Saturday, March 09, 2013

Jewish Homecoming

 A boy during a ceremony in Palma de Mallorca's synagogue

Before the Spanish Inquisition, the persecution of Jews by the Roman Catholic church, Spain there were periods of religious tolerance with Jews, Christians and Moslems co-existing. Some of the great Jewish thinkers of an earlier era, including Maimonides,  were Spanish. Pre-inquisition there were about 300,000 Jews in Spain but five hundreds years after the majority fled there are forty to fifty thousand. That number could swell dramatically. According to BBC News:

In November, Spain's justice minister Alberto Ruiz-Gallardon announced a plan to give descendants of Spain's original Jewish community - known as Sephardic Jews - a fast-track to a Spanish passport and Spanish citizenship. "In the long journey Spain has undertaken to rediscover a part of itself, few occasions are as moving as today," he said. Anyone who could prove their Spanish Jewish origins, he said, would be given Spanish nationality.
What do you think of an initiative such as this one? Does it make sense centuries after the fact. What about apologies to groups of people such as the ones issued to those of Chinese and Japanese origin, or First Nations people in Canada?
Are church apologies worth anything?


Judy said...

Apologies, if sincerely given, are always valuable, even if just to make the one apologising aware that such was needed....that we did, in fact, err against another.

David Mundy said...

Well said.