Expulsion of the Jews from Spain
Haim Beinart and Jeffrey M. Green
The Littman Library of Jewish Civilization in association with Liverpool University Press
The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain is a detailed study of the events surrounding this infamous chapter in Spanish history. Based on hundreds of documents discovered, deciphered, and analyzed during decades of intensive archival research, this work focuses on the practical consequences of the expulsion both for those expelled and those remaining behind. It responds to basic questions such as: What became of property owned by Jewish individuals and communities? What became of outstanding debts between Jews and Christians? How was the edict of expulsion implemented? Who was in charge? How did they operate? What happened to those who converted to Christianity in order to remain in Spain or return to that country? The material summarized and analyzed in this study also sheds light on Jewish life in Spain preceding the expulsion. For example, Jews are shown to have been present in remote villages where they were not hitherto known to have lived, and documents detailing lawsuits between Christians related to debts left behind by Jews reveal much about business and financial relations between Jews and Christians. By focusing on the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in such detail - for example, by naming the magistrates who presided over the confiscation of Jewish communal property - Professor Beinart takes history out of the realm of abstraction and gives it concrete reality.