domingo, 5 de febrero de 2017

Call for Papers "Zamora in the Sephardic Memory"



5th International Conference
Zamora, Spain, July 3, 2017, Hotel NH Palacio del Duero

Call for Papers

Center Isaac Campantón welcomes submissions for its 5th International Conference, taking place on July 3 at Hotel NH Palacio del Duero. Common theme for this year is “Zamora in the Sephardic memory”. 

The goal of this conference is to foster scholarly conversations on the Jewish legacy of the city in connections with the Sephardic diaspora from 1492 to the present.

Topics of interest include, but not be limited to
  • Sages, and other personalities from Zamora in the Sephardic diaspora
  • Zamora and the Kabbalah
  • Mentions to the city in the documentation and chronicles of the expulsion
  • Conversos in and from Zamora
  • Anti-Semitic propaganda before and after 1492
  • Inquisitions trials involving Conversos from Zamora
  • Jewish genealogies 
Proposals should be submitted to centrocampanton@gmail.com and they should include: name and last name, institutional affiliation – independent scholars are also considered-, an abstract of 250 words, email, phone, and technological needs for the presentation (computer, projector, audio). Deadline: May 27, 2017.

Proposals will be immediate evaluated and the academic committee can recommend improvements of the abstracts before full approval.  
Information related to this conference will be updated on this web www.campanton.com

sábado, 14 de enero de 2017

Forgotten Giants. Sephardi Rabbis Before and After the Expulsion from Spain

This book portraits 26 sages from Spain, who became beacons of Jewish thought and tradition right after 1492 until the 17th century. The relevance of this publication for Zamora is unique since 13 of these sages were born and studied in the city - 8- or were direct disciples of the first ones- 5-. They lived and opened schools from Lisboa to Safed, including Salónica, Fez, Cairo, and Estambul among other places. The author, R. Yosef Bitton, Ex Great Rabbi of Uruguay, and current spiritual leader of the Ohel David & Schlomo Synagogue in Brooklyn, NY, is an accomplished scholar graduated from Yeshiva University and with other studies and degrees from Emory, Ben Gurion and Bar Ila Universities. To acquire The Forgotten Giants, click here.






Los gigantes olvidados. Rabinos sefardíes antes y después de la expulsión de España 

La Opinión de Zamora (leer)
Así se titula el libro de Yosef Bittón, ex Gran Rabino de Uruguay y actual líder espiritual de la congregación Ohel David & Schlomo, de Brooklyn, Nueva York, quien en la obra reseña a veinte seis personalidades judías que viviero entre finales del siglo XV y mediados del XVII.   
Lo que me llamó la atención mientras lo leía fue que, de los veintiséis nombres, ocho tienen una conexión directa con Zamora –Isaac Aboab II, Moshe Alashkar, Issac Campantón, Isaac Caro, Issac Arama, Jacob y Levi Habib, Abraham Saba– y al menos cinco –Jacob Berab, Samuel Medida, Salomón Serilo, David ben Zimra y Abraham Zacuto–, al ser discípulos de los anteriores, tendrían relación de primer grado, lo que pondría a la ciudad del Duero en un lugar preminente en la producción intelectual judía en los siglos XIV y XVI. 
Además de su ordenación religiosa por parte del Gran Rabinato de Israel, Bittón, nacido en Argentina, estudió en instituciones como las Yeshiva University y Emory en Estados Unidos, así como las universidades Ben Gurión y Bar Ilan en Israel, todo lo cual se nota en el rigor académico, incluyendo la familiaridad con los conceptos e ideas teológicas extraídas de los rabinos estudiados. Hoy por hoy, Bittón es considerado una de las autoridades rabínicas del mundo sefardí.     
Durante uno de los intercambios epistolares que mantuve con él acerca de las varias referencias a Zamora en su libro, el rab Bittón comentó que “algo muy especial debía estar sucediendo en la ciudad para que tantas personalidades salieran de allí”. Luego de cuatro congresos para estudiar el pasado judío de Zamora, podemos decir que lo que estaba sucediendo aquí en los siglos XIV y XV era lo mismo que había pasado en Córdoba, Toledo y Barcelona en períodos previos: una vibrante coexistencia cultural de la que formaba parte la comunidad judía, lo cual permitió a los judíos zamoranos, por al menos dos siglos, espcializarse en el estudio de las escrituras sagradas. 

R. Yosef Bittón
La documentación histórica indica que después de 1391, cuando varias aljamas y juderías castellanas fueron violentamente atacadas, Zamora se convirtió en el refugio del saber judío hasta el año de la expulsión, saliendo de aquí el corpus metodológico y doctrinal que, a través de sus maestros, acompañaría a los miles de expulsados en sus diversas rutas, de Lisboa y Amsterdam a Estambul y Jerusalén, pasando por Fez, el Cairo y Safed, como bien se describe en las biografías de varios de las figuras presentadas en el libro.

Confieso que leer estas historias me satisfizo enormemente porque de cierta forma valida lo que desde el año 2010 un grupo de estudiosos e investigadores españoles, portugueses, estadounidenses e israelíes hemos venido defendiendo acerca del lugar de Zamora en el mapa de Sefarad. O lo que es lo mismo, el pasado judío de la ciudad no debe ser estudiado sólo como un momento común a otros poblados y ciudades, sino como el punto de inflexión de la cultura judía en la península ibérica y como tal, valorar su trascendencia para el judaísmo hispano en su conjunto.

jueves, 24 de noviembre de 2016

Honey Moon in Zamora

Bella and Amit Eshbal came to spend a few Honey Moon days in Zamora searching for Amit's RadBaz family roots. Full article here in Spanish (read)

jueves, 22 de septiembre de 2016

Now available. Author will donate profit toward the 5th International Congress celebration on July 2017

Spanish edition available at Editorial Verbum website. 


Here is an interview (in Spanish) with the author on La Opinión de Zamora: "Jewish presence in Zamora lasted for many centuries, many sages were born, lived and worked there"

viernes, 12 de agosto de 2016

Relevant entries on Zamora in the Jewish Encyclopedia (1906 edition)

Understanding  medieval Spain and Portugal (Sefarad in the context of Jewish History) requires familiarity with geography, maps and timeline. The map above helps to locate referred populations and historical figures in the two entries of the Jewish Encyclopedia of 1906, which are relevant to Zamora. In the second entry Castile includes León since these two kingdoms were historically connected since the early 11th century
 ***

"In the former Kingdom of León (the presence of Jews) was much larger, among the most prominent communities being those of Zamora, Valladolid, Mayorga, Medina del Campo, Salamanca, Ponferrada, Bobadilla and Ciudad Rodrigo"

Section "The Spread of the Jews in Spain" under Spain entry


***
"The last Rabinnical authority of Castile (and León), likewise its last Gaon, was Isaac Campanton, among whose pupils were Isaac de León, Isaac Aboab (referring to the II) and Samuel Al Valensi. The last preachers of renown were the religious philosopher Joseph ibn Shem-Tob, Joseph Albo, and Isaac Arama".

Section "The Karaites in Spain" under Spain entry (1)

                          ***                           
The number of immigrants amounted to nearly 100,000. From Castile alone more than 3,000 persons embarked at Benevento for Bragança; at Zamora, more than 30,000 for Miranda; from Ciudad-Rodrigo for Villar, more than 35,000; from Alcantara for Marvão, more than 15,000; and from Badajoz for Elvas, more than 10,000—in all more than 93,000 persons (Bernaldez, in A. de Castro, "Historia de los Judios en España," p. 143).


Section Under John II in Portugal Entry.


                                   *** 
Notas

1- It is not clear why the Encyplopedia authors decided adding this information in this section. Campanton and its pupils were known for applying Torah, Talmud and Kabbalah to interpretations of the Scriptures.

jueves, 11 de agosto de 2016

Canpanton (Campantón), Isaac ben Jacob

CANPANTON (Campanton), ISAAC BEN JACOB (1360–1463), Castilian rabbi. Canpanton was the head of a yeshivah in Zamora in western Spain, among whose students were Isaac de *Leon , Isaac *Aboab II , Samuel b. Abraham Valensi, and Shem Tov *Ibn Shem Tov . He laid down methodological rules for the study of the Talmud which had a profound influence. These he summarized in his Darkhei ha-Talmud (called Darkhei ha-Gemara in the Mantua edition of 1593). In this work he departs from the method of previous writers on talmudic methodology, who had merely laid down talmudic rules. Canpanton systematically and logically explained the proper method of studying the text, and the pedagogical principles to be employed in that study. He was also the first to lay down methodological rules for the study of the rishonim. His system was transmitted by his students to Jacob *Berab , who introduced it into his yeshivah in Safed. Samuel ibn *Sid , the pupil of Isaac de Leon, also describes at length in his Kelalei Shemuel the method of study at the yeshivah as determined by Isaac Canpanton. A Darkhei ha-Talmud was first published in Constantinople, 1515–20 (?); a more complete edition was published in Venice in 1565. It has since been frequently republished; the 1891 edition had corrections and notes by I.H. *Weiss . Canpanton also took an active part in communal affairs. In 1450, after the death of Don Abraham *Benveniste , he became a member of the committee, along with Joseph *Ibn Shem Tov , the well-known philosopher, and Joseph b. Abraham Benveniste, appointed to apportion taxation among the Jews of Castile. He died in Peñafiel after undergoing considerable hardships. He appears to have engaged in the study of Kabbalah and miraculous deeds were attributed to him. His kabbalistic doctrine was circulated by his disciples and, in turn, by their disciples. Canpanton was greatly admired by his contemporaries, both on account of his personality and as a teacher, and he is widely quoted by them in their works on talmudic methodology. The Darkhei ha-Talmud, however, is his only extant work.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

M. Rosenmann, in: MWJ, 20 (1893), 160–5; G. Scholem, in: Tarbiz, 24 (1955), 167; H.Z. Dimitrovski, in: Sefunot, 7 (1962/63), 83–96; Baer, Spain, 2 (1966), 270. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: David, in: Kiryat Sefer, 51 (1976), 324–26; Gross, in: Pe'amim, 31 (1987), 3–21; D. Boyarin, Ha-Iyyun ha-Sefaradi (1989); M. Breuer, Oholei Torah (2003), index; [Abraham David]
Source Citation   (MLA 7th Edition) 
David, Abraham. "Canpanton (Campanton), Isaac ben Jacob." Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed. Vol. 4. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 431-432. Gale Virtual Reference Library.

domingo, 7 de agosto de 2016

Zamora

By Haim Beinart, Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed. Vol. 21. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 

 

ZAMORA, city in León, N.W. Spain. Its ancient Jewish community was founded in the same period as those of *Nájera and *Salamanca . The date when the Jewish quarter was erected is not known. It was situated outside the city walls on the site known as Vega, where there was a separate group of houses, as well as the synagogue of the quarter and the Jewish cemetery. Throughout the period of the community's existence, there were three synagogues, one of which was registered in the office of Sancho IV, in 1283.

In 1313 a *Church Council held in Zamora adopted a series of decisions relating to the Jews: Jews were excluded from state functions; the edicts enforcing the wearing of a distinctive *badge were to be maintained, as also those concerning payment of the tithe to the church, the interest rate, and the transfer of newly built synagogues to the possession of the state, among other measures. These decisions of the council influenced the decisions of the Cortes which was convened in that year.

There is no information available on how the persecutions of the Jews in Spain of 1391 affected those in Zamora, but they undoubtedly resulted in conversions and apostasy. The amount of tax which the community paid declined.

During the 1470s and 1480s R. Isaac b. Moses *Arama preached in Zamora. In 1485 an order issued by John II was confirmed; it exempted the Jews of Zamora from providing accommodation for public personalities, with the exception of the king, the queen, and the members of the royal council. In that year Saul Saba – a brother of Abraham *Saba , and a renowned kabbalist and preacher – was condemned to death in Zamora, but details of the accusation and the trial are not known. In 1490 a unique lawsuit concerning a Jewess of Zamora was brought before the crown; she accused Jacob ibn Meir, the son of Isaac of Valladolid, an inhabitant of Zamora, of having ravished her and promising to marry her, and of not keeping his promise. In 1490 the community of Zamora, with that of Seville, contributed toward the redemption of the Jewish captives who had been taken in *Málaga . In 1491 the community paid a sum of 100,650 maravedis toward the war with Granada, in conjunction with a number of communities in the area.

In 1492, following the edict of expulsion from Spain, the Jews of Zamora went to Portugal, and the property of the community and the exiles was handed over to the prosecutor of Saragossa.

At the end of 1492 Zamora became a transit center for Jews who returned from Portugal to Spain in order to convert to Christianity. Several exiles from Zamora achieved fame during the 16th century for their activities in Jewish centers in the Ottoman Empire, of whom the most renowned were Jacob ibn *Ḥabib and Levi b. *Ḥabib .

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Baer, Spain, index; Baer, Urkunden, index; F. Cantera, Sinagogas españolas (1955), 349–53; Suárez Fernández, Documentos.[Haim Beinart]
 
Source Citation   (MLA 7th Edition) 
Beinart, Haim. "Zamora." Encyclopaedia Judaica. Ed. Michael Berenbaum and Fred Skolnik. 2nd ed. Vol. 21. Detroit: Macmillan Reference USA, 2007. 451. Gale Virtual Reference Library.