The Spanish Dream
We are now going to take a look at the Spanish Dream and let'ssee where that takes us.7th centuryBirth of Islam, which, although among largely pagan Arabs, is influenced by Judaism and Christianity.The 8th century700 1250Period of the Gaonim (the Gaonic era). Jews in southern Europe and Asia Minor lived under the often intolerant rule of Christian Kings and clerics. Most Jews lived in the Muslim Arab realm (Andalusia, North Africa, Palestine, Iraq and Yemen). Despite sporadic periods of persecution, Jewish communal and cultural life flowered in this period. The universally recognized centers of Jewish life were in Jerusalem and Tiberias (Syria), Sura and Pumbeditha (Iraq). The heads of these law schools were the Gaonim, who were consulted on matters of law by Jews throughout the world.711Muslim armies invade and occupy most of Spain (At this time Jews made up about 8% of Spain's population). Under Christian rule, Jews had been subject to frequent and intense persecution, but this was alleviated under Muslim rule. Some mark this as the beginning of the Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain.Spain and the golden age. How beautiful it sounds. Let's see how this turns out for them and the other comfortable Jews around the area. Nothing more beautiful than the Spanish Dream right?The 10th century900 1090The Golden age of Jewish culture in Spain. Abd-ar-Rahman III becomes Caliph of Spain in912, ushering in the height of tolerance. Muslims granted Jews and Christians exemptions from military service, the right to their own courts of law, and a guarantee of safety of their property. Jewish poets, scholars, scientists, statesmen and philosophers flourished in and were an integral part of the extensive Arab civilization. This ended with the invasion of Almoravides in 1090.Uh oh looks like a little trouble here. Are we getting too comfortable?1095 1291Christian Crusades begin, sparking warfare with Islam in Palestine. Crusaders temporarily capture Jerusalem in 1099. Tens of thousands of Jews are killed by European crusaders throughout Europe and in the Middle East.1107Moroccan Almoravid ruler Yoseph Ibn Tashfin expels Moroccan Jews who do not convert.Well there goes the Moroccan Jews.1290Jews are expelled from England by Edward I by the Statute of Jewry.Hmm no more tea in England1306 1394Jews are repeatedly expelled from France and readmitted, for a price.No more croissants1343Persecuted in Western Europe, Jews are invited to Poland by Casimir the Great.Welcome to Poland!!1492Approximately 200,000 Jews are expelled from Spain, in 1496 from Portugal and from many German cities. The expelled Jews relocate to the Netherlands, Turkey, Arab lands, and Judea; some eventually go to South and Central America. However, most emigrate to Poland. In later centuries, more than 50% of Jewish world population lived in Poland.1493Jews expelled from Sicily. As many as 137,000 exiled.So much for the Golden Age huh? So much for the Spanish dream. Did we get comfortasble here? Did we desire the lifestyle of the Spaniards? Did we get too comfortable and begin to forget Hashem again?Ask yourself why do these things continually happen to us? Why do we get comfortable adn forget who we are and why we are here?