JEWS, CONVERSOS, AND NATIVE AMERICANS: THE IBERIAN EXPERIENCE José Faur (Bar-Ilan University and Netanya College) Sir: I am Jewish, and profess the Law of Moses, and by it I shall live and die. And if I would have to swear, I shall swear by the living God, who made heaven and earth and is the God of Israel. Francisco Maldonado de Silva. Martyr, 1627: First Ar- gentine Martyr in the battle against Spanish Oppression.1 The Spaniards in Mexico and Peru used to baptize Indian infants and then immediately dash their brains out: by this mean they secured that these infants went to Heaven. Bertrand Russell2 Having been bom and raised in Buenos Aires and completed my studies in Spain, I came to believe that the fate of Jews, Conversos . (Christians with even partial Jewish background), and native Ameri- cans is closely knitted: they all three were victims of Spanish persecu- tion. As a Jew, the story of the Converso is not-it cannot-be closed. Our tradition maintains that something special in their manners and outlook has endured. As a child, when meeting people who bore converso names or manners, good bearing and prudence did not permit me to
Review of Rabbinic Judaism – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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