Aspects of Spanish Acculturation among Moroccan Jews

in European Judaism
Moisés OrfaliBar-Ilan University

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This discussion of the processes of Spanish acculturation among Moroccan Jews deals with influences that Spanish Jews brought to Morocco both before and after 1492, especially their regulations establishing a considerable improvement in the status of Jewish women and restrictions on expenditure on the occasion of family celebrations. In accordance with the Valladolid Takkanot (1432), they forbade the wearing of certain jewellery and the display of valuable finery. These social and ethical-religious measures also expressed a concern not to expose property and people to the envy of non-Jews. The megorashim (newcomers from Spain) spread the Castilian custom of ritual slaughter of animals for consumption. The re-Hispanisation of the Judeo-Spanish language (Ḥaketía) was consciously considered among the descendants of the megorashim as part of their Spanish identity and collective memory.

Contributor Notes

Moisés Orfali, former Dean of the Faculty of Jewish Studies at Bar-Ilan University, is Professor of Jewish History and author of books and articles on historical and cultural aspects of Jews and Conversos in the Iberian Peninsula and the Sephardi Diaspora. He is Correspondent Academic Member of the Spanish Royal Academy of History and of the Royal Spanish Academy.

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