The Jews in Spain: Their Social, Political and Cultural Life during the Middle Ages - Vol. 1

The Jews in Spain: Their Social, Political and Cultural Life during the Middle Ages - Vol. 1

The Jews in Spain: Their Social, Political and Cultural Life during the Middle Ages - Vol. 1

The Jews in Spain: Their Social, Political and Cultural Life during the Middle Ages - Vol. 1

Excerpt

It is proposed in the following pages to describe the social, economic and constitutional aspects of Jewish life in mediaeval Spain and thus to depict the normal, daily life of the Jews on the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages -- a task almost too prosaic in view of the romance and the pathos of the stage and the actors; but it is confidently hoped that the treatment will be fully justified by the resulting insight into the historic tragedy which was there enacted.

Of necessity, it will be the institutions, laws and customs that will stand in the foreground. These social factors, partly a heritage of old traditions and precepts, partly an adaptation of ancient principles to the conditions of mediaeval Spain, are the key to a comprehension of Jewish life in the Middle Ages. For literature, which has served the classic Jewish historians so well, may express the genius of a people, but the institutions express its very life. Heroism in combat, the steadfastness of martyrdom, however vividly portrayed and chronicled, may reflect at best the poetry of the soul, but the daily habits and the social customs of men are its normal, if prosaic, language. It is in the organization of the autonomous communities, in the underlying principles of their functioning powers, in the communal legislation and social ideals, in their economic difficulties and moral struggles, in the measures that express profound reverence for learning, piety and family purity that the inner group life of Spanish Jewry was most faithfully revealed.

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.