Isidore Singer.

The Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 11) online

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charged with Judaizing, showing a considerable in-
crease in the Jewish population of that city. Among
those thus charged were members of the families
Rivera, Rodriguez, Perez, Espinosa, Tinoco, Nunez,
Del Bosque, De Castro, Da Costa, Sylva, Oliviera,
and Sobremonte. The last person referred to,
Thomas Trebino de Sobremonte, appears to have
been kept in prison for many years, and to iiave
suffered a martyr's death on April 11, 1649.

The Inquisition was established in Peru on Jan.

9, 1570, when Don Diego de Espinosa was

tor-general. Altogether thirty-four autos da fe were

held at Lima from 1573 to July 17, 1806, after which

the Inquisition ceased its activity. It appears tiiat

131 Jews were condemned during this period,

twenty-four of whom were burned at the slake.

The most importantauto da fe from a Jewish stand-

jxiint was that of Jan. 23, 1039, on which occasion

no less than si.\ty-three Jews were

Peru and condemned, ten of them to death by

Chile. fire. Among the latter was Mainn'l

Bautista Perez, reported to have been

the richest man in Peru at the time, a sum e(}uiva-

lent to no less than .81,000.000 falling into the coffers

of tlu! Inqiu'sition through his death. The most

distinguished victim of the Chilean Inquisition was

Francisco ]\Ial(lonado de Silva, surgeon, poet, and



South and Central America

philosopher (born in 1593), who was sci/etl at Con-
cepcion, Ciiile, April 29, 1627, on inforniution whicli
was given by liis own sister. He remained in the
dungeons of the Inquisition for nearly twelve years,
during which time his constancy to his faith was
conspicuous; wliilein prison he even converted two
(catholics to Judaism. He was e.vecnted at Lima
Jan. 23, 1639. After the wliolesale slaughter of
1639 a respite, in consideration of the sum of 200,000
ducats paid to the governor, ('onde de Chinchon,
was given to the6,000 Jews who are said to have re-
mained in Peru at that time. In the early part of
the seventeenth century a number of Peruvian Jews
went to Cliile, possibly for purposes of trade. Be-
tween 1636 and 1641 five of these were punished for
Judaizing. In 1680 a certain Leon Gomez de Silva,
born in Portugal, was accused of Judaizing at Santi-
ago, and altliough he cleared himself of the charge he
was again accused in 1700. The Jews of Peru and
Chile are said to have owned all the drj-goods stores
and to have controlled almost the entire commerce
of these states. They monopolized the retail trade,
and established an extensive merchant marine, their
agents l)eing scattered throughout the country.

Only occasional references are found to Jews of
Argentine and La Plata, the other chief seat of Jew-
ish activity being Colombia, where an inquisitorial
tribunal was established at Cartagena iu 1610. At
the tifty-four autos da fe held in that state up to
Aug. 16, 1819, 767 persons were condemned. Tlie
proportion of Jews or Maranos among these can not
be estimated.

Bibliography: Cyrus Adler, Trial of Jorue dc Almeida hy
the Inqnixitinn Ui Mexico, In Pitlil. Am. Jew. Hint. Soe.
No. 4; E. N. Adler, The Iiiqumtioti in Peril, ib. No. 12;
David Fergusson, Trial of Gabriel de Granada by the In-
quisition in Mexico, 16h2-16lto, ib. No. 7; Kayserling, The
Karliest Rabbis and Jeivish Write rs of A mericn, ib. No. 3 ;
Kohut, Jeunsh Martyrs of the Tnqumtion in Smith Amer-
ica, ib. No. 4; idem, Tlie Trial of Francisco Maldunado
de Silva, ib. No. 11.
A. - J.

Since the abolition of the Inquisition and the series
of revolutions by which the various states of South
and Central America effected their independence of
Europe, the Maranos have become absorbed iu the
general population. Jews are to be found through-
out the more prosperous cities of the South-Ameri-
can continent, although, with one notable exception,
not in large numbers. The Jews of the central
states are largely descendants of Sephardim, who
once had nourishing communities in the West Indies ;
but in the south they are mostly traders from Ger-
many, Russia, and Poland, with a few from England.
Except in the Argentine Republic there are no syn-
agogues. In Panama there are a few Jews, Avho
have a biirial-giound of their own about a mile out-
side the city; this cemetery is kept in good order,
and many of the timibstones bear Hebrew iiisrrip-
tions of liistoric value. In Peru, Bolivia, and Chile
there are very few Jews; even in tin; capitals of states thei'eare hardly enough to form a minyan
for iiublic worship. At Lima and Santiago tlie chief
jewelers are German Jews, and one of the prominent
Chilean dentists is a Danish Jew. At Valjiaraiso one
of the leading merchants is an English Jew (Jacob
Caro). In Dutch Guiana and in Venezuela there
are between 200 and 300 Jews, mostly from the

Dutch colonies of Surinam and Curasao. Lately
the Jewish Colonization Association has established
agricultural colonies in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil,
and has sent thirty-seven Russian and Rumanian
families to those settlements. There was an agency
of the Alliance Israelite Universelle in Rio de
Janeiro, but this was closed in 1902 on the death of
the local representative.

In the Argentine Republic the Jewish popuhition
may be estimated at about 20,000. That such a
comparatively large number of Jews live there is
due almost entirel}'^ to the Jewish Colonization As-
sociation (.see Agricultuuai- Coloniks i.n the
Argentink Republic). For every Jewish colonist
who settles on the land at least six find their way
to the large cities: Buenos Ayres, Cordova, Santa
Fe, Rosario, and Meudoza.

In Buenos Ayres there are two synagogues, both
in the Calle Liberdad ; and the central office of the
Jewish Colonization Association is located iu the
Calle Callao.

The following is a rough estimate of the Jewish
population of the various states of South America:

Argentine Republic 20,000

Brazil 2.000

Guiana. Venezuela, and Colombia 2.00(1

Ecuador. Bolivia, Peru, Chile, and fruguav 1,0(0

A. E. N. A.

MANUS) : Convert to Judaism ; born at Venice in
the tirst lialf of the seventeenth century; died at
Amsterdam April 27, 1701. On account of rumors
of iini)ending war, his father, who was a poor shoe-
maker, sought refuge, between 1642 and 1645, at
Augsburg; and there, as a i)ious Catholic, he con-
tided Peter to the Jesuits, who took charge of his
education. Peter later went to Vienna and earned his
living as a private tutor. Becoming dissatisfied
with man}' Catholic dogmas, he em-
Leaves Ca- braced Lutheranism (1680). On that
tholicism occasion he wrote his first work: " E«a-
for Luther- j/w^/a, Theologieo-Phiiosophico^Enig-

anism. matica." The work found much favor

with iVI. Spitzel, head of the board of

theological studies at Augsburg, who recommended

Spaeth to many inlluential iiersonages in Strasburg

and afterward to others in Frankfori-on-the-Maiu.

In 1683 Spaeth returned to Catliolicism, which he
defended and praised in a work entitled "Judicium
AmorisdeFundamentalibusQuibusdam, Qui Ferun-
tur Erroribus Ecclesi;e Roniuna'." Bui this recon-
ciliation with the Church of Rome did not last. New
doubts assailed his mind; and after having mingled
with the members of certain mystic sects, such as the
Sociniansand .Mennonites, and after having taken up
the study of Hebrew literature and the cabalistic
writings, he renounced Christianity and vehemently
attacked it. Even the Sermon on the Mount, as re-
(luiringau impossible ideality, did not escape his crit-
icism (Schudt, "Jlidische IMerckwllrdigkeiten," iv.
194). As for the Christian writings other than the
New Testament, he held that until Constantine
founded Christianity they were all drawn from
Jewish tradition.

It seems that Spaeth did not intend to become
a pro.selyteto Judaism, and that his conversion was




brought about, as he himself relates, through the
following incident: Once a crucifix dropped from
his pocket, and it Avas picked up by a Jew, who
said: "It is Israel, the mau of sorrow!" (Schudt,
I.e. p. 195). Saj-s Spaeth:

" From those words I understood the 53d chapter of Isaiah :
the Jews bore the sins of the heathen, while they were daily

persecuted by them. From lime immemorial
Renounces they bad been treated in a shameful manner.
Christianity As the whole history of the Passion tended to
for Judaism, render the Jews odious, so the same sort of

thin^ happens nowadays. For instance, the
Jews are said to have murdered a child, and to have distributed
the blood in quills for the use of their women in childbirth. I
have discovered this outrageous fraud in time ; and, therefore,
I abandon Christianity, which permits such things."

Spaeth became converted at Cleves, taking the name
"Moses Germanus."

Besides the above-mentioned works, Moses pub-
lished the following: a translation of Judah ha-
Levi's poem "•Mi Kamoka " into Latin, German,
and Spanish, with an introduction in Spanish; also
" Geistiger Dreieckiger Spiegel der Lehre von dem
Weiblichen Geschlechte"); "Epistolae ad Viudican-
dum Judaismum " (published by Wachter in his
"De Spinosismo in Judaismo"; "A Groote Hosi-
anna der Joden, te Verwellkommenden Messias " ;
"Maran Ata," a Jewish Christian mystical writing;
"Jesus Christi Ehre und Lehre, Gerettet Wider Alle
Christen"; "Solus ex Jud;T?is Contra Spinosam";
and " De Ortu et Progressu Medicinie per Judreos

BiBLior.RAPHY : Diffenbach, J7<(tei(.s Comierg^is,p. 130; Wach-
ter, />c Spi/iosis/Ho 1)1 Judaismo; Speuer, Thcnhmisch Be-
denhcn, iii. 534, 961; iv. &2.i\ Zedler, Univerml^ Lexicon,
xxxviii. 1398 et seq.; Samter, in Mouatsuchrift, xxxix. 178,
221, 371; Wolf, BibL Hehr. i. 1525, iii. 740; Furst, Bibl. Jud.
K. I. Bn.

the plural of which, DmSD. was taken us the com-
mon name for Jews of Spanish origin); Jews lived
in Spain in very earl}' times, although the legend
that Solomon's treasurer Adoniram died there, as
well as the story that the Jews of Toledo, in a letter
addressed to the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem, declared
against the crucifixion of Jesus, can not be credited.
Yet it is certain that the apostle Paul intended to
visit Spain to proclaim his new teaching to the Jews
living there, and that Vespasian, and especially Ha-
drian, who was himself a Spaniard,
Early transported several Jewish prisoners
Settlement, to Spain. Several passages in the Tal-
mud and in the Midrash (Leviticus
Rabbali) which treat of X"')ODDX refer undoubtedly
to Spain (Levy, "Neuhebr. Worterb." i. 128; Ko-
hut, "Anich Completum," i. 188); and the Jewish
coins unearthed in ancient Tarragona give evidence
of an early settlement of the Jews in Spain, either
voluntary or involuntary.

The earliest Jewish tombstone with a Latin inscrip-
tion and discovered in Spain is that unearthed at
Adra ; it is of a Jewish girl, and dates back to the third
century (Hlibner, "Inscriptiones Hispania3 Latinae,"
p. 268, Berlin, 1869 ; Rios, " Hist." i. 68). The Jews
spread rapidly over the Pyrenean peninsula, and
weie well treated imder the sovereignty of the
Arian Visigoths; they lived on an equality with the
other inhabitants, engaged in trade and agriculture,

and were often entrusted with judicial offices. The
first attempt to disturb the friendly relations that
existed between Jews and Christians originated with
the Council of Elvira (303-304), which consisted of
nineteen bishops and twenty-four presbyters, the
bishops being chosen from Cordova, Seville, Toledo,
Saragossa, and other cities inhabited by Jews. This
council under pain of excommunication prohibited
the Christians from living with Jews or eating in
their company ; it forbade also the blessing of the
produce of Jewish fields "in order that the ecclesi-
astical benediction might not appear fruitless and

The position of the Jews became even less favor-
able when King Recared (586-589), for political

reasons, abjured the Arian faith be-
Under fore the third Council of Toledo and
Recared. entered the Catholic Church. Inoider

to confirm the converted Arians in the
Catholic faith and to win the clergy over to his side,
he endeavored to prevent the Christians from asso-
ciating with the Jews, who, as the allies of those
opposed to his conversion, might have proved dan-
gerous opponents of his religious plans. At the
Council of Toledo in 589 he issued an order to the
effect that Jews might not acquire or own Christian
slaves, nor fill public offices, nor have intercourse
with Christian women ; the circumcision of a slave
or of a Christian was punished with confiscation of
property. Recared did not, however, succeed in
enforcing his laws. The Arians, recently converted
to the Catholic faith, were true allies of the Jews,
who were oppressed like themselves; and the Jews
were therefore protected by the Arian bishops and
by the independent Visigothic nobility. The suc-
cessors of Recared were, as a rule, better disposed
toward the Jews, King Sisebut being the first who
endeavored to enforce fidly the laws enacted by
Recared. He ordered that the Jews, on pain of
the loss of their property, should release all their
Christian slaves within a short time, and that in the
future they might not hold any slaves.

Sisebut decreed the first persecution of the Jews
in Spain. Whether he was influenced by Em-
peror Heraclius, or whether the clergy brought it
about, is unknown, but he ordered that within a
year all Jews should either submit to baptism or
leave tlie Visigothic kingdom forever. Many Jews
fled; but the greater number, more than 90,000,
saved their property and their homes by embracing
Christianity, though at heart they remained Jews.
On account of this forcible conversion the king was
severely ciiticizcd by Isidor of Seville, the most
learned Spaniard of the time. During the reign of
Suintala the fugitives returned to their country and
the baptized Jews openly professed Judaism again.
Forced to abdicate his throne, Suintala was suc-
ceeded by Sisenand. The latter was the tool of the
clergy, and at the fourth Tolcdan Council (033) he

ordered that the children of baptized
Under the Jews should be taken from their jiar-
Visigoths. ents and given to Christians or to the

cloisters for education. lie ordered
also that all Jews who had ])een forcibly baptized
and who practised Jewish ceremonies should be
given away as slaves.




The council called at Toledo by Chintila not only
confirmed all the previously enacted anti-Jewish
laws, but it ordained that no Jew might remain in
the country, and that in the future every king at his
accession should promise on oath to proceed with the
greatest severity against all relapsing baptized Jews.
The pseudo-Christians jiresented to the king a writ-
ten statement declaring that they would live as good
Catholics; but under Chindaswind they openly re-
turned to the fold of Judaism. King Receswind was
more severe than any of his predecessors. He or-
dered that Jews who practised the rites of their
faith should be beheaded, burned, or stoned to death.
The Jews of Toledo promised (653) to observe tlie
Church regulations, including that ordering them
not to abstain from eating pork. Nevertheless, they
continued to observe the Jewish festivals and to ig-
nore the Christian, so that the clergy at length in-
sisted upon their celebrating the Christian holy days
under the supervision of the Church authorities.

The severe measures taken by the Visigothic civil
otlicers as well as by the councils were mainly
directed against the secret Jews, whom the clergy
considered more dangerous than the unbaptized ones ;
the latter were, therefore, left in peace. Erwig,
however, attempted to force these to accept l)ap-
tism, threatening themAvith the confiscation of their
property or with expulsion if they refused; he pro-
nounced the severest punishments for the reading
of anti-Christian writings and for practising the rite
of circumcision. All the anti-Jewish laws proposed
by this king were accepted by the twelfth Toledan
Council, presided over by Archbishop Julian of To-
ledo, who had published several writings against
the Jews, although he was himself of Jewish origin
and kept a Jewish servant.

Egica, the son-in-law and successor of Erwig,
in the beginning of his reign showed himself mild
toward the Jews. When, however, they allied
themselves with the Arabs, who threatened the king-
dom (which already was suffering from internal dis-
turbances), the king confiscated all their property,
and, in order to render them harmless for all time,
declared all Jews, baptized or not, to be slaves and
distributed them as gifts among Christians. Jew-
ish children over seven years of age were taken
from their parents and similarly dealt with (end of

Witiza, the son of Egica, is described sometimes
as a paragon of virtue and sometimes as a veritable
fiend; the latter description of him is the one gen-
erally given by ecclesiastical writers. Lucas de
Tuy, Archbishop Rodrigo, Ambrosio de Morales,
Juan de Mariana, and other Spanish historians hold
that this king, to further heretical ends, misused the
previous decisions of the councils, that he recalled
the exiled Jews, granted them privileges, and
even entrusted them witii public offices. Whether
this be true, or whether, as is more probable, he
oppressed them as his predecessors

The Arri- had done, it remains a fact that the

val of Jews, either directly or through tlieir

the Moors, coreligionists in Africa, encouraged

the ]\Iohammedans to conquer Spain

and that they greeted them as their deliverers. After

the battle of Jerez (711), in which African Jews

fought bravely under Kaula al-Yahudi, and in which
the last Gothic king, Rodrigo, and his nobles were
slain, the conquerors ]\Iusa and Tarik were every-
where victorious. The conquered cities Cordova,
Malaga, Granada, Seville, and Toledo were placed
in charge of the Jewisli iniiabitauts, who had been
armed bj' the Arabs. The victors removed the dis-
abilities which had oppressed the Jews so heavily,
and granted them full religious liberty, requir-
ing them to pay only the tribute of one golden
dinar per capita (Adolf de Castro, " Historia de los
Judios ^n Espana," pp. 33 et seq. ; Rios, "Hist." i.
106 et seq.; G. van Vlooten, " Recherches sur la
Domination Arabe," Amsterdam, 1894).

A new era now dawned for the Jews of the Pyre-
nean peninsula, whose number had been consider-
ably augmented by those who had followed the
Arab conquerors, as well as by later immigrants
from Africa. Hardly a decade after the conquest,
however, many Jews left their new home in order
to follow a man named Serenus (Zanora, Zonaria)
who had appeared in Syria and had proclaimed
himself the Messiah (731), the governor, Anbasa
(Ambisa), who was collecting enormous sums for
the fiscus, coufi.scated the property of the emigra-
ting Jews for this purpose. Under the Ommiad
'Abd al-Rahman I., whose greatness is said to have
been foretold by a learned Jew who became his ad-
viser, a flourishing kingdom was established, of
which Cordova was the center. During 'Abd al-
Rahman 's reign the Jews devoted themselves to the
service of the califate, to the study of the sciences,
and to commerce and industry, especially to trading
in silk and slaves, in this way promoting the prosper-
ity of the country. Southern Spain became an asy-
lum for the oppressed Jews of other parts. Bodo-
Eleazar, a convert to Judaism, went to Cordova,
where he is said to have endeavored to win prose-
lytes for Judaism from among the Spanish Chris-
tians; but that the mass of the Spanish Jews ©f the
period in (piestion hated the Christians and aimed at
making proselytes is not correct.

The reigns of 'Abd al-Rahman I. (called Al-Nasir;

912-961) and his son Alllakim were the golden

era for the Spanish Jews and Jewish

Under science. 'Abd al-Rahman s court phy-

'Abd al- sieian and minister was Hasdai ben
Rahman I. Isaac ibn Shaprut. the patron of Men-
and ahem ben Saruk, Dunash ben Labrat,

Al-Hakim. and otiier Jewish scholars and poets.
During his term of power the .scholar
iVIoses ben Enoch was appointed rabbi of Cordova,
and as a consequence Spain became the center of Tal-
mudic study, and Cordova the meeting-place of Jew-
ish savants. After the downfall of Al-Hakim, who
likewise favored the Jews, a struggle for the throne
broke out between Sulaiman ibn al-llakim and Mo-
hammed ibn Hisham. Sulaiman solicited the assist-
ance of Count Sanchoof Castile, while Mohammed,
through the agency of wealthy Jewish merchants in
Cordova, obtained the aid of Count Ramon of Bar-
celona. For this Sulaiman took fearful revenge
upon the Jews, expelling them mercilessly from
city and country (1013).

With the overthrow of the Banu Amir the power
of the Mohammedan state in Spain came to an end,




the mighty califatc of Cordova being divided into
twelve minor states under different califs. Tlie
Abbadites ruled in Seville, the Hammudites in Mal-
aga, the Zayrids in Granaila, tlie Beni-Hud in Sani-
gossa, and others in Alrneria, Toledo, Valencia,
Niebla, etc. Several Jews left Cordova for Malaga,
Granada, Toledo, Murcia, and Saragossa.

Among those who fled from Cordova was the Tal-

nuidist and linguist Samuel ha-Levi ibn Nagdcla

(Nagrela), who went to Malaga, which.

Samuel together with the towns of Jaen, Ron-
ibn da, etc., belonged to the kingdom of

Nag-dela. Granada, founded by the Harbary tribe
of Sinhagah. Samuel won the favor of
the vizier of King Habus of Granada; lie appointed
him liis private secretary and reconunended him to the
king as counselor, and upon the death of the vizier
the king made Samuel his minister and entrusted
him with the administration of diplomatic affairs.
Samuel, who resided in Granada, officiated as rabbi
also, and took an active interest in the sciences and
poetry. He retained his court position uuder King
Habus' son Badis, whom lie aided against his elder
brother Balkin. Samuel remained the protector of
liis coreligionists, who in Gi'anada enjoyed full civic
equality, being eligible for public offices and for
service in the army.

A position similar to that of Samuel's was occu-
pied, though only for a short time, by Jekuthiel ibn
Hasan in Saragossa. Jekutliiel shared the fate of
Samuel's son Abu Husain Joseph ibn Nagdela, who
succeeded his father as minister upon the latter 's
death (1055); Abu Husain was accused by his ene-
mies of treason after having held office for eleven
years, and was crucified before the gate of Granada
on Dec. 30, 1066. On this occasion all the Jews of
Granada who had not sought salvation in flight,
fifteen hundred families in number, fell victims to
the rage of the populace. This was the first perse-
cution of Jews on the Peninsula while under Islamic
rule. All Jews were compelled to leave Granada,
several finding refuge in Lucena. In the year of
the persecution in Granada the talented philoso-
pher Abu al-Fadl ibn Hasdai was appointed vizier in
Saragossa ; he was the son of the poet Joseph ibn Has-
dai, who had fled from Cordova in 1013, and he held
the officeof vizier until Abu Amir Yusuf al-Mu'tamir
ascended the throne. The scliolar Isaac ibn Albalia,
who had escaped the butchery in Granada, was ap-
pointed astronomer to Mohammed al-Mu'tamid in
Seville, who was a patron of science and poetr}- ;
Isaac was appointed also rabbi of all the congrega-
tions in that city. At the same time Al-Mu"tamid
employed Joseph ibn Migas on diplomatic missions.

Terrified by the conquests of King Alfonso VI.
of Castile, Al-Mu"tamid, heedless of the remon-
strances of his son, called to his aid the ambitious
Yusuf ibn Tashfin of North Africa.
"Under the In the terrific battle of Zallaka (Oct.,

Almo- 1086), in wiiich Jews fought bravely

ravides. both in the Christian and in the Moor-
ish arm}-, Yusuf won a victory and
the sovereign power. The Almoravides, a warlike,
fanatical religious sect, now became the rulers of
southern Spain ; they did nothing to improve the wel-
faxe of the Jews Yusuf iba Tashfiu endeavored

to force the large and wealthy community of Lucena
to embrace Islam. Under the reign of his son Ali
(1106-43) the position of the Jews was more favor-
able. Some were appointed "'mushawirah " (col-
lectors and custodians of the royal taxes). Others
entered the service of the state, holding the title of

Online LibraryIsidore SingerThe Jewish encyclopedia : a descriptive record of the history, religion, literature, and customs of the Jewish people from the earliest times to the present day (Volume 11) → online text (page 117 of 160)