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From Christianity to JudaismStory of Isaac Orobio de Castro$
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Yosef Kaplan

Print publication date: 1989

Print ISBN-13: 9780197100608

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9780197100608.001.0001

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(p.93) 5 Freedom
From Christianity to Judaism

Yosef Kaplan

Liverpool University Press

This chapter focuses on the last years of Baltazar Orobio de Castro, and his mother and sisters, in Spain. On April 13, 1658, after Baltazar's pleas to the Council of Madrid were accepted, the Supreme Council of the Holy Office resolved to let the five prisoners go free, to release them from the obligation to wear the sanbenito, and to impose upon them penalties conducive of ‘spiritual refreshment’. The Council further gave orders that ‘they be banished from the city of Seville and from the localities in which they had committed their sins, also from Madrid [and from all areas] within six leagues of the places mentioned for a period of two years; nor might they settle in the ports [or in areas within] twenty leagues of them’. The French towns close to the Spanish frontier constituted staging-posts for crypto-Jews who succeeded in escaping from the claws of the Inquisition. By August 20, 1660, Baltazar was already in Toulouse, as is shown by a document of the local university. The chapter then looks at Baltazar's associations with the Prince de Condé and the King of France, Louis XIV. Towards the end of 1662, Baltazar de Orobio, together with his wife Isabel and their son and daughter, arrived in Amsterdam, where they encountered an organized Jewish community, the majority being former crypto-Jews or the issue of crypto-Jews who, once safely there, had commenced open observance of Judaism.

Keywords:   Baltazar Orobio de Castro, Council of Madrid, banishment, crypto-Jews, Inquisition, Prince de Condé, King Louis XIV, Amsterdam, Jewish community, Judaism

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