Foundations of Sephardic Spirituality: The Inner Life of Jews of the Ottoman Empire [NOOK Book]

Overview

Who were the Sephardic Jews of the Ottoman Empire?
What lasting lessons does their spiritual life provide for future generations?

“How did the Judeo-Spanish-speaking Jews of the Ottoman Empire manage to achieve spiritual triumph? To answer this question, we need to have a firm understanding of their historical experience…. We need to be aware of the dark, unpleasant elements in their environments; but we also need to see the spiritual, cultural...

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Foundations of Sephardic Spirituality: The Inner Life of Jews of the Ottoman Empire

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Overview

Who were the Sephardic Jews of the Ottoman Empire?
What lasting lessons does their spiritual life provide for future generations?

“How did the Judeo-Spanish-speaking Jews of the Ottoman Empire manage to achieve spiritual triumph? To answer this question, we need to have a firm understanding of their historical experience…. We need to be aware of the dark, unpleasant elements in their environments; but we also need to see the spiritual, cultural light in their dwellings that imbued their lives with meaning and honor.”
—from Chapter 1, “The Inner Life of the Sephardim”

In this groundbreaking work, Rabbi Marc Angel explores the teachings, values, attitudes, and cultural patterns that characterized Judeo-Spanish life over the generations and how the Sephardim maintained a strong sense of pride and dignity, even when they lived in difficult political, economic, and social conditions. Along with presenting the historical framework and folklore of Jewish life in the Ottoman Empire, Rabbi Angel focuses on what you can learn from the Sephardic sages and from their folk wisdom that can help you live a stronger, deeper spiritual life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Despite the esoteric title, this exploration of Judeo-Spanish communities is more than a scholarly treatise. Angel, rabbi of Shearith Israel, the Spanish-Portuguese synagogue in New York, grew up in Seattle with Turkish-born grandparents who spoke Ladino (a form of medieval Spanish). He documents the historical foundations, cultural values and religious underpinnings of his own Sephardic roots. In the early 20th century, the Ottoman Empire was home to more than 400,000 Jews, making it the fifth-largest Jewish community in the world. Because these Sephardim felt little need to integrate into the larger culture, they maintained a language that dated back to the expulsion from Spain in 1492. They suffered abject poverty, discrimination, humiliation and political weakness. However, because of both internal attitudes and external factors, their self-perception was bolstered with faith in God, a belief in their own rich heritage and in their place in the world to come. Angel sprinkles his readable narratives with scholarly citations as well as superstitions, rituals, Ladino folklore, songs and sayings. This valuable historic journey demonstrates the "triumph of the human spirit," resolute in its optimism and dignity. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781580235167
  • Publisher: Longhill Partners
  • Publication date: 9/26/2011
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 1
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Rabbi Marc D. Angel, PhD, is founder and director of the Institute for Jewish Ideas and Ideals (www.jewishideas.org). Rabbi emeritus of Congregation Shearith Israel of New York City, he is author and editor of twenty-nine books, including Maimonides, Spinoza and Us: Toward an Intellectually Vibrant Judaism; Foundations of Sephardic Spirituality: The Inner Life of Jews of the Ottoman Empire (both finalists for the National Jewish Book Award); and Maimonides—Essential Teachings on Jewish Faith and Ethics: The Book of Knowledge and the Thirteen Principles of Faith—Annotated and Explained (all Jewish Lights).

Rabbi Marc D. Angel, PhD, is available to speak on the following topics:

  • Maimonides, Spinoza and Us: Confronting Basic Issues of Faith
  • The Orthodox and Non-Orthodox Jewish Communities: Can We Learn from Each Other?
  • Conversion to Judaism: What the Jewish Community Can Learn from Converts
  • Choosing to Be Jewish: The Orthodox Road to Conversion
  • Losing the Rat Race, Winning at Life: Ethics for Moderns
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix 1 The Inner Life of the Sephardim 1 2 Iberian Roots 19 3 The Ottoman Milieu 37 4 Religious Foundations 47 5 Turning Points 59 6 Midrashic/Kabbalistic Judaism 75 7 The Religious/Social Structure of Life 93 8 Ladino Folklore 119 9 Confronting Modernity 147 10 Lasting Lessons 167 Notes 177 Selected Bibliography 191 Index 197

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