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Monday, January 20, 2020

Halachic Times (Zmanim)
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Jewish History

Following the death of King Joao of Portugal in 1494, his son King Manuel I ascended the throne. When his legitimacy as heir to the throne was challenged, Manuel wished to marry Princess Isabel of Spain, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, in order to solidify his position. As a precondition to the marriage, the Spanish monarch demanded that Portugal expel its Jews—many of whom were refugees from the 1492 Spanish Expulsion who found refuge in the neighboring country of Portugal. Manuel agreed, and five days after the marriage agreement was signed, on Tevet 23 (5257), he issued a decree giving Portugal's Jews eleven months to leave the country.

Appreciating the Jews' economic value, Manuel was unhappy with the potential loss of this economic asset, and devised a way to have the Jews stay in Portugal—but as Christians. Initially, he instructed the Jews to leave from one of three ports, but soon he restricted them to leaving from Lisbon only. When October of 1497 arrived, thousands of Jews assembled there and were forcibly baptized. Many Jews decided to stay and keep their Jewish faith secret; they were called Marranos or Crypto-Jews.

Over the next 350 years, the infamous Inquisition persecuted, tortured and burned at the stake thousands of "marranos" throughout Spain, Portugal and their colonies for continuing to secretly practice the Jewish faith.

Links: The End of Spanish Jewry
Samuel Nunez-Ribeiro—The Life of a Marrano

Daily Thought

Each thing that G‑d created has its own realm. There is a world in which it exists, and a world in which it does not.

Ideas exist in a world of intellect. In the world of a creature who knows nothing but emotion, ideas do not exist.

Emotions exist in a world of sentience. In the world of the physical elements—the world of the rock and the water, of wind and of fire, the world of Newtonian mechanics—emotions do not exist.

Words exist in the world of language. In the world of a horse, words and sentences are no more than the neighing of human beings. In the world of the horse, words do not exist.

G‑d is not a word, not a feeling, not an idea, not a symbol of anything else. G‑d is the essential reality of all things and of each thing.

G‑d is everywhere.

R. Yoel Kahn on Shaar Hayichud v’Ha-Emunah, chapter 7