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.
The Judeo-Spanish Ballad Tradition of Morocco
The Spanish Jews who fled to North Africa from the 1391 pogroms were joined a century later, in 1492, by a larger wave of exiles, the thousands of Jews who had chosen to leave Spain rather than convert to Christianity. These fellow Jews, the megorashim or expelled Jews, had been forbidden to take 'gold and silver or minted coins' out of Spain (Edwards 1994: 52). They did, however, take with them invisible assets: their Spanish language and culture. This Iberian presence in Morocco was further reinforced by the arrival of a third group of Spanish-speaking Jews fleeing the forced conversions imposed by Portugal in 1497.