A Treasury of Jewish Letters: Letters from the Famous and the Humble - Vol. 1

By Franz Kobler | Go to book overview

42
"Be not like unto thy fathers" Profiat Duran's Polemical Letter on the Conversion of his friend David ben Goron

AMONG those who had shirked martyrdom and chosen the path of baptism during the Jewish massacres of 1391 in Spain were Isaac, son of Moses Profiat Duran (also called Efodi from the initial letters of his name), an excellent grammarian and philosopher, and his friend David Bonet ben Goron. The forced conversion weighed heavily on their souls. They decided, therefore, to emigrate to Palestine and there return to Judaism. Profiat Duran went to a port in Southern France expecting to meet his friend there, but instead of David a letter arrived from him saying that he had been persuaded by the apostate Paul of Burgos, originally Solomon ha-Levi, to change his mind. Having become unshakably confirmed in his conviction, he was determined to remain a Christian, and he advised his friend to follow his example. Profiat Duran replied with the following piece of bitter sarcasm and brilliant polemics. By arguing ironically like an advocate of the faith accepted by David, he pleaded with fervour for the truth of Judaism. Thus the letter reflects the tragic contradictions raging in the souls of the Jewish converts who tried to justify their apostasy to themselves. This makes the letter of Profiat Duran one of the most original documents of the perennial controversy between Judaism and Christianity.


PROFIAT DURAN TO DAVID BONET BEN GORON

'I should like to ask thee one thing, this only thing, please, do for my sake: do not call thyself any longer after the honoured name of thy wise father'

[A port in Southern France, about 1396 ]

To David, when he changed his mind 1, before the Ruler of the world, and sang of the death of the son who suffered for him and carried the burden for him. He said to his father: 'I do not know thee,' and does not ask after the forefathers any more. I called him once my brother. Maestro Bonet buen Giorno, the

-276-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Treasury of Jewish Letters: Letters from the Famous and the Humble - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 330

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.