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A Sephardi Bible June 25, 2016

Posted by anagasto in art, history, Spain.
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Many hundred years ago, a Catholic prelate asked a Rabbi to translate the Old Testament into Spanish. His name was Don Luís de Guzman. The Rabbi’s name was Moshe Aragel de Guadalajara.

Luís de Guzman  thought that if there were an official translation of the Old Testament, Jews and Catholics would get along better and could talk about their differences.

The Rabbi translated the text.

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Liria Palace, Madrid, Spain : the photo by Luis García (Zaqarbal) is under the CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Palacio_de_Liria_%28Madrid%29_02.jpg

The translation is known as The Alba Bible because it has been preserved by the Duque of Alba’s descendants at  the Liria Palace in Madrid. —

Facsimile copies sell for around US$ 44.ooo,- .

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Photo by the Stockhom National Museum of Alba Bible illuminated manuscript.

The Rabbi’s translation was published with drawings made by the Franciscans of Toledo.

The comments are by both Jewish and Christian theologians, including Abraham ibn Ezra and Maimonides.

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The synagogue called El Tránsito in Toledo, Spain
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Sephardi

The term  means Spanish. It comes from Sepharad, a disputed Biblical location that was later identified  as the Iberian Peninsula and still means “Spain” in modern Hebrew (according to Wikipedia at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sephardi_Jews)

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Sephardi Spanish

The  language that was spoken at that time is somewhat different from modern Spanish and is called Sephardi,  but remains fully intelligible to modern Spanish readers. And it is still spoken among Jews of Sephardi origin in Israel and elsewhere.  Below are a few lines and a picture taken from a contemporary Sephardi publication

http://www.aki-yerushalayim.co.il/ay/078/078_03_bibliadelalba.htm

La Biblia de Alba fue eskrita por el rabino Moshe Aragel de Guadalajara, a la demanda del Gran Maestro de la Orden de Calatrava, Don Luis de Guzman.

Segun los istoriadores la razon de esta inisiativa, del shefe de una orden de karakter relijiozo katoliko era de tener un teksto ofisial del Viejo Testamento, ke pueda ser una baza, sino de entendimiento a lo menos de diskusiones kalmas i serenas entre djudios i kristianos i ke ayude a los djudios a konvertirsen al kristianizmo.

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Cain sees that Abel’s offering gets a better reception. God appears to warn him against envy. Out in the woods Cain attacks Abel and kills him.
Génesis 4
Caín y Abel http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+4&version=RVR1995

The top miniature with the birds and rabbits is from the  Rothschild Haggadah.which is being re-edited and for sale.

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A little more history

1422

The Head of the order of Calatrava asks the Rabbi to compose vna biblia en rromançe, glosada e ystoriada, a Bible in  Romance Spanish with explanations and historical references.

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1492

The  Alhambra Decree  mandates the expulsion of all Jews from Spain, and the translation gets lost.

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Waves of Sephardi migration after the expulsion of 1492.
(From the Encyclopedia Judaica, based in turn on a map drawn by H. Bainart.)according to http://www.sephardicmusic.org/

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1622

The Bible turns up at the Liria Palace in Madrid

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1992

To commemorate the 500th anniversary of the expulsion,  500 copies in exact facsimile edition are published and one is given to Juan Carlos I of Spain.

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Comments»

1. Carl D'Agostinoc - March 3, 2012

Great History lesson. When Spain kicked out the Jews in 1492 it set itself back 100 years intellectually and economically.

2. cantueso - March 9, 2012

Yes. At the time and far into the 20th century Jews were the only people who were nearly all of them literate. That is not my own idea. I got it last week from a page about — the silk route! Picture that! How would you sell silk to the guy at the other end of the continent if you could not write? And the same about old Spain.


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