense of selves.
The present article is on the subject of modern-day Conversos, that is, the descendents of Spanish and Portuguese Jews forced (physically or under circumstance) to convert to Christianity from 1391 to 1497. This article will attempt to (1) cover the identification of Conversos (that is who can be considered Jewish under the requirements of Jewish Law), (2) the challenges faced for their inclusion into the Jewish fold, and (3) the challenges for their further education within Jewish tradition to cement their identity and sense of selves.

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Categories:Types, Research, Law
Published by: dramirezg on Mar 01, 2010
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06/02/2013

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Conversos and Maskilím
 
Similar issue, different approaches 
 By David Ramírez
 
 
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Conversos and Maskilím: Similar issue, different approaches
 A Short Survey and Report 
By David RamírezI. I
NTRODUCTION
  The present article is on the subject of modern-day Conversos, that is, the descendents of Spanish and Portuguese Jews
 forced 
(physically or under circumstance) to convert toChristianity from 1391 to 1497. This article will attempt to (1) cover the identification of Conversos (that is who can be considered Jewish under the requirements of Jewish Law), (2)the challenges faced for their inclusion into the Jewish fold, and (3) the challenges for theirfurther education within Jewish tradition to cement their identity and sense of selves.Numerically ever since the forced conversions, Conversos have remained the largest numberof Jews in the Diaspora to the present day, perhaps being a four-fold to the current numberof known Jews. Because of this number there have been large groups who have afforded tokeep their Jewish lineage, independent to the fact that most are comfortable in their currentcultural or religious identities, which may or may not relate to Judaism. As there has been an upsurge of general interest in Judaism among the Hispanic and Lusitanpeoples, this article will also attempt to cover the issue of 
sefeqím 
(pron. se-feh-keem) and
 gerím 
(pron. ger-eem), that is
persons whose Jewish lineage cannot be ascertained
safeq 
 )and those
 who have no genealogical ties with the Jewish people but who sincerely wish adopt our Laws and customs and become converts
 gerím 
 ). The features of this article will be helpful, as it clarifies certain things unknown to the publicin regards to Jewish status, as well as a different view of Converso history processed viaSephardic tradition.II. D
EFINING
 J
EWRY 
  World Jewry has gone through seismic changes for the past 200 years, and because of thisthe current landscape hardly resembles the world where Conversos were returning prior tothat period. This development has limited the number of resources and solutions to theissue. The current circumstances necessitate new approaches, but we must first come tounderstand the Jewish world as it stands today, how it perceives itself, and from that pointanalyze the different roads and outcomes these particular circumstances may affect thedevelopment of decision-making for Conversos wishing to return. Although Jews belong to and come from different cultural and geographic backgrounds, Jewish populations can basically be described as Ashkenazi and non-Ashkenazi. Mostly originating from the Mediterranean basin, the non-Ashkenazi portion can be divided intoSephardim (Spanish-Portuguese Jews), Maghrebím (North-African Jews), Must‘arabím (Arab Jews), Mizrahím, (non-Arab Middle-Eastern Jews), Temaním (Yemenite Jews), Italki (Italian Jews) and Romaniote (Greek Jews). However, due to reasons of cultural preponderance by 

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