For those members of the "Anusim" list who have asked for
literature in English on the crypto-Jews, their origins and secret practices,
here is a list of books that I recomend.
To order any of the books from Amazon.com,
just klick on the blue line
of the title
The Crypto-Jews of Portugal
This book was not published yet in English. The original
"Cristaos-Novos em Portugal no Seculo XX" was published in Portugal (Lisbon, 1925)and reedited recently.
An Hebrew translation will soon be published in Israel and I am told that is also being translated into English.
I mention it here for two reasons: -it is a must for any person interested in a first hand account of crypto-jewish life in Portugal in the first quarter of the 20th. century; and because an English version by the author was published in the "MENORAH JOURNAL" 12 (1926): pgs. 138-149, 283-297 and 325.
You may able to find it in the libraries.
NEW - This importante article has been reprinted in "SHOFAR" - An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies" -University of Nebraska Press - ISSN 0882-8539 - Vol. 18, No. 1 - Fall 1999
Cecil Roth / Hardcover / Published 1992
This is the classic textbook to understand the historical background of the anussim. It's an account of the origins and fate of those Spanish Jews who - terrorized by the massacre of 1391 and the Inquisition - professed Christianity to escape persecution.
David M. Gitlitz / Hardcover / Published 1996
A comprehensive repository of customs and traditions of the crypto-jews in their dispersion
Acts of Faith: A Journey to the Fringes of the Jewish Identity
Dan Ross - published 1951 - reprint 1982
A vivid portrait of ten communities whose Jewhisness is disputed: the Portuguese Marranos who have kept the secret of their religion hidden since the Inquisition; the Mashhadi Jews of Iran, forcibly converted to Islam in 1839, Israel's 500 Samaritans and 15,000 Karaites; the Falashas of Ethiopia; The Chinese Jews of Kaifeng; the Bene Israel of Bombay and many others. THIS BOOK HAS BEEN OUT OF PRINT FOR A LONG TIME, BUT I HAVE BEEN INFORMED THAT AMAZON.COM HAS SEVERAL SECOND-HAND COPIES, OLD AND NEW, AT VERY LOW PRICES. For more information, click on the name of the book above.
The Great Auto de Fe of 1649 - as related by Mathias de Bocanegra, S.J.
Translated and edited by Seymour B. Liebman
The files of the auto de fe held in Mexico City on April 11, 1649 . It has a good index of names.
Moreshet Sepharad : The Sephardi Legacy Vol 1
Haim Beinart(Editor) / Hardcover / Published 1996
Prof. Haim Beinart is the leader of the "Jerusalem school" of historians of the Sephardic Diaspora. This book contains 38 chapters by some of the best historians that wrote about the life and the works of the Sephardi Jews in many places
LA Gesta Del Marrano
Marcos Aguinis / Published 1995
An excellent fiction book that reflects the crypto-jewsih reality in South America. It was writen in Spanish and is available in the United States
Jews and Conversos: Studies in Society and the Inquisition
Yosef Kaplan, editor - published in Jerusalem, 1985
A collection of articles originally presented as papers at the Eight World Congress of Jewish Studies (Jerusalem 1981) by historians from Israel, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal
Professor Yirmiahu Yovel is a philosopher devoted to the study of Baruch Spinoza. Before writing his book he visited the crypto-jews of Portugal to absorve the real atmosphere of they lifes. One gets a new understanding of Spinoza, his time and his life, after reading this book.
A Treasury of Sephardic Laws and Customs
Rabbi Herbert C. Dobrinski
A comprehensive compendium of the laws and customs of four main communities of Sephardic Jews: Syrian, Morrocan, Judeo-Spanish and Spanish and Portuguese
If you read already any of the books listed above and you would like to share with me your impressions, please send me an email
You may be able to find most of the books in public libraries, or
you may want to order any of them online from Amazon.com. To order any
book on line, click on the blue line with the title. You will be taken
to the the exact page in the catalogue, with all the information about
the book, price and how to order. Sometimes you will find there reviews
on the specific book.
Some of the books may be out-of-print, and Amazon may sugest that they
search it for you second-hand. From my past experience they are pretty
good at that.
If you wish to introduce yourself, exchange ideas, why don't you step in and write me a note by email?