Was there a Jewish Quarter in Madrid?

Resultado de imagen de juderia madrid
1. First Jewish Quarter(until 1391) 2. Second Jewish Quarter(1480-1492)  4.Arab Nighborhood(1085-1502)  5. New Arab Nighborhhod(mid XIV cent-1502)

When, after visiting Toledo, Cordoba or Girona, Jewish tourists arrive into Madrid, they often ask the locals where the Jewish quarter of the city was. Some respond with silence or an embarrassed “I do not know”. Others answer that in Lavapiés, the most widespread belief, but false. And is that, after centuries buried and unknown, the Jewish footprint in Madrid remains covered with a mantle of legend and mystery that historians, archaeologists and documentalists try to dismantle in recent years to a stroke of rigor.

“The reality is that even today, little is known about the Jewish past in Madrid,” says Enrique Cantera, a professor of Medieval History at UNED who specializes in medieval Judaism. What can be taken for granted? There is evidence of Jewish presence in the city at least since it was taken by the Christians in 1085. Alfonso VI had conquered just before the Muslim Toledo and from there they moved to Madrid Christians and Jews. That is why the majority of Jews from Madrid had origin in Toledo.

When they arrived, they installed themselves next to the Arab wall, in a small and poor suburb on which now rises – to the disgrace of the archaeologists – the Cathedral of the Almudena. It dictates the logic because the rest of Jewish of Castile were located physically near the royalty and, next to, was the famous Alcazar, burned down in 1734 in the space that now occupies the Royal Palace.

But, a few meters away, where the new Museum of Royal Collections stands today, the archaeologist who runs the excavations, Esther Andreu, has found three tracks of Hebrew presence. The first is a fragment of pottery with the drawing of a menorah, the Jewish seven-branched candlestick. The second, a jamb of a door, typical of Jewish homes, which serves to adhere a box with the mezuzah, a parchment with verses from the Torah. Andreu also discovered a system of closing of the houses that allowed to turn the zone into a watertight compartment and that already existed in Toledo in the zone of the sheds. “There is a medieval document that speaks of the ‘Castle of the Jews.’ We must understand that it was not a castle proper, but a place protected from the rest of the population,” Andreu says. What there are not are documents “with a description of the Jewry or the location of the synagogue”, says the director of the Archive of the Villa of Madrid, Maria del Carmen Cayetano.

 The archaeologist Esther Andreu, before the Cathedral of the Almudena.
The archaeologist Esther Andreu, before the Cathedral of the Almudena. ÁLVARO GARCÍA
Were there Jews before, in the Muslim Magerit? “Without a doubt,” Rafael Gili, a professor at the Center for Documentation for the History of Madrid at the Autonomous University, was recently responding to a lecture on the Hebrew past of medieval Madrid. It seems to prove two documents from before the Christian conquest: a letter in which Simeon Ibn Saul announces to his brother the death of two Jewish friends and a missive sent from Syria to Egypt in which he asks for some known Jew in the city .

The Jews were mainly engaged in trade, finance and crafts. Its stores were located in Christian area. Very few did it to the agricultural activities (generally in the hands of Mudejar), although “some had own vineyards in the suburbs to be able to make kosher wine”, that must be elaborated by Jewish hands, explains Cantera. “There was even a trapper, but also a kind of Jewish elite, who was involved in lending and collecting taxes,” says Tomás Dilal, a doctor in Medieval History for UNED and a reference in the study of the city’s Hebrew past. They did not reach the rank of “neighbors” of the city and depended directly on the King, who protected them.

Baptized or die

All this collapsed in 1391, the year of the anti-Jewish pogrom started in Seville that left slaughters, looting and forced conversions of Jews and arrived in Madrid from the hands of enraged Toledo. They entered the Jewish quarter through the now-defunct Puerta de Valnadú, which the authorities had left open that night, and forced them to choose between being baptized or dying. There are no figures of victims or conversions, but ten years later the nuns of the convent that was erected in the Plaza de Santo Domingo (demolished at the end of the 19th century) complained to the monarch that they could not charge 3,000 maravedis of aljama Called the Jewry their own inhabitants) because the members who were still alive would have been baptized.

It was not quite like this. The Jewish community remained active in the fifteenth century. It dispersed to other places, such as Puerta Cerrada or Puerta del Sol, until in 1481 Jews and Mudejar people were forced to confine themselves in their own neighborhoods. It is estimated that there would then be more than 200 Jews in the city. Ten years later, the Catholic Kings forced them to convert to Catholicism or to leave. Some fled to Portugal, others were baptized, and not a few embraced the Christian faith in public while privately professing their true self. It was the end of the Jewish quarter. That is where the legend of Lavapiés appears. The neighborhood never hosted a Jewry because it was not built before the expulsion of the Jews. Nor is it true that the name of Lavapiés alludes to the ablutions made by the Jews before entering the synagogue in the fountain that occupied the place until the nineteenth century, especially since it is not the Jews, but the Muslims, who make a wash Ritual before entering your place of prayer. The historian Puñal believes that the extended and erroneous attribution of the Jewry to Lavapies comes from the romantic literature of century XIX, that looked for mythical origins to some districts, and the fact that enough of its inhabitants probably descended from converted Jews, as show some Trade union names.

“Cordoba is one of the key points for the israelian tourism” says Yinam Cohen

yinam CohenYinam Cohen is the Minister Counselor and Head of Political Affairs at the Israeli Embassy in Spain. In its department, as number two of the embassy, the meetings of the Israeli delegations of high level are generated, while it deals with the relations with the diplomatic corps accredited in Spain. It is in Cordoba these days on the occasion of the month of Israel in Andalusia and yesterday visited the facilities of CÓRDOBA Journal.

– What activities will develop in this city on the occasion of the month of Israel in Andalusia?

-The visit to Cordoba is part of a rather large project that we are doing the Israeli embassy in several cities of Andalusia: Almeria, Cordoba, Jaen, Seville and Granada. And the purpose is to approach the Israeli embassy to the Andalusians. In Córdoba we are celebrating a very interesting culinary encounter between one of our most famous chef, Victor Gloger, and one of the most famous Spanish and Cordovan chefs, Paco Morales, from the Noor restaurant, with a dialogue about Israeli and Spanish cuisine, Israeli has a very interesting heritage and convergence with the Spanish. And also in Cordoba I will give today a conference on Israel in the Middle East and some political meetings.

– What is intended with this cultural initiative?

-Andalusia is the most populated region or community in Spain and the most important, which has a very important political, economic and cultural importance in the country. Jewish history in Spain happened here in Andalusia. Much of our Israeli culture comes from the Sephardim, who have developed in Andalusia. Here in Cordoba we have the Synagogue, born Maimonides, one of the most important thinkers in Jewish history … We feel that we have many ties, that the Jewish people has a lot of history in Cordoba and Andalusia and now we want to develop the present and the future .

-How is the relationship of Israel with Cordoba, a city that cares and reforms its Synagogue and has a Judería that is World Heritage?

-Córdoba is today one of the key points in Israeli tourism in Spain, but I think it can reach a high point. The Israelis find in Spain one of the most interesting destinations in the world. Each year around 350,000 Israelis arrive in Spain, a figure that in Spanish and Andalusian terms is perhaps not so much because there is a lot of tourism, but for a country as small as Israel means a lot. It means that one in 20 Israelis normally arrive in Spain. They come for football, for the beaches, but most of all for the culture and for the history and the Jewish heritage. And which city more reflects the history and the Jewish heritage in Spain? Cordova. And that is why we want to establish and expand our ties and it is the work we are doing here.

“What do you think the Synagogue is going to have a visitor center?”

-I’m going to meet her and we think this project is very important. The Jewish people have a lot of history in Spain. And now many Israelis and Jews in the world are returning to their Sephardic roots, to the culture of the Ladino, the Jewish-Spanish language, which has had so much literary wealth. And by the way we are very grateful to the Government of Spain for having approved a law of Sephardic that allows the descendants of these to acquire their Spanish citizenship again.

-After 31 years, how are the bilateral relations Spain-Israel?

– Now that there is political stability in Spain allows us to work with much more energy. Spain is one of the 5 largest countries in the EU, it is the fourth economy within the Union, and for Israel it is a very important point of focus. And now there is a boom in contacts between the two governments. Next week we will have a very important parliamentary delegation, headed by the President of Amistad in our Parliament, who will come to know Congress and the Senate. And in the second half of the year, our President, Reuven Rivlin, who has been invited by His Majesty the King to visit him, wants to give a new approach to the history that unites us.

– He’s in charge of political affairs at the Israeli embassy, what’s troubling him at the moment?

-More than all we work in a positive agenda, in the bonds between the governments and there are many exchanges in subjects of immigration; We have a small economy but in technological matters we are in the international vanguard and the theme of innovation is of great interest to the Spanish Government. Also in cybersecurity, which is a growing threat and Israel and Spain can cooperate. In addition, next week the group Amistad Spain-Israel will be launched with Spanish deputies. However, there are some sectors in society and in Spanish politics that instead of discussing seek discriminatory cases and try to promote the boycott against Israel. But we are very happy that this is not common between the parties and the Spanish people and are quite marginal sectors.

-How does Israel live beyond the negative news that come to us?

-Israel is in the middle of the most turbulent place in the world right now, in the Middle East, with Syria in the North and Islamic states around. But Israel is at the same time the largest development and technological research center in the world outside of Silicon Valley in the United States. There are 300 multinationals of the largest in the world that have opened their centers of development and research in Israel by the human talent and academic level. We live in a very pluralistic and open society and we keep trying to reach peace and tranquility.

-With Trump’s arrival in the US government, how does it affect the peace process with the Palestinians?

“Direct negotiation between Israel and Palestine has been frozen for three years. And we need to talk to come to an agreement. Last week, Trump’s special envoy was in Israel for the Middle East peace process. President Trump can give a new impetus, perhaps a little different and fresh to what we have had in recent years. And it would be good if both Netanyahu and Abbas, who have been satisfied with this first visit, can start again direct negotiation and have the support of the new Administration in Washington. Today’s Middle East is not the one we’ve always known, not 5 years ago. It has changed by the rise of jihadism and the Islamic State and now there is an understanding by a common enemy. We do not have official diplomatic relations with these countries but there are already contacts of low profile, because the common things are more than the political differences. I am the father of three children and the only thing that worries me as a diplomat and father is that my children and the children of Palestinians and Israelis have a future of peace. We have to dialogue and make the concessions we have to make to reach a peace agreement. And now it is more possible than before.

“Politics has come to football and threatens to cloud the Spain-Israel party in Gijón.

– What worries us most about this match is the Spanish team, which is very good (laughs) and I think it’s going to be a very big challenge for our team. Sport is a sport and in politics we are open to any kind of dialogue with which we want to dialogue but not with whoever wants to boycott or deny Israel’s right to exist.

 

Kosher: a turistical target for Cordoba(Spain)

Resultado de imagen de kosher

http://sevilla.abc.es/andalucia/cordoba/sevi-objetivo-turistico-cordoba-mercados-no-prioritarios-201703010813_noticia.html

In the United Kingdom, Germany and France already have Cordoba in the spotlight. It is the international markets that the latest strategic plan developed by the Tourism Consortium identifies as “priority” in tourism. They also coincide with the countries of origin of the majority of foreign tourists who visit the city. However, although the objective of identifying them is to avoid dispersion of efforts in countries that may not be profitable, the Tourism Consortium “forgets” them in the sectoral action plans described in the document. And it disperses. Specifically, towards the East.

Presence in International Fairs
An extensive marketing plan, presence in international fairs and public-private promotion campaigns based on the “winning letters” of Cordoba – heritage and gastronomy – make up the general plan of action of the Tourism entity, which is combined with a strategy of recruitment Of emerging markets. In order to influence internationalization, the report proposes a firm commitment to the halal and kosher markets, both Muslim and Jewish, respectively, with direct promotion actions in countries of Southeast Asia, the Middle East or Israel. Among the reasons that justify it is the high expenditure made by these tourists, with a higher purchasing power than other international markets.

Curiously, neither the Arab Emirates nor the Asian continent are in the top positions of the ranking of priority markets established by the Tourism Consortium. Only Japan is in ninth position as a market classified as “relevant” for Cordoba. At the head is the West – Europe and the United States – while the Eastern countries do not even appear on the list of interest. However, the commitment of the Tourism Consortium to make Cordoba a “hook” for Muslim or Jewish visitors is out of the strictly territorial. According to the report, two of the countries with the highest demand for kosher-certified products – which respect the ritual prescriptions of Judaism – are precisely France and the United Kingdom.

Visitors from Southeast Asia
More complicated is the halal tourism lace, in which Cordoba also competes with other Andalusian capitals such as Seville or Granada that have also bet heavily on an offer compatible with Muslim rites as a bonus to increase their visits. In addition to Muslim tourists from Western countries, the body of the City Council of Cordoba seeks to attract visitors from Southeast Asia, the Middle East and countries of the Mediterranean as Turkey, Morocco and Algeria. To do this, it designs trade missions in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta and joint actions with institutions such as the Halal Institute or Casa Árabe.