Factors that Contributed to the Decline of Spanish-Jewish Culture Essay

Factors that Contributed to the Decline of Spanish-Jewish Culture Essay

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A combination of factors contributed to the decline of Spanish-Jewish culture. Many of the sophisticated peoples of the Jewish community had already begun to doubt there Judaistic faith simply by adopting intellectually philosophical beliefs that had discredited their religion. As it was said in this article, “Those who read a few columns in a book of Greek philosophy will soon tear to shreds the scroll of the Torah.” (Alami, pg. 117) Although ancient philosophy was a contributor to the decline of Judaism, it was not as common as others which had appealed to the general masses.
Another reason for the cause of a decline in Judaism culture is because the majority of the people in Spain we’re Christians, and they were extremely intolerant of the Jewish peoples. Frequent riots had occurred throughout the country for the purposes of targeting, killing or forcibly converting individuals under the Jewish faith. The environment of Spain for the Jewish people was certainly not a safe one. To avoid the violent acts of the Christian citizens of the country, many Jewish peoples converted to Christianity for the protection it had provided.
Not only did the citizens of Spain suppress people of the Jewish faith, the authorities of Spain probably had the biggest impact in the decline of the Jewish culture. In particular, a man named Vincent Ferrer was a leader in the Spanish community in forcing the conversion of Jews to Christianity. He was known to be responsible for the creation of the Laws of Valladolid, which was a set of laws created to significantly suppress the people of the Jewish faith. This had caused many of the Jews to lose their homes, careers and cause them to pay much higher taxes than Christians and had caused either the deat...


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...ntil they confessed others who practiced Judaism and were then given a severely torturous sentence, or were put to death. Although the violent mobs and the severe suppression were very hard for the Spanish Jews, the Spanish Inquisition was certainly the causative factor in the expulsion of Jews in Spain.
The worst violent act in the Spanish Inquisition is not the many mechanisms used to torture the innocents as bad as that is. But it is that during an execution, thousands of Christian peasants of the city and countryside gathered together to celebrate and make the death of innocent people a spectacle. The fact that thousands of people enjoyed and approved of the deaths of people just because they practice a different religion is more gut wrenching than any torture device that could be manifested because it shows how dark the mass of humanity can be if we allow it.

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