The last section of this chapter marks the end of one form of Jewish life and the beginning of another for the Jews of the Iberian peninsula. Like all other Jews, Sephardim collectively mourned the loss of Zion; as Sephardim, they also collectively mourned the loss of Spain. The chapter discusses the deportation of the Jews from their ancient homeland and how they produced the first diaspora in history, although the term was not applied to Jewish settlements outside the Land of Israel until Hellenistic time. Jewish life unfolded between exile and return. Some Jewish diasporas were ephemeral, others more enduring. Some diasporas were exceptionally creative, others merely derivative. Ultimately, the chapter illustrates how the Jewish communities tended to relate to each other through shared memories and common traditions and laws, regardless of the cultural level.
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