Monday, July 11, 2011

Congratulations to Rav Nissan Ben-Avraham, My Neighbor

The unnamed Rabbi in the story below is my neighbor at Shiloh, Rav Nissan Ben-Avraham (and see here) and Michael Freund is a friend and comrade (they both are in this picture; Nissan is without a jacket):-

Majorcan Descendants of Spanish Jews Who Converted Are Recognized as Jews

Centuries after the Spanish Inquisition led to the forced conversion of Jews to Catholicism, an ultra-orthodox rabbinical court in Israel has issued a religious ruling that recognizes descendants from the insular island of Majorca as Jews.

The opinion focused narrowly on the Majorcan community of about 20,000 people known as chuetas...The religious court in Israel, led for more than 40 years by Rabbi Nissim Karelitz, sent another rabbi to the island in May to explore its warren of streets where a synagogue once stood and to examine the family trees of some of the chuetas who trace lineage back 500 years.

...said Rabbi Israel Wiesel, a judge from Israel who explored the community in Palma, roaming the street where, for generations, many chueta families have operated jewelry stores. “Unlike other Marranos in Spain and Portugal, who lost their line of history,” he said, “this particular community is unique and kept the pure line of history for the last 700 years, which means they are Jewish.”

In May, the regional government of the Balearic Islands became the first to create a memorial ceremony for Jewish descendants, marking the deaths of 37 people who were executed in 1691 by the Inquisition, and expressing regrets for persecution that chueta families suffered through the centuries.

Shavei Israel, a private group that offers support and religious training for Jewish descendants in Spain and Portugal, had been pressing for the recognition for years. The result, according to its founder, Michael Freund, is that now “they no longer need to live in between worlds. We have succeeded in opening the door for them to come home.”...

I think they will also assist us in Israel with our demographics, too.



Meir said...

"I think they will also assist us in Israel with our demographics, too."

I thought there was no demographic problem in Israel?

Or do you mean that your neighbour has the intention to attrackt them to settlements like yours, the way they did it with people from Mitzoram and others?

I hope they will be intelligent enough to resist those plans.

But it is a pity that the only persons who are interested in anussim and "forgotten tribes" do not do it with pure intentions.

YMedad said...

never said/wrote that. and we can always need help. no one, even you, even I, are not perfect.

what's Mitzoram?

oh, we do do it with pure intentions. it's just that living in Yesha is part of being Jewish.

Meir said...

Mitzoram is a state of India, next to the border with Myanmar. Some tribes living there claim to be the descendents of a "lost tribe". Some take upon themselves to return to Judaism and make aliya...

"oh, we do do it with pure intentions. it's just that living in Yesha is part of being Jewish."

Well, if this is your interpretation, I should have written that "unfortunately, they fall immediately into the lions den"