And 600 years later

Posted by Tory Historian Friday, July 15, 2011

Tory Historian is always keen on news stories that have an important historical content (and not just the usual complaint of politicians never change). Here is a fascinating story from the Guardian.

Almost six centuries after most of them converted to Christianity, a rabbinical court has declared that descendants of a "lost tribe" from the Spanish island of Mallorca can once more be considered Jews.

A decision by the ultra-orthodox rabbi Nissim Karelitz recognises that the Chuetas of Mallorca, who were persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition and remained a distinct group within Mallorcan society until the 1970s, had the right to call themselves Jews.
It seems that some of the Chuetas continued to be observant Jews at great personal risk to themselves. But the real reason why they have been recognized appears to be genetic - they mostly married within their community throughout all these centuries.


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