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Cities of Splendour in the Shaping of Sephardi History$
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Jane S. Gerber

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113300

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113300.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 20 September 2021

Jewish Life in Amsterdam and the Formation of the Western Sephardi Diaspora 1579–1700

Jewish Life in Amsterdam and the Formation of the Western Sephardi Diaspora 1579–1700

Chapter:
(p.214) Chapter Six Jewish Life in Amsterdam and the Formation of the Western Sephardi Diaspora 1579–1700
Source:
Cities of Splendour in the Shaping of Sephardi History
Author(s):

Jane S. Gerber

Publisher:
Liverpool University Press
DOI:10.3828/liverpool/9781904113300.003.0007

This chapter illustrates a twofold journey of Conversos, a physical trek northward to freedom and a spiritual journey to the practice of Judaism, throughout the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They had no personal experience of life in a Jewish community after the Expulsion from Spain. What united them was a sense of shared oppression at the hands of the Inquisition in Portugal and the collective memory, however faint, of being portugueses de la nación hebrea, homens de nação, or simply members of the nação, the 'Nation'. The chapter explores a distinctive social unit that Conversos formed with extraordinarily tight bonds in Seville, Madrid, Lima, and elsewhere, and a sense of kinship with other Portuguese and Spanish Conversos, wherever they were. This background produced a new and different historical trajectory. The Amsterdam community outstripped the others in culture and affluence and served as their model and guide. Amsterdam, in turn, drew its models of the Jewish community from the Sephardim of Venice. It also examines the emerging new political reality, United Provinces of the Netherlands, and a new model of the Jewish community, the western Sephardi diaspora.

Keywords:   Conversos, Judaism, Expulsion from Spain, Inquisition in Portugal, Jewish community, Portuguese Conversos, Amsterdam, western Sephardi diaspora, Spanish Conversos

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