Sephardic Judaism

Sephardic Judaism

Listen to the lectures on Sephardic Judaism

Poetry of Ibn Gabirol - Shira Milgrom, 7 Nov 2017

 02 - Poetry of Ibn Gabirol - Shira Milgrom, 14 Nov 2017 - first 30 min not recorded

03 - Poetry of Judah HaLevi,  Shira Milgrom, 28 Nov 2017

04 - Poetry of Judah HaLevi,  Shira Milgrom, 5 Dec 2017

05 - Nachmanides,   Shira Milgrom, 19 Dec 2017

06 - Spinoza 1,   Gordon Tucker, 23 Jan 2018

06 - Spinoza 1,   Gordon Tucker, 23 Jan 2018.mp3

Vulture in a Cage: Poems by Solomon ibn Gabirol

Podcast by Raymond Scheindlin, Professor Emeritus of Medieval Hebrew Literature, Jewish Theological Seminary.  
"Solomon Ibn Gabirol, a Hebrew poet and philosopher active in eleventh-century Muslim Spain, was one of the greatest poets of the Hebrew Golden Age. His body of poetic work deals with the secular and the sacred, the personal and the public, in a voice that ranges from the acerbic to the ethereal and that is always distinctively his own. From the perspective of his own troubled selfhood, he strives to evoke the struggle of the tormented soul to reach the transcendent. For his ability to evoke the majesty of the cosmos through the complexity of the individual, Ibn Gabirol has been acclaimed for almost a millennium."

Gampel Lectures (November 3-4)

Essays & Articles

 A letter to a wayward teacher


As If The Jews Had No Lord

Background Lectures

In the Beginning   1a

Discussion of 400 ce and relationships between Catholics and Jews

The Visigoths   1b

 Visigothic period 476 - 710 

Under Muslim Rule    2

Muslim conquest 711 - Sephardim term in Obedia 20 (10th century usage), 4 rabbi story, rise of Cordoba, Golden age

End of Muslim and Beginning of Christian Rule   3 

11th century Muslim kingdom breaks up.  33 Taifas kingdoms period.  Granada is one of these kingdom. Discussion of Samuel ibn Naghrillah , poet, vizier, general.  Joseph - his son.  Toledo conquered by Christians in 1085.  Beginning of Christian reconquest.  Berber tribes from Africa enter to help Muslims.  Jews no longer welcome.  Moshe ibn Ezra, Judah Halevi poetry,

Under Christian Rule   4  

Maimonides leaves Cordoba for North Africa in 1148.  Jews move north to Christian kingdoms. 13th to 15th century - Jews treated well in Christian kingdoms.  Northern Jewish influence.  Discussion of Maimonides controversy.  Mysticism kabbalah  rises.. Christian attitudes change.

Rabbinic literature criticized.  Nachmanides in 1263 defends Jewish faith in Barcelona.

Highs and Beginning of Lows of Jewish Life in Christian Spain    5

Good life for Jews in 14th century.  Toledo synagogue.  Castille civil war in 1360.  Jews were middle class in Castile.  Aragon - Christian middle class emerges.  Black death in 1348.  1391 - Seville Jewish quarter invaded.  Riots spread beyond Castile. Crescas letter.  Forced conversions.  1413 disputation 21 months long..   A third of population converted.

Expulsion of Jews from Spain    6a

Conversos looked at suspiciously.  New Christians after 1391 not to be trusted.  Riots against new Christians in Castile and Aragon. Marranos - swine.  Are they secretly Jewish?  Heretics?   Need a papal inquisition type effort to examine the Conversos.  Ferdinand and Isabella  get an inquisition under their control, beginning in Seville.  Heretics could infect old Christians.  Expulsions begin in 1483.  Jan. 1492 Muslim stronghold of Granada falls.  Jews banned from Castile (done in Granada).  Made public in April 1492.  Castilian and Aragon Jews must convert or leave.  Many try to go to Navarre and Portugal.  July 31 last day.  1496 Jews expelled from Portugal.  Harder in Portugal since no new Christians.  Mass conversions.  1498 expulsion from Navarre.

The Dispersion   6b

Where did they go?  Ottoman Empire mainly.  Salonica in north.  North Africa.