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To the End of the Earth : A History of the Crypto-Jews of New Mexico
While working as New Mexico State Historian, Stanley Hordes started to receive visits from local Hispanics, who furtively told him about friends and neighbors who performed such customs as lighting candles on Friday night and abstaining from eating pork. Puzzling over the matter, Hordes realized that these practices might very well have been passed down from early crypto-Jewish settlers. Hordes brilliantly narrates and analyzes the story of crypto-Jews from their Jewish origins in medieval Spain and Portugal, through their forced conversion in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, to their efforts to escape Inquisitorial persecution by migrating to the New World and, ultimately, to the far reaches of the northern Mexican frontier. Full of rich detail about the lives of crypto-Jews, this book explores the tenuous preservation of Jewish rituals and traditions in Mexico and New Mexico over the past five hundred years. It concludes with a discussion of the reemergence of crypto-Jewish culture in the latter part of the twentieth century and the reclamation of Jewish ancestry within the Jewish and Latino communities.
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Columbia University Press
September 04, 2005
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