miércoles, 27 de julio de 2022

Zamora in the map of Sefarad. Conference Proceedings, 2013-2021, PDF or ePub version

First edition (Spanish)

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Introducción: Zamora en el mapa de Sefarad


Zamora: el centro más importante de estudios judíos en el siglo XV español
Abraham Gross


Isaac Campantón (1360-1463), rabino de Zamora y gaon de Casti- lla y León, autor de Los caminos del Talmud
Jesús Jambrina


La interpretación sefardí de Campantón en el aprendizaje en la Yeshivá
Yitzchak Kerem


Contexto histórico de la polémica anti-judía de Alfonso de Zamora
Ahuva Ho


La educación judía en Castilla: las Taqqanot de 1432
Virginia Labrador Martín


La traducción de la Biblia hecha por el Rabí Moisés Arragel: comentarios
Leandro Rodríguez


Cruzando fronteras y recuperando identidades: la odisea de los cristianos nuevos portugueses después de 1496
Jane S. Gerber


Sobre tornadiços, conversos y cristianos nuevos en la ciudad de Zamora: la Raya, lugar de tránsito y asentamiento
María Antonia Muriel Sastre


Identidades conversas: espacios intermedios e indeterminados

Elizabeth Koza


Los judaizantes en los sambenitos de la Catedral de Tui: disidencia religiosa y tensión social en la frontera del Miño
Suso Vila


Huellas judías y leonesas en el Quijote
Santiago Trancón Pérez


Del Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición al presente: una búsqueda de raíces judías
Genie Milgrom


Viviendas de judíos y conversos en la raya de Castilla y León

Emilio Fonseca Moretón


Os cristãos-novos do Sabugal
Jorge Martins


Carção y su memoria judía
José Manuel Laureiro y Anun Barriuso


Ecos de las tradiciones musicales de los criptojudíos en la Raya
Judith Cohen


Los Díaz Pimienta, una familia de origen sefardí en La Habana de los siglos XVI al XVIII
Jesús Jambrina


Rabinos de la Habana. Publicaciones entre 1920 y 1959
Adriana Hernández Gómez de Molina


La presencia del árbol de la vida en dos logos museísticos

Blanca Flor Herrero Morán


La historia de los prisioneros españoles en los campos de concentración alemanes entre 1940 y 1945
Gloria Mound



Margalit Matitiahu


El último Perera
Ruth Behar

Ilustraciones de Emilio Beneitez

miércoles, 9 de marzo de 2022

Ten years of International Jewish Sephardic Congresses in Zamora, Spain, July 4-6, 2022

Here is our preliminary Schedule for this year´s congress, which will take place online, time zone Spain.

Monday, July 4

10 – Welcome

10:15 – 11:30, "The imaginary Jew in Spanish Literature”, Marciano Martín Manuel, historian

12 –14, "Letters of the Center AGUDAD AHIM from the Isralite Community of Barcelona, 1926-1937" by María Antonia Muriel Sastre.

Tuesday, July 5  

10 – 11,  “My Sefarad, 40 years of relations with Spain and Iberoamerica”, by Abraham Haim, historian


12 – 14, Book presentation

Tía Fortuna's New Home:A Jewish Cuban Journey
(2022), by Ruth Behar

Wednesday, July 6

10 – 11:30, “Zamoran Rabies: family discoveries” by Genie Milgrom, genealogist.

12-14, Books presentation:

Zamora in the map of Sefarad
. Congress Proceedings, 2013-2020 (Essays, 2022), editors Jesús Jambrina & Alfredo Alonso

Those we missed (Novel, 2022), by Jaime Einstein (1947-2015), editor Pilar Diez

13:15 - 14, Closings followed by Open Annual Board Meeting


viernes, 26 de noviembre de 2021

Gedaliah Ibn Yahya on Isaac Campantón

The great rabbi R. Isaac Campanton, known as the Gaon of Castile (including Leon), of Spain, son of the great rabbi R. Jacob, and R. Israel Ashkenazi received the traditions from their fathers and our rabbis of previous generations in about 5120 (1360). R. Isaac Campanton spread Torah widely and had many students. He lived a long life, dying in the year 5223 (1463). He had a regal appearance. R. Isaac de Leon, one of his students, was knowledgeable in miracles, and died at the age of seventy. R. Isaac Aboab (refereeing to the second), a great sage and one of his students, died in Portugal in the year 5253 (1493), about seven months after the exile from Spain. He was sixty years old at his death, and was one of the students of the above-named R. Isaac Campanton (...)

Gedaliah Ibn Yahya (1515-1587)
“The chain of tradition”, included in David Raphael, The Expulsión 1492 Chronicles, Carmi House Press, 1992, pp. 178-79. 

Picture of a drawing by Manuel Castellano (1846-1880). Title: Attire. It is specified in the note on the upper right hand that it refers to Jewish clothing in the 14th century.  

jueves, 25 de noviembre de 2021

Auschwitz, by León Felipe (Tábara, Zamora, 1884 – Mexico City, 1968)

To all Jews in the world, my friends, my brethren

Those infernal poets,
Dante, Blake, Rimbaud…
keep it quiet…
don’t play so loud…
Shut up!
Any inhabitant of Earth today
knows more about Hell
than those three poets together.
I am sure Dante plays his violin very well
Oh, what a virtuoso!...
But he shouldn’t pretend now,
with his wonderful tercets, 
and his perfect hendecasyllables,
to scare that Jewish boy who has been ripped
from his parents;
he is alone.
waiting for his turn
in the crematories of Auschwitz.
Dante… you descended deep into the Inferno
guided by Virgil’s hand 
(Virgil, “Gran Cicerone”),
your Divine Comedy was a funny adventure
of music and tourism.
This is different… something else.
How should I explain it?  
if you don’t have imagination!
You… don’t have any imagination,
remember, in your Inferno
there is not a single boy
and the one you see there…
is alone.
He is alone! With no Cicerone…
waiting for the gates of Hell to open, 
a hell that you, poor Florentine,
could not have even imagined it.
This is different, let me explain. 
Look! This is a place where nobody
can play a violin;
all the violin strings in the world will break here. 
Do you understand that, Infernal Poets?
Virgil, Dante, Blake, Rimbaud…
keep it quite!
Don’t play so loud... Shh!...
Shut up!
I am also a great violinist
and I have played in Hell many times…
But now, here
I break my violin… and remain silent.  
Listen to the poem read in Spanish by León Felipe (click here)
Translation into English: Jesús Jambrina
Touchstone, Art & Literature Magazine, Vol. 82
Viterbo University, La Crosse, Wisconsin, USA

León Felipe (Zamora, 1884 – Mexico City, 1968) is considered one of the major poets of the Spanish language in the twentieth century. He was also a playwright, and translator of American writers Walt Whitman and Waldo Frank. He graduated from Pharmacy, which brought him a nomadic life by working in different cities and towns. In 1920 León Felipe published his first poetry book in Madrid, titled The Walker’s Verses and Prayers. Soon after, he traveled to Equatorial Guinea to work at a hospital, and in 1922 he went for the first time to Mexico from where he visited the United States, and Panama. 

In 1936, León Felipe returned to Spain to fight in favor of the Spanish Republic against Francisco Franco’s fascist insurrection. In 1939, after a brief visit to France and Cuba, he returned to Mexico where he lived in exile until his death in 1968. 

León Felipe’s literary style was strongly prophetic with Biblical and Whitmanian influences, meaning a strong humanistic orientation. His writings delve deep into historical thinking as a call for a hopeful and socially just world. Since the arrival of democracy to Spain in 1975, León Felipe’s poetry has been valued as a testimony of the exiles during the Spanish Civil War; many of his poems have been musicalized,  and are greatly appreciated in both sides of the Atlantic as part of the Spanish American literary tradition.

 In 2002, the Zamora City Council in Spain acquired León Felipe’s original manuscripts, including many unpublished works, as the foundation for a future center of studies that will have his name. In 2010 the prestigious Spanish press Visor put in circulation the–so far–most complete collection of his poems. “Auschwitz” is included in the book Oh! This Old and Broken Violin(1965). 

domingo, 21 de noviembre de 2021

Jewish, and converso last names from Zamora, Spain

Jewish and converso last names from historical archive documents in Zamora, Spain. Most are from the 11th to the 18th centuries, some are from inquisitorial cases in Portugal, mainly Tras Os Montes, but with residency in Zamora.

Spelling from the original source has been maintained, most are easily transcribable to modern orthography. When the last name is not a direct reference to the city of Zamora, location is included in parenthesis, as well as any other data or information to clarify context on the last name.

After the alphabetical list, there is a copy of Jewish and converso last names after 1492, drawn from a recent academic published article. For questions, comments or suggestions, please, email at centrocampanton@gmail.com 

A - Abadías, Abad de Aula, Abelaben, Abemiver, Abenamar, Abenahypón (Benavente)Abenjamil (Toro), Aben Baça (Baz, Vaz, Abençali), Abenbazar (Fuentesaúco), Abenamías, Aben Farax, Abenrrós, Aben Rubí, Abenzón, Abna, Abohaf (o Aboab), Ámbar, Alashkar, Alba (o Alvo), Albino (Bragança), Abolfazcan (Castroverde de Campos), Alfón, Alonso, Alvarez, Alua, Arama, Aven Sento

B - Bellamín (Villapando), Beny, Berroy (Fermoselle), Bida, Bueno

C - Cabeça (Villalpando), Cañizal, Campantón (también Canpanton, Qanpanton, Kanpanton), Cardero, Carvajal (Bermillo de Sayago y Benavente), Catalán, Castro, Colodre (Toro), Cominete, Comineto (Benavente), Conde, Chamorro, Cedillo, Corcos, Cordero, Çaragoça, Çalama, David (Toro),

D - De la Fuente (Fuentesaúco)

E - Estuñiga

F - Fernández

G - Galochero (Villalpando), Gambuayo, Garçia, Gazapo, Gómez (Toro), Gonçalez,

H - Habib, Ha-Leví (Toro)

J - Jambrina (1994 record from the Jewish Cementery in Madrid), toponym of a town 10 miles Southeast of Zamora.

L - Lopes (Trancoso), Luna

M- Manrique, Marcos (Villalpando), Maldonado, Medina, Méndez (Coimbra), Meir, Milano, Monzón (Alcañices), Musa

N - Naci, Melamed, Nuño de Fito

O- Oeb, Orabuena (Fermoselle), Ortuño (Bragança)

P- Paz, Peres, Pordomingo (Sayago), Portuguesa

R - Rico (Fuentesaúco), Rodríguez, Romi

S - Saba, Salón, San Román, Santa Ana

V - Valçina, Valencia, Valensí, Venialuo, Vida, Villalobos (Villalpando)

T- Tornero, Torralvo,


Z - Zamora (besides the city, also present in Villalpando)

The following last names along with their Christian ones after 1492 were copied from: Martialay,Teresa,  “Conversos y atribución de identidades conversas en tiempos de la expulsión de los judíos de la diócesis de Zamora” en Amrán, Rica & Antonio Cortijo Ocaña, Eds, Minorías en la España medieval y moderna, siglos XVI - XVII, eHumanista, 2017, 33-46

Abraham de Valencia (Fernando de Valencia)
Abraham aben Rubí (Maestre Fadrique)
Jaco de Medina (Fernand Pérez)
Mosé Obadías (Fernando de Miranda)
Rabí Salomón (Tomás)
Ysaque aben Farax (Pedro Osorio)
Yuçe Melamed (Luis Núñez Coronel)
Reyna Corcos (Isabel Osorio)

Abraham aben Baça (Juan de la Peña)

According to Martialay, the following names appear on the documents only as conversos without their Jewish names or last names

Clara (wife of Tomás)
Isabel Fernández (widow of Simuel of Ámbar) and her daughters
Martín Alonso (two persons with the same name)
Fernand Gómez, his wife and children
Manuel Pérez
Isabel Fernández (widow of  Simuel Gambuayo) y her children
Alonso de Zamora
Juan de Zamora
Juan de Valencia
Maese Pedro

lunes, 15 de noviembre de 2021

Why supporting us?

1- We are a group of community Scholars studying Jewish legacy in the region of Zamora, Spain, where Jews lived for more than a millennium. Lines of research include:
· Documented Jewish presence from the 10th to the 15th centuries
· Jews from Zamora in the diaspora
· Crypto Jewish communities from 1492 to the present
· B´nei Anusim memories and stories
· Homage to twenty-two antifascist fighters from Zamora incarcerated in Mauthausen
· Help families building their Jewish genealogies 

2- Centro Campanton has organized nine international congresses (2013-2021) along with annual cultural events & activities related to Jewish life 

3- Collaboration with local organizations, government and academic institutions to recuperate Jewish historic landmarks in the city and in the region

4- Centro Campanton have sponsored books publications, peer reviewed papers, and presentations at conference and events. 

5- Current projects we are trying to advance:
· A Jewish Museum in Zamora, to also house the Center
· Publication of congresses proceedings

6- This website documents our major programs, activities, and if you need more information you can reach us via email at centrocampanton@gmail.com
We also have two more webpages in Spanish: www.zamorasefardi.com & www.zamorasefardi.es

domingo, 14 de noviembre de 2021

The Campanton Sephardi “Iyyun” Approach to Yeshiva Learning*

Yitzchak Kerem, The Hebrew University, Jerusalem

In the context of Jewish yeshiva learning in Christian Spain during the 13th to 15th centuries, Rabbi Isaac Campanton (1360-1463) in Zamora devised a school of yeshiva learning which concentrated on the “Pshat”, the simple meaning, which also was quite unique and has been the base for Sephardi learning.

The approach focuses also on precisely interpreting the word to its fullest linguistic and historical context. Juxtaposed to the Ashkenazi “pilpul” argumentative and riddled style, the “Iyyun” approach promotes further innovative interpretation, expertise, and unraveling and simplifying perplexity, but it is reflective of a Sephardic humanistic approach which almost always looks at the local regional influences including Aristotelian medieval Spanish thought and Christian ecclesiastical doctrine not as a polemical obstacle, but as tools in interpreting the text. 

The system adopted Aristotelian logic for interpreting Talmudic text. Opposed to the Ashkenazi yeshiva tradition, the Sephardi approach does not confine itself to Talmudic interpretation, but also to Biblical study, Kabbala, and “hiddushim”; new incites in Jewish religious thought. As Boyarin has illustrated, the Campanton system has a very wide base of analysis based on Rashi’s commentaries and language. According to Boyarin, Campanton’s method spread to Safed and Jerusalem, Constantinople to Salonika, and Cairo to Fez.  Its luminaries included the Rabbis Birav, Caro, Levi Ben Haviv, and David ben Zimra; however it has not been recognized adequately.

Campanton was called the Gaon (luminary) from Castille, who trained his students to research the principles and essence of the Talmud, put in order the Tanaim and Amoraim according to their time and evolution of their absorption according to their rabbis (teachers).

The Campanton school of “Iyyun” was the standard in the Sephardic diaspora after the 1492 Spanish expulsion, and continued for the next 250 years from Salonika, Istanbul, to Safed, Egypt, and North Africa through front-row disciples like the Aboavs, David Ben-Zimra, the Ibn Havivs, Joseph Taitazak, Yaakov Berav, Abraham Saba, and the Valencis. The system waned in the Ottoman Empire and North Africa with modernization and alternative trends in thought, but has been revived in Tunisia and later Eretz-Israel/Israel by Rabbis Matzliah Mazuz of Djerba (murdered in Tunis in 1971) and his son Meir Mazuz, who established the prestigious Kise Rachamim Yeshiva in B’nai Brak, Israel.  

Mazuz laid out 5 principles of the Iyyun Tunisai (Tunisian Analysis) which is an outgrowth of the Campanton Sephardic Iyyun (Analysis) initially exemplified by the latter in his work Darkhei haTalmud (The Ways of the Talmud). 

According to Mazuz, he calls his method primarily an approach of iyyun ha-yashar, the straight analysis, a term that serves as a polemical tool against other methods that muddle the text instead of elucidating it in a step-by-step process. Mazuz contends that over the centuries a methodology emerged with the necessary exactness to determine the law. Mazuz rejects inexactness in law just like Campanton used a methodology with Aristotelian assumptions, which analyzed any idea or interpretation as provable or disprovable on rational analysis.  

Mazuz elaborated his concise, but thorough and straightforward method based on rabbinic tradition:
The foundation of the foundations of Iyyun is that there is nothing missing [from] or added onto the language of the Gemara, Rashi, and Tosafot. There is nothing missing – because the text has not come to shut out [information] but to explain and take heed to limit [le-tsamtsem] his language and to derive [concepts from] it in a way that there will not be an extra word., for [under consideration] are missing from the Talmudic discussion [Aramic sugya] and its commentaries, for they [the rabbis] have not come to test us with riddles … And there is nothing added – because our rabbis have always tried to write with brevity and exactness, [with] the small carrying the abundant [i.e. with a small number of words carrying great depth].

Campanton’s method below is echoed in the above passage of Mazuz:

And always attempt to impute necessity for all of the words of a commentator or an author in all of his language: why did he say it and what did he intend with that language, whether to explain [an issue] or to derive [a concept] from another explanation or to resolve a difficulty or a problem. And take heed to limit [le-tsamtsem] his language and to derive [concepts from] it in a way that there will not be an extra word, for if it were possible to express his intent, for example, in three words, why did he express [himself using] four [words]? And so you should do with the language of the Mishna and Gemara, that is, you should check their language so that there not be an extra word, and when it appears to you to be extra go back and analyze well, for they did not expand their words unnecessarily, for it is not a small matter, and the splendor of sages is to minimize words so that many concepts are included in small [numbers of] words, and to make their words few in quantity but great [lit. “many”] in quality, and there should not be within their words an extra word, even [if it consists] of one letter, as they [the Sages] have said ([B.T. Hullin 63b). “A person should always teach his students in a concise way,” as you see in our Holy Torah, which was given from the Mouth of the Mighty One, which speaks with a concise language but includes many things …

The second characteristic of Mazuz’s Iyyun Tunisai is syntax; the importance of understanding each word and its implications, and proper stopping points of basic expressions. A student needs to know the meanings of basic expressions, which can change depending on context. Syntax is important and one needs to understand where the sentence ends or where the idea ends if the commentator did not properly end the sentence. The third facet of Mazuz’s iyyun is to ask, in every place, what was Rashi, Tosafot, or Maharsha bothered by, and from which error they were protected from in that word and sentence.

The student should ask why a classical commentary would add an extra word, or would use a seemingly odd phrase; necessities for understanding the text under discussion. The classical Sephardic perspective, also advanced by Campanton, is analyzing also “me’ayyenim k’sevara mi-bachutz”; the logical construction whose origin is outside the text or which has been added in subsequent generations.   

Mazuz’s fourth element of the Iyyun Tunisai reates to the logical flow in the text of the Tosafot, who were known for posing many questions and answers in a row. Mazuz suggested stopping after each question-and-answer pair to analyze how each question was answered and how the next question relates to the previous question-and-answer. In this manner, the student can identify in what way the main issue discussed is resolved. The resolution is known as “the center of the resolution”, or merkaz ha-teruts.

The assumption that every element in a rabbinic text relates to the previous one or the next one is elaborated on specifically by Campanton at the beginning of Chapter Ten in his Darkchei Ha-Talmud:
Always, for every statement and for every concept that is situated next to another, whether in Talmud or in Scripture (ba-Katuv), carefully observe the relationship and connection between those concepts situated next to each other, including what order the speaker is leafing (molikh) with his words.

The fifth element of Iyyun Tunisei according to Mazuz is “the importance of writing and revising one’s studies”. The student should test to see whether he has understood it properly. If the student’s own words seem to match the commentator’s, but are simply more expansive, the student has understood; if not, the student should review the commentary and revise his statement. Aside from the clarity of understanding the student gains, frequent writing and revision allows the student to express his ideas clearly’. The rabbis of Djerba used this pedagogical method; training their students to write their own novellae in a clear and organized manner.  

*Presented at the 5th International Congress on the Jewish Sephardic Legacy of City of Zamora, Spain, July 3rd, 2017.