A History of the Jews in New Mexico by Henry J. Tobias

By Henry J. Tobias

During this first background of the Jews in New Mexico--from the colonial interval to the current day--the writer consistently ties the Jewish adventure to the evolution of the societies within which they lived and labored. The e-book starts with one of many least recognized yet such a lot attention-grabbing elements of latest Mexico Jewry--the crypto-Jews who got here north to flee the Mexican Inquisition. within the 19th and 20th centuries, the tale is extra well-known: German retailers settling in Las Vegas and Santa Fe after which coming to Albuquerque after the railroad arrived. to those bills the writer provides massive nuance and element, rather at the position of Jews in smaller groups similar to Roswell and Las Cruces in addition to their social existence and spiritual perform in a frontier sector. The dialogue of the 20th century concentration fairly at the dynamics of Jewish improvement, and the ways that that procedure differed in New Mexico.

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Extra resources for A History of the Jews in New Mexico

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23 The teachers and leaders of the crypto-Jews, described as rabbis, had "amazingly scant" knowledge even of crypto-Judaism. "24 If Jewish practices in Iberia had suffered from a decline in traditional Jewish learning and from Catholic influence, then the impact upon a much smaller and more isolated population over a long period of time in Mexico would appear even more devastating. Scholars do not all agree, however, on the information and conclusions offered by Cohen. Seymour Liebman places considerable weight on the devout adherence to Jewish practices, despite their forced conversion, of Portuguese Judaizers who came to New Spain in some numbers in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries.

48 At this point, one may at least suspect that the border could be breached. Such evidence alone cannot erase the heavily skeptical outlook of traditional historiography toward a Hispanic-Jewish presence in New Mexico. However, as suggested at the outset, a growing body of evidence which has been accumulating during the last fifteen years or so points to the existence of Hispanos holding to traditional Jewish or hybrid Judeo-Catholic customs, familial consciousness of a Jewish past as well as a continuing existence, and a growing willingness and awareness on the part of some to bring these matters into the open.

At first the spectrum of color in the semiarid region appears limited to an infinite blue sky, a foreground of earth-tone hues, and masses of blue shades in distant mountains. After a time the travelers begin to discern nuances previously undetected. Some may find this new subtle diversity fascinating, almost haunting. I experienced this phenomenon in my early days in New Mexico. I use this metaphor of color to make a statement about ethnicity in New Mexico. Social descriptions of the area are often made along bold tripartite cultural lines: Indian, Hispano, Anglo.

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