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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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From Crypto-Judaism to Open Judaism

From Crypto-Judaism to Open Judaism

Chapter:
(p.326) 12 From Crypto-Judaism to Open Judaism
Source:
From Christianity to Judaism
Author(s):

Yosef Kaplan

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9780197100608.003.0012

This chapter assesses the problem of crypto-Judaism. The majority of the Portuguese congregation of Amsterdam in the seventeenth century had either themselves been crypto-Jews, or were the children of such, who had reverted to the open profession of Judaism and had subjected themselves to the discipline of the kingdom of heaven as Judaism understands it. Many of them had personally experienced life as crypto-Jews in the Iberian Peninsula, where they had been constrained to deny their faith and people, and in outward appearance to conform to the beliefs and practices of Christianity. After they had joined the Jewish community, they continued to apply their minds to the phenomenon of forced conversion, its causes, effects, and influence, and to trace out its religious and historical significance. The chapter then describes how, throughout his theological and apologetic writings, Isaac Orobio insists on the uniqueness of Israel as God's chosen people. Ultimately, the trials and tribulations to which Portuguese-Jewish fugitives from the Inquisition had been exposed, and the transition from a crypto-Jewish life beneath a Christian mask in the Iberian Peninsula to a full reintegration therein for the purpose of observing the Jewish religion in its pristine purity, instigated them to ask some fundamental questions in regard to the fate of the Jewish people, and the meaning of exile and redemption as speculative concepts.

Keywords:   crypto-Judaism, crypto-Jews, Judaism, Christianity, Jewish community, religious conversion, Isaac Orobio, Israel, Inquisition, Jewish people

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