Synopses & Reviews
More than forty years have passed since Louis Jacobs first put forward the argument that traditionally observant Jews have no reason to take issue with the results obtained by the historical critics in their investigation into the Bible and the other classical sources of Judaism. As a result of his views, which were first published in the still-controversial text We Have Reason to Believe, the Anglo-Jewish Orthodox hierarchy banned Jacobs from serving as an Orthodox rabbi. In this new book, Louis Jacobs examines afresh all the issues involved. He does so objectively but with passion, meeting the objections put forward by critics from the various trends within the Jewish world, both Orthodox and Reform. In a recent poll conducted by the (London) Jewish Chronicle, Louis Jacobs was chosen as the 'Greatest British Jew.'
On 31st March 1492, the Edict of Expulsion was signed by Ferdinand and Isabella noting the Crown's intention to expel all Jews within three moths and forty days. This study of documentary evidence relating to the time both immediately before and during the expulsion, has now been translated from the Hebrew into English. In it, Beinart delves into the Spanish archives to examine the fate of individuals and communities, and the problems and dilemmas that they faced. He also looks at how the edict was carried out, what happened to those that converted to Christianity, how the Jews dealt with debts owed to Christians, what happened to their lands and property after the expulsion, and how the interaction between Jews and Christians changed at this time. A detailed and lengthy study of source material.
The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain is a detailed study of the events surrounding this infamous chapter in Spanish history. Based on hundreds of documents discovered, deciphered, and analyzed during decades of intensive archival research, this work focuses on the practical consequences of the expulsion both for those expelled and those remaining behind. It responds to basic questions such as: What became of property owned by Jewish individuals and communities? What became of outstanding debts between Jews and Christians? How was the edict of expulsion implemented? Who was in charge? How did they operate? What happened to those who converted to Christianity in order to remain in Spain or return to that country? The material summarized and analyzed in this study also sheds light on Jewish life in Spain preceding the expulsion. For example, Jews are shown to have been present in remote villages where they were not hitherto known to have lived, and documents detailing lawsuits between Christians related to debts left behind by Jews reveal much about business and financial relations between Jews and Christians. By focusing on the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in such detail - for example, by naming the magistrates who presided over the confiscation of Jewish communal property - Professor Beinart takes history out of the realm of abstraction and gives it concrete reality.