Tuesday, 22 November 2011

English report of the Expulsion from Spain, 1689

The English is a bit tortuous, but I think historians tend to accept that Jews went to Italy before settling in Islamic territories. I suppose, if nothing else, there wouldn't have been transport from Spain to their mortal enemies.
It is a matter of little moment to know whether the Jews that departed from Spain and Portugal retired amongst the Moors or elsewhere, since it is without doubt, that there are at this day Jews of the Spanish Rite in the Levant, who beside that of the Places where they reside, have still preserved their ancient Spanish Tongue. This is the ground of the present Dispute: and by this it is made appear, that it is not impossible that the Jews should retain their ancient Language where there is another that is vulgarly spoken. We see moreover, that the Portugal Jews of the Spanish Rite, who are settled at Amsterdam, do keep the Portugal, with the Language of the Country; and that their Rabbins do also preach in Portugaise in their Synagogue.

Furthermore, it is not true that all the Jews that were driven out of Spain and Portugal took refuge among the Moors: there were many that withdrew themselves into Italy, from whence some passed afterwards into the Levant. However it were, it is certain that there is at this day, in the Turkish Territories, a considerable number of Jews, who follow the Spanish Rite; and besides that of the Places where they remain, do speak their ancient Spanish Language. I believe also, that a Party of these Jews was in those Countries before those of their Nation were expelled out of Spain and Portugal.

Richard Simon (oratorien). Critical History of the Versions of the New Testament. 1689.

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