Jewish Life in Medieval Spain with Prof. Jonathan Ray
The Jews of medieval Spain represent one of the most fabled societies in all of Jewish history. Already in the Middle Ages, Jewish writers had begun to extol the virtues of Jewish Spain, or “Sepharad,” presenting it as a land of poets and philosophers, wealthy merchants and pious rabbis. Its reputation was such that, even after the summary expulsion of Spanish Jews in 1492, the legend of a Golden Age of Jewish culture continued to grow. Centuries of nostalgia, pride, hope, and guilt have sustained, and embellished, the memory of medieval Sepharad among Jews and non-Jews alike. But the reality of daily life for medieval Jews was often far different, and perhaps far more familiar, than these legends would have us believe. This talk will highlight some of the key aspects of the Jewish experience in medieval Spain, and consider the reasons for some of the more idealized images of their society, past and present.
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Sponsor: Orange County Community Scholar Program (CSP)