Every year the Jewish Community of Ceuta invites to local authorities and representatives of the different cultures coexisting in this nice city(Hindu,Catholic and Muslim) to spend a Succa evening, enjoy and show to the rest of world what does coexisting consist of!!!
The excavations at the site of La Mota, the interpretation center of Jewish culture on the Camino de Santiago and the proposal to design a Sephardic cultural itinerary in the province of Burgos are the three major initiatives in which Castrillo Mota works Jews, and that tomorrow Monday will present to the Spanish Jewish community in an act organized by Center Sefarad-Israel. The objective is not only to publicize the projects, but also to gather the necessary support to develop them.
The Mayor, Lorenzo Rodriguez, recalled that the Jewish community in Spain is very “deluded” by the proposals of the Burgos municipality, since they mean recovering the past of the Jewish people in Burgos. “We have taken the projects very seriously,” as Ángel Palomino, director of the archaeological site research and value project, and Gonzalo Villarreal, architect in charge of the Sephardic memory center, demonstrates.
The center of the Sephardic memory would require an investment of around 500,000 euros
Both will be in the meeting tomorrow, which will take place at the headquarters of the Sefarad-Israel Center in Madrid, from 19:00. Manuel Moratinos, responsible for historical documentation, will also be present. Castrillo Mota de Judíos wants to give a boost to its projects in 2017, so that among its objectives is to begin, at least, the works for the creation of that center of Sephardic culture on the Camino de Santiago, whose investment will be around the 500,000 euros.
The City Council already owns the home in which the center will be installed, and knows what it wants to do. Most of the intervention will focus on the façade, which will be restored. The interior will be left as it is, although it is musealized. The most important thing is to have the financial funds to start it, although Rodríguez hopes to start the rehabilitation this year, even if it is with own money of the City Council and the Cultural Association Mota de Judíos.
“We depend on external aid,” he acknowledged, so they do not leave an opening date, although the mayor acknowledges that they would like to have it running by 2019. Meanwhile, Castrillo has work to do in the archaeological site of ‘La Mota’ , Which has 80,000 square meters of land for excavation. This year will begin the third phase of the excavations, which will count on an aid of the Provincial of 20,000 euros, which the City will complete with 9,000. And the Junte is expected to collaborate as in previous years, with 30,000 euros.
In March, Rodríguez will return to Madrid to discuss the organization of a trip to New York
In this new phase will continue working in the synagogue, always following the indications of the research project of Palomino. The ultimate aim is to put into value the site where the Castrillo origin lies as a refuge for the Jews expelled from Castrojeriz. The latest initiative to be presented to the Jewish community is the project to create a Sephardic cultural itinerary in the province, which is still in its infancy, but which would be willing to collaborate around fifteen municipalities.
Travel to New York
The presentation will also serve to raise economic support, and to advance in the trip to New York that is being scheduled for upcoming dates. Lorenzo Rodriguez explained that in March they will have a specific meeting at the Sefarad-Israel Center to address this issue, but it is intended to be able to travel to the United States to present the Jewish Castrillo Mota initiatives to the American Jewish community. There would be a delegation led by the mayor, the architect and the archaeologist, in addition to the Sefarad-Israel Center.
The municipality wants to become an international benchmark for Jews, so this year, they will have contact with Israel. They will visit the country and, at the same time, will host a meeting with the town of Kfar Vradim, with which they twinned last year. The cultural proposals of this 2017 will be complemented by a summer course on Jewish culture and tradition, in collaboration with the Sefarad-Israel Center and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the traditional concerts, also in the summer months.
The archbishop of Toledo prefers to remain silent. The official response of his diocese at the insistence of EL PAÍS is: “The archbishop considers that, for the moment, he should not make any statement on the matter.” The “subject” is the property of the Santa María la Blanca synagogue in Toledo, which today belongs to the Catholic Church. Church law states that the ultimate decision about what to do with the synagogue depends on the diocese, headed by Archbishop Braulio Rodríguez Plaza.
The Jewish community of Toledo built Santa María la Blanca around 1300. A century later, in 1411, St. Vincent Ferrer removed it during a massacre of Jews. Toledo had other synagogues, but Santa Maria la Blanca was the Mayor. The Jewish community is now calling for its return. “In the 21st century, in a country like Spain, a symbolic return of that good plundered to the Jewish community would be nice,” says Isaac Querub, president of the Federation of Spanish Jewish Communities.
With silence, the archbishop has enough to keep things as they are. The Jewish community has little choice but to insist on a gesture of the Church or a multi-party negotiation with the state. The courts are not possible because the present Jewish community is not heiress of the historical community toledana.
The message of silence from the archbishopric was accompanied by this other excuse, which seems to take away symbolic weight from the Jewish petition: “Today, Santa Maria la Blanca is not a church or a synagogue. In it there is no official worship of any confession. It is a historic building that the archdiocese cares for, preserves and maintains. ” The temple is today a tourist monument and is desecrated, but sporadic acts are performed that do not involve mass.
The proof that the diocese of Toledo knows that it has something delicate in hand is a recent legal management. On July 18, 2012, Professor of Law at the Universidad Complutense Francisco García Fernández requested a copy of the inscription of the synagogue in the Registry of Toledo. Two days later, hardly by chance, the parish of Santo Tomé, owner of the property, donated it to the archbishopric. “He gave the synagogue to the archbishop because he who receives a donation becomes a ‘owner of good faith’, but it does not apply because the final owner remained the same: the diocese,” Garcia Fernández believes.
Gerardo Ortega, the parish priest of São Tomé who donated to the Registry in 2012, says he does not remember anything: “There has been no legal movement. Santo Tomé has never owned the synagogue. It is impossible for the minor to donate to the elderly. What is parish is always diocesan, “he says. Ortega knows that the request of the Jewish community is not new. There was at least one – more private – in 1992. “Occasionally a desire arises because it brings them a very special memory,” he admits. But it can not be done any more, according to his opinion: “It can not be of the Jewish world because of who it is. It is so. “
Ortega does not give much value to the request for return: “The Jewish community who is? That entity has to be addressed to someone, but not a newspaper buzz. I do not know if the archbishop has received anything. ” The archbishop has in fact received no one. Querub has requested an official meeting by letter. They have not yet answered him. In November 2016, Querub coincided with Rodríguez Plaza in one act. At the beginning of his speech, Querub referred to the archbishop: “An intelligent and influential man with whom we have so much to talk about.” Those things are still not spoken.
The Spanish Church is not unanimous. Cardinal Carlos Osoro, archbishop of Madrid and vice-president of the Episcopal Conference, sees a need for a gesture with the Jewish community: “All the efforts we make are few. The gestures that come to us and help us are good. Of course I see it well. Santa María la Blanca has to be a meeting place, “he says. The celebrated interreligious dialogue needs more than words, according to Mayte Rodríguez de Lara, director of the Center for Jewish-Christian Studies: “In all my years of work for dialogue I have never heard a voice of resentment towards any Jew about expulsion Or religious persecution. We can not turn the dialogue into pure formalisms without endowing it with meaning. “
A monument that collects
Santa María la Blanca is the third most visited monument of Toledo, after the cathedral and the church of Santo Tomé, where is El Buenco del Buen Orgaz, by El Greco. In 2016 the synagogue received 405,928 visitors, according to archbishop data. The entry costs 2.5 euros, and you have to subtract the 5,317 people who came for free and those who bought a bracelet for 9 euros that includes 7 monuments of the archbishopric, including the synagogue. In 2014, year with the latest data, 59,600 bracelets were sold. If we look at the growth in sales of the bracelet, perhaps have sold about 100,000 in 2016. The paid visitors in the synagogue could be around 300,000. If so, the exclusive income would be around 750,000 euros per year. The money is divided between convents, a diocesan fund to help other churches and the salary of the maids of the place. The money has not gone clearly to the maintenance of the building. The new lighting costs 125,000 euros and 80% has paid Iberdrola. The last great restoration of the synagogue was between 1983 and 1994 and was paid by the Ministry of Culture. The architect Francisco Jurado was in charge of the work: “There were humidities that went up the columns and deteriorated the capitals. When it rained you would put your hands on the pillars and the water would fall. It had a pavement, “he says. Interior of Santa María la Blanca before its restoration of the 80s Image courtesy of Francisco Jurado Interior of Santa María la Blanca before its restoration of the 80s / Image courtesy of Francisco Jurado The synagogue was renovated and saved, but its historical relevance remains without Put into value. Today there is hardly a poster with a little eloquent chronology. Visitors roam the ships without direction. “Diocesan museology is poor,” says Santiago Palomero, director of the Museo Sefardí de Toledo, which includes the other great synagogue of the city, Tránsito. “They’re not counting. It is a site with a historical relevance and they are not interested in anything. There is a lack of care, “he adds. At the entrance there are more posters about the peculiar Fraternity of Santa María de la Mañana than about the synagogue. A Japanese visitor mistakes the arrow for a lateral “exposition” with the entrance of the synagogue and wanders the courtyard looking for the door. The Fraternity is a mixed community of ten members founded in 1999 by the current archbishop, Rodríguez Plaza, when he was a bishop of Salamanca. Shortly thereafter, Cardinal Antonio Cañizares, then Archbishop of Toledo, gave them “the spiritual responsibility of the synagogue,” according to his founder, Brother Abraham de la Cruz, and “made me make an exhibition throughout the synagogue on panels” . The synagogue was filled with pictures of a presumed mystical value, but not historical. “It does not seem to me that exposures of dubious quality help keep the synagogue materials intact,” says Paloma Acuña of the Royal Toledo Foundation. A few years ago, the exhibition left the temple to its current side room: “The archbishop renewed our contract but in the small place for reasons that only he can explain,” Brother Abraham says. The role of the Fraternity there is to speak of the Unity between the Church and Israel. Although rather its aim seems to attract the ethereal sympathy of Jews towards the Church: “We have often heard Jews say in our exposition that if this vocation exists it is because the Messiah was born. Many are crying, “explains Brother Abraham. The Fraternity does several prayers in the synagogue at Jewish festivals, but it has no relation with the Spanish Jewish community. Toledo today has no Jewish community of its own. The synagogue has historically been Church and State. After its time of synagogue, first it was oratorio and soon I convent for repentant prostitutes. In the nineteenth century passed into the hands of the state and was military arsenal and treasury store. The Monuments Commission restored it in the nineteenth century and tried to get the church to use it again. Finally, the regime of Franco was the one who returned the synagogue to the Church in 1939 with the excuse of “lacking the State of means for its maintenance”, according to a decree that quotes Palomero in his doctoral thesis. An extraordinary gesture in PalermoThe return of a Synagogue of the Church to a Jewish community is extraordinary because, in addition to the implications of the religious gesture, the medieval synagogues that remain in the hands of the Church and that some Jewish community claims are scarce. In Spain it only happens with Santa María la Blanca. There are other synagogues with value – the Transit, also in Toledo, and the one of Cordova, that are of the State – and one in Segovia, that underwent a fire in 1899 and is inside a convent. “The petition of the Jewish community of Santa María la Blanca is a great opportunity for the Spanish Church to rethink its attitude towards the Jewish people,” says Rodríguez de Lara.This January in Palermo (Italy) a remarkable gesture has taken place . The small community of a few dozen Palermitan Jews -expelled also in 1492-had been seeking a place of worship and study for eight years. The City Council had offered them an unfeasible place. In July 2016, the president of the community, Evelyne Aouate, went to see the new archbishop, Corrado Lorefice. “After 20 days he called to tell me that he was willing to offer us what he had asked for: an oratory in the synagogue area of the old Jewish quarter “Says Aouate. Above the destroyed synagogue of Palermo, the church of San Nicolò di Tolentino was built. Next to it there is an oratory that is now in disuse, which is the space that Lorefice has given freely to the Jewish community. “It is something extraordinary, very particular and not simple to obtain,” says Noemi di Segni, president of the Union of Jewish Communities of Italy. Apparently so far, Toledo will not revive a similar gesture. It is true that the repercussion would be different: the Toledo synagogue was the center of Spanish Jewish life. As in Palermo, the decision is in the hands of the archbishop. Higher in the Vatican, there seems to be little interest in interfering: “The Vatican does not get into those things,” says Cardinal Osoro. In Palermo, at least, it has not done so: “It is clear that the Vatican will have given its opinion,” says Pierpaolo Punhasllo, Rabbi of the Shivai Israel organization that helps communities in Italy. “But it has never come to me. My interlocutor is Archbishop Lorefice, “he adds. If there were any steps in Toledo, the formulas for ownership of the synagogue may not be a mere return to the Jewish community. Isaac Querub insists on clarifying three things: the initiative to propose is of the Church, the return does not imply economic restitution nor to keep the money of the entrances and the State should play a part.A ANNIVERSARY TOLEDANOToledo celebrates this year the 30th anniversary of Its declaration as a World Heritage City. There is no lack of convent stones, Jewish streets, cathedrals and mythical oils to remember. The City Council, in agreement with other organizations, has launched guided tours to the best known and most hidden heritage, with concerts of music and theater and exhibitions. The city of the Alcázar and of the marzipans, the Greco and the three cultures, will receive this year the visitors with an enriched program, where Santa María la Blanca will be obligatory stop. From the Real Foundation of Toledo, The two synagogues in the Sephardic Museum complex: “It is compatible to keep the synagogue open to the public, to perform Jewish liturgical acts and to join the cultural management of the Sephardic Museum to tell the history of the Jewish quarter,” says Paloma Acuña. Money, for Acuna, would not be a problem: “The revenues would still be there. If so much money went to each convent, the state can commit to continue to send it. “The proof that nothing is impossible is that there has already been a Jewish wedding in the synagogue. According to two sources, a Jewish couple rented the temple for a while, hid the cross in the central nave and sought a progressive rabbi – who put few hits – to take advantage of a place of so much symbolism.
Only three months after his first official visit, Dr. Abraham Haim, president of the Council of the Sephardic Community in Jerusalem, returns to Lucena to deliver the speech Spain and the Jews: encounter, disagreement and reunion. An event, which will be attended by the manager of the Network of Jewish Quarters of Spain, Marta Puig Quixal, and which is held at the Casa de los Mora, from 20:30 on Monday, February 13.
Fran Carrasco Guijarro, advisor to the Jewish Delegation of Tourism and a hairdresser linked to Rasgo – a certification of distinction sponsored by the Spanish Jewish Network – will present Abraham Haim, who also holds a degree in History of the East Media by the University of Tel Aviv and in Language and Literature by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Carrasco pointed out that the lecturer “brings Lucena to Jerusalem in a cultural and academic way and this is very important for us to have this link because we can create very important ties, tourism and academics.”
Manuel Lara Cantizani, councilman responsible for Tourism and Culture, thanked the Popular Party, represented at the press conference by its consultant Pedro Arroyo, “its support for tourism initiatives regarding the Jewish past, which puts the City Council in contact with people Very important of world-wide level “and that they add” constantly “to this type of projects.
The socialist mayor said that in 2017, the Delegation of Tourism “has very clear that the activities are to be structured with a new objective, not only generate visits, but improve infrastructure and generate a new product, making space, new contacts and open to the Not only through the Jewish Network, but also through the Integral Plan of Tourism – recognized by the Andalusian Administration for its excellence in management – within its line linked to the Jewish world. ” He also said that “soon” will be announced an event included in the program Enrédate of the Junta de Andalucía and that will be combined with the third tasting of kosher products.
Finally, he commented that in the ordinary plenary session of this month of February will propose the reactivation of the technical table of the Jewish world to which will be invited, among others, to José Antonio García Suárez, coordinator of Your History; The official chroniclers of the city, Francisco López Salamanca and Luisfernando Palma Robles; Fran Carrasco, Mario Flores, representatives of the political groups; And the territorial delegate of Tourism, Culture and Sport in Córdoba, Francisco Alcalde Moya.
The Burgos municipality of Castrillo Mota de Judíos, which in 2015 got rid of its surname ‘matajudíos’, promotes a project to create a Sephardic cultural itinerary that makes Burgos a tourist reference for the Jewish community and values the shared history and Heritage and cultural heritage.
The province has a very extensive and interesting Jewish past, which can be a great tourist attraction, said the Mayor of Castrillo Mota de Judíos, Lorenzo Rodríguez.
In the municipality is worked to recover the settlement of La Mota, place to which the Jews expelled from the near village of Castrojeriz, origin of the town and its name.
On the other hand, in Castrojeriz remains of the synagogue and the walls remain, while Belorado stood out for its great Jewry, the same as Burgos or Miranda de Ebro.
Vestiges of the past of ancient Jewish communities are also found in Roa, Frías, Villadiego, Lerma, Aranda de Duero, Pancorbo, Pradoluengo, Medina de Pomar or Briviesca, for example.
For this reason, Lorenzo Rodríguez has proposed to these municipalities the possibility of creating a Sephardic cultural itinerary, as a “singular” tourist resource for the province of Burgos.
The aim is to become a benchmark of the international Jewish community, taking advantage of the thousands of Jews who visit Spain each year to visit prominent places in their community history.
The first meeting, of contact, was held days ago and was attended by fifteen towns, although they would be willing to join the initiative some more.
At the moment, Castrillo Mota de Judíos will be in charge of leading the project, accompanied by Castrojeriz and Pradoluengo.
The three localities will attend the call for aid for tourist infrastructure of Sodebur, the Development Society of the Province of Burgos, dependent on the Diputación.
It is to get economic support to elaborate a historical and archaeological project, explained the mayor of Castrojeriz, Beatriz Francés.
The most important thing is to document the Jewish past of the province and to define the preserved cultural and patrimonial resources, as well as the archaeological remains to be recovered.
Next, the tourist itinerary will be designed, marking each one of the historical or cultural landmarks, and will be promoted among the Spanish Jewish community.
The mayor of Belorado, and provincial deputy of Culture, Luis Jorge del Barco, bets to implicate in the project to the Diputación since it is a “challenge” for the municipalities.
De Barco recalled that the Provincial Institution studied a couple of years ago to develop a similar tourism resource, although the initiative did not materialize.
Now would be a good time to recover it, since the proposal of Castrillo Mota of Jews “is very exciting and accurate.”
Since the change of name in 2015, the town has strengthened ties with the international Jewish community and receives numerous visitors, who would be interested in knowing more about the Jewish past of Burgos.
Rodríguez has insisted that the province must recover its history shared with the Jewish people and put into value the inherited patrimonial and cultural wealth.
On February 14, 1349, the St. Valentine Massacre takes place in Strasbourg. Two thousand Jews were burned alive accused of spreading the plague.
It is well known that Jews have always been persecuted in the history of mankind. They have been blamed for the great misfortunes, besides being considered usurers, murderers of children and even antichrists.
Such was the case of the Black Death, which peaked between 1347 and 1353. It is estimated that the Great Death (as it was known before the 19th century) killed 60% of Europeans.
The answer you gave to this deadly epidemic? They accused the Jews of poisoning fountains and wells for the sole purpose of exterminating Christians. The evidence was found in the false confession under torture of a Jew named Agimet in 1348, who acknowledged having thrown a poison into the well from which the people were supplied, under the command of Rabbi Peyret.
This motive was sufficient to begin the persecution towards the Jews, who were exposed to all sorts of barbarities.
And so, on February 14, 1349, two thousand Jews were taken to the cemetery of the French city of Strasbourg, where they were burned on a wooden platform, in addition to imposing a law that forbade to tread that land for 100 years to Jews who They got rid of the murder.
The persecution spread throughout Europe, to the point that in Spain, any Christian was forbidden to associate with any Jew, whom they imprisoned, exterminated and expelled from all parts of the continent.
The Provincial Historical Archive shows, through the initiative ‘The Document of the Month’, four documents on the life of the Jews in the city of Jaén between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries, on the occasion of the celebration of the Day of Remembrance for the Victims Of the Holocaust, which was celebrated on 27 January and condemned, by resolution of the United Nations Assembly, all manifestations of religious intolerance, incitement, harassment or violence against persons or communities based on ethnic origin or Religious beliefs, wherever they take place.
“We talk about an exhibition in which, through four documents, visitors are going to hear about four episodes about the life of the Jewish community in the city of Jaén where they are staged as the coexistence of Jews with Christians, What was the economic activity they developed, as well as the persecution to which they were subjected, “said the delegate of the Government, Ana Cobo.
Also, the delegate highlighted, during the inauguration of the exhibition ‘Jews in the Remembrance. Documentary evidence of his presence in Jaén, in which the territorial delegate for Culture, Tourism and Sports, Pilar Salazar, the Director of the Provincial Historical Archive, Juan del Arco, and the president of the Iuventa association, Rafael Cámara, participated. Sephardic Jew, Ricardo Djaen, descendant of members of the Jewish community who lived in the streets of the city of Jaén. “I want to welcome Ricardo to a city that is his city, and a city where we can enjoy the legacy left by his ancestors and that today is one of the main tourist claims of our province,” he said.
The Provincial Historical Archive, which has already addressed the Jewish presence in Jaén on the occasion of the commemoration of the 1100th anniversary of the birth of Hasday ibn Shaprut (Ben Saprut) at the end of 2015, has organized a sample centered on the presence of Jews in Jaén around Three main aspects. On the one hand, in the coexistence between Christian and Jewish cultures, on the other hand, in the economic activity developed by the Jews and, moreover, on the persecution to which the Jews were subjected, first, after the expulsion in 1492, his descendants, the converts.
As an example of the coexistence between the Christian and Jewish communities in the Old Kingdom of Jaén during the Middle Ages, this exhibition exposes the Law of Iznatoraf, where in one of its laws or sections regulated the use of public bath both Of Christians as Jews, establishing exclusive days for their use in each community.
On the other hand, in relation to the economic activities that the Jewish community performed in the Kingdom of Jáen is represented with a note of a deed by which Sushi of Abraham buys two slaves for 25,000 reais and with another document where the obligation of Marín But, neighbor of Jaén, to pay Martín Abraham, member of the Jewish community, the amount of 8780 maravedis.
This exhibition, which will be open until February 24, also includes references to the persecution suffered by the descendants of the Jews who converted to Christianity, the converts. Among them, the Document of the Month shows the request that Antón Rodríguez de Amores, Diego de Córdoba, Juan de Jaén Morocco, Lope de Fernández Chinchilla and other landlords of the rent of the alcabalas of the city of Jaén request to the queen that exempts them Of the charge imposed by the great pestilence and mortality, the great sterility of the year and by the Holy Inquisition since there are prisoners many merchants and traffickers.
|Author of the Shulchan Aruch|
Rabbi Yosef Caro, 5248-5335 (1488-1575 CE), is most famous as the author of the Shulchan Aruch, the Code of Jewish Law. He was born in Toledo, Spain during the Inquisition years and fled from that country at the age of 4, with his family together with myriads of Jews who were banished from Spain in the year 5252 (1492 CE). His family wandered from city to city, from country to country, not finding a safe haven until they settled in Constantinople (Kushta), Turkey.
Yosef was first educated by his father, Rabbi Ephraim, a scholar in his own right, who was later appointed chief rabbi of Nikopol, Bulgaria. Later Rabbi Yosef would quote many teachings he heard from his father. After his father passed away, he grew up in the home of his uncle, Rabbi Yitzchak Caro, who adopted him as his own son.
It was soon realized that Yosef was destined for greatness, and even at a young age he was regarded as a great sage and many turned to him for halachic rulings. He eventually moved from Constantinople to Adrianople, where he married the daughter of a scholar named Rabbi Chaim ibn Albalag. He soon established a Beit Midrash in Adrianople, and at the age of 34 he began to write his monumental commentary Beit Yosef on the entire ArbaahTurim.
Together with his great assiduousness in Torah study, Rabbi Caro lived a somewhat ascetic life of numerous fasts and self-infliction.
It was in Adrianople that he met the kabbalist Rabbi Shlomo Molcho, who was burned at the stake by the church for his “heretical beliefs.” Rabbi Caro was greatly affected by Rabbi Shlomo’s charismatic personality and even expressed the wish to die in the same way — al kiddush Hashem (as a holy martyr). It was here, too, that Rabbi Yosef met Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz, author of the mystical hymn Lecha Dodi. It is possible that one of them introduced Rabbi Yosef to the study of Kabbala.
(To find our series explicating the prayer Lecha Dodi, click here)He came to be regarded as the leader of the entire generation.
After his first wife died at a young age, he married the daughter of Rabbi Yitzchak Sabba. For a short while he lived in Nikopol, Bulgaria, but decided to make his way to the Holy Land so that he could immerse himself in its sanctity and complete his written works. Passing through Salonica, he met the great kabbalist Rabbi Yosef Taitatzak. He continued his journey to the Holy Land via Egypt and eventually settled in Safed.
He was soon appointed a member of the rabbinical court of the city in the Beit Din of the famous Rabbi Yaakov Beirav. When the latter re-instituted semicha (official rabbinical ordination), which had been in abeyance for over 11 centuries, Rabbi Yosef was one of the first he ordained. Here, too, Rabbi Caro established a yeshiva and taught Torah to scores of eager students. Among Rabbi Caro’s more famous students were the renowned darshan (sermonist) Rabbi Moshe Alshich, the kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Galanti and the renowned kabbalist Rabbi Moshe Cordovero (the Ramak).
When Rabbi Yaakov Beirav, the leading sage of Safed, passed away, Rabbi Yosef Caro was regarded as his successor, and he and Rabbi Moshe of Trani (the Mabit) headed the Rabbinical Court of Safed. In fact, by this time, the Rabbinical Court of Safed had become the central rabbinical court in all of Israel, and indeed of the Diaspora as well. Thus there was not a single matter of national or global importance that did not come to the attention and ruling of the Safed Beit Din. Its rulings were accepted as final and conclusive, and Rabbi Yosef’s halachic decisions and clarifications were sought by sages from every corner of the Diaspora. He came to be regarded as the leader of the entire generation.
Rabbi Yosef merited to be instructed by a maggid – a private angelic teacher who revealed to him many kabbalistic teachings.
Although he rarely touched upon kabbalistic matters and customs in his legal writings, he was nevertheless very involved in the study of kabbala. Together with his close friend Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz, he set out to explain some of the more difficult passages in the Zohar. In his famous kabbalistic work Pardes Rimonim, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero cites several innovative kabbalistic teachings of Rabbi Caro, who was his master in the revealed teachings of the Torah.
In a dramatic testimonial, Rabbi Shlomo Alkabetz testified that in Salonica Rabbi Yosef became one of those rare individuals who merited to be instructed by a maggid – a private angelic teacher who revealed to him many kabbalistic teachings. The maggid exhorted Rabbi Yosef to sanctify and purify himself, and he revealed to him events that would take place in the future. It should be noted that in Shaarei Kedusha, Rabbi Chaim Vital explains that visitation by a maggid is a form of Divine Inspiration (ruach hakodesh). The teachings of the maggid are recorded in his published work titled Maggid Meisharim, although the Chida (Rabbi Chaim David Azulai) notes that only about one fiftieth of the manuscript was ever published (see Works). However, in numerous places in Maggid Meisharim it is stated that, “I am the Mishna that speaks in your mouth,” indicating that the Oral Torah itself (of which the Mishna is the fundamental part) spoke within him. (However, these two explanations are not necessarily contradictory — in the merit of the Mishna Rabbi Caro constantly reviewed, he was worthy of an angelic teacher).
The maggid promised him that he would have the merit of settling in Israel, and this promise was fulfilled. Another promise, that he would merit to die a martyr’s death sanctifying God’s Name like Rabbi Shlomo Molcho had merited, did not transpire for an unspecified reason.
The kabbalistic teachings found in Rabbi Yosef’s Maggid Meisharim are in the style of Rabbi Moshe Cordovero’s kabbala, rather than the style of Rabbi Yitzchak Luria (the Arizal). Nevertheless, Rabbi Chaim Vital, the chief disciple of the Arizal, extolled the greatness of Rabbi Yosef’s soul, saying that it stemmed from the soul of the great Tanna Rabbi Yehuda bar Ila’i and had an affinity with the souls of Rabbi Shlomo ben Aderet (the Rashba), Rabbi Aharon Halevi (the Raah) and Rabbi Vidal di Tolouse, author of Maggid Mishna, an important commentary on Maimonides‘ Mishneh Torah.
In the year 5324 (1564 CE) Rabbi Yosef’s second wife, who had borne him his son Shlomo, died. Following the dictate of the Sages that a man should not live without a wife, he married again, despite his age. His third wife was the daughter of Rabbi Zecharia ben Shlomo Zavasil Ashkenazi, one of the sages of Jerusalem. When he was in his ninth decade, his wife bore him another son, Yehuda.
Rabbi Yosef continued to preoccupy himself with Torah study and writing important works and fulfilled his duties as the head of the Rabbinical Court in Safed for the remainder of his extremely productive life. He passed on to the World of Truth on the 13th day of Nissan 5335 (1575 CE) at the venerable age of 87. His loss was mourned by the entire Jewish world.
The author of Shenei Luchot HaBrit, Rabbi Yeshayahu Horowitz 5320-5390 (1560-1630 CE) (the Shelah HaKadosh), writes that one Friday night, Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan in the year 5365 (1605 CE), Rabbi Yosef, thirty years after his passing, appeared in a dream to a certain sage living in Safed. He reported that he saw Rabbi Yosef “sitting on a very majestic throne in the presence of innumerable world-renowned rabbis. His face was shining like the brightness of the sky… and he taught the meditations applicable to kedusha.
VALENCIA. The witer José Hinojosa Montalvo tells in his article ‘The Jews of the Kingdom of Valencia during the fifteenth century’. It was May 26, 1394. By royal privilege of John I, the Hunter, was authorized the creation of a new cemetery to the Jewish aljama of Valencia. It was like compensation, recognition. Three years earlier the city’s Hebrew quarter had suffered the revolts and assault of the angry mobs.
“After the assault of 1391 the old enclosure was abandoned and a new one was found,” Hinojosa writes. “In the middle of 1393 the Jews were authorized by John I to transfer the bones of their ancestors to the new enclosure, and the 26 of May of 1394 the king authorized the creation of the same one”. The new cemetery hardly lasted a century. On its lot was built in 1491 the convent of Santa Catalina of Siena. The following year, the Jews were expelled from Spain, by order of the Catholic Kings.
The convent had better fortune, but did not reach the five centuries. Nothing is eternal. It was demolished in the late sixties to build there the first of the department stores of El Corte Inglés in Valencia, that of Pintor Sorolla. One God, Yahweh, was replaced by another, the God of Christians. And in the last quarter of the twentieth century, this was replaced by the divinity who can: money.
This Thursday, in the mayoralty of Valencia closed this story that covers six centuries. And it was done with a simple signature on paper, on a glass table. The mayor of Valencia, Joan Ribó, signed in a joint act, the agreements for the provision of religious assistance in the General Cemetery to the Catholic, Muslim and Israeli communities. The three agreements have a duration of four years.
Historical date for the Hebrews
Isaac Sananes, president of the Israelite Community of Valencia, recalled that, unlike Catholics and Muslims, in that it was a renewal of an agreement, “for the Jews of Valencia this is a historical date because 600 years ago We had a graveyard, “he said.
“This is the first time we have been able to sign an agreement that has been brewing for many years. Today’s signature will be a milestone that we will all remember, and we want to thank your support to the City Council’s managers to achieve this. For us this is the second cemetery. The former was from the fourteenth century and this is the twenty-first century. We had been waiting for a few centuries, so thank you very much, “he said.
The object, in the case of the Muslim and Israeli communities, is to provide them with burial units specific to the practices of each of these confessions, while in the case of the Catholic Church, religious assistance is specified in the chapel of the Cemetery General.
But the General Cemetery of Valencia will not only be closed to the people of the Book, and will also give space to other religious denominations by means of a symbolism of “neutral character” so that “each confession can place its own symbols” and “all can be developed with total Freedom and the same rights “.
Freedom for all beliefs
In an event witnessed also by the Councilor for the Environment, Pilar Soriano, and the regional secretary of inclusion, Alberto Ibáñez, Ribó took advantage of the launching of a proclamation for tolerance. “Valencia is increasingly a city that welcomes all people assuming their religious beliefs, and that is why we want all religious beliefs to develop with total freedom and all people can have the same rights regardless of their religion or not religion” , He said.
The agreement was signed by Ribó with Vicent Fontestad, Vicar General of the Archbishopric of Valencia; Abdul Rahim Yaghmour, president of the Islamic Community of Valencia, and Isaac Sananes, president of the Israeli Community of Valencia, and serves, as they pointed out from the City Hall, “to guarantee the rights of people and the plurality of all the major religions represented in Valencia”.
“Today,” said Ribó, “it is a beautiful day in which we take one more step to make Valencia a welcoming city for all people with all their beliefs and their cultures, and for anyone living in Valencia to enjoy all rights”.