By Yitzhak Baer
Original yr of publication: 1961
One of the century's nice classics of Jewish historiography, A historical past of the Jews in Christian Spain strains the industrial, social, felony, and political lifetime of the Spanish Jewish group from the eleventh-century re-conquest of Iberia from Muslim rule to the expulsion of 1492. the second one quantity of Professor Baer's huge paintings tells the tragic tale of the dissolution of the good Spanish Jewish group. An strange characteristic of the amount are the numerous and occasionally large quotations from medieval Jewish writings by no means prior to rendered into English. they supply a chance to delight in the paintings of the mystics and rationalists, the poets and spiritual disputants of the era.
About the Author
Professor Yitzhak (Fritz) Baer spent decades learning within the Spanish data. He released millions of records touching on the main points of Jewish existence within the Iberian Peninsula and at the courting of the Jews to their Christian rulers and associates. Later, after settling in what's now Israel as Professor of background on the Hebrew college, he wrote his precis of the interval, that's now made to be had in translation from the Hebrew.
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Additional info for A History of the Jews in Christian Spain, Volume II: from the Fourteenth Century to the Expulsion
In Saragossa the lower classes seem to have achieved a temporary victory. But in Barcelona the communal authority was wielded by wealthy merchants like Hasdai Crescas,* grandfather of the famous philosopher, one of the “Ten Rulers” of Catalonia to whom R. Kalonymos dedicated his Even Bohan, and a man distinguished for his wealth, learning and leadership (he died in the Great Plague of 1348); Cresques Solomon; and others of the élite. The internal organizational development of the aljama of Barcelona reached a critical stage of its history with the adoption in 1327 of a series of important takkanoth (communal statutes) which were approved by James II in the latter part of his reign.
In time of trouble I go to the house of the emperor to plead (Berakhoth 27b) . . and who but I gladden his heart. . ” Another bragged about his forefathers and lineage, “yet perhaps his family was the youngest from among those of whom it is written: They ravished the women in Zion’ (Lam. ” R. Kalonymos then goes on to describe the professional scholars, each according to his learning and arrogance, the false and ignorant zealots among the cabalists, whose deeds are like those of Zimri, but who demand the rewards due to Phineas: Wantonly they cut down the saplings; around the house of wisdom they built rebatements; and every province 19 A History of the Jews in Christian Spain does what is good in its own eyes.
The belligerent minority, which had engineered the elections, invoked the aid of a royal courtier. The latter ordered the arrest of the refractory leaders, who were to be deprived of food and beds until they signed the protocol under compulsion. The trustees then asked R. Isaac b. Sheshet, who was living in Saragossa at the time, for a ruling on the validity of the irregular elections, and described the situation to him in metaphorical language: “They called to the fly and the bee in storm and tempest .
A History of the Jews in Christian Spain, Volume II: from the Fourteenth Century to the Expulsion by Yitzhak Baer