Marc Saperstein kleiner

 

 

 

 

Rabbijn prof. Marc Saperstein is sinds 1 juli 2006 de Principal van het Leo Baeck College te Londen, het oudste en voornaamste opleidingsinstituut in Europa voor rabbijnen en joodse onderwijsdeskundigen. 

 

Daarvoor had hij belangrijke posities als professor van Joodse Geschiedenis en Director of Jewish Studies aan de George Washington University in Washington D.C. (1997-2006), aan de Washington University in St. Louis (1986-1997) en als Associate Professor of Jewish Studies aan de Harvard Divinity School (1977-1986). Hij heeft veel gepubliceerd op dit gebied en is misschien wel de grootste deskundige op het gebied van de Geschiedenis van Joodse Prediking (derasjot). Twee van zijn eerdere boeken, Jewish Preaching, 1200-1800 (Yale University Press, 1992) en "Your Voice Like a Ram's Horn" (Hebrew Union College Press, 1996), hebben nationale joodse boekenprijzen gewonnen.  
Voor zijn volledige CV, klik hier.

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       Exile in Amsterdam:
   Saul Levi Morteira's Sermons
To A Congregation of "New Jews"
(Monographs of the Hebrew Union College 2005)

Het boek is gebaseerd op een rijke en tot voor kort ongebruikte bron met materiaal over Amsterdam in de 17e eeuw. Saul Levi Morteira (ca. 1596-1660) was de leidende rabbijn in de gemeenschap en stond bekend als een meester prediker. Men kende een verzameling van 50 toespraken, uitgegeven in 1645. Een aantal jaren geleden werd een verdere verzameling van 550 derasjot gevonden in het Rabbijnenseminarium in Budapest. Prof. Saperstein heeft een alomvattende analyse van deze teksten en hun historische betekenis geschreven.
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Voor de volledige tekst van de lezing als een PDF-file, klik hier.

SPINOZA’S RABBI
 
In the last years of the sixteenth century, following the successful revolt that freed the northern provinces of the Netherlands from Spanish Hapsburg rule, a new destination became possible for Portuguese “New Christians” seeking to escape the clutches of the Inquisition. By the year 1600, a small group of Portuguese New Christian emigrants were living openly as Jews in the burgeoning commercial and cultural center in Amsterdam: worshipping together, acquiring a cemetery, providing for properly slaughtered meat. The first two generations of the Portuguese community were composed almost entirely of immigrants with this common background.
 
Their ancestors had converted in Portugal during the universally forced conversion of 1497, more than 100 years before. They had not fully integrated into Portuguese Christian society but were considered by most of their Portuguese neighbors to be in a separate category because of their Jewish “blood.” Some of them had indeed run into serious problems with the Inquisition, accused of “Judaizing”: observing a Jewish practice or professing a Jewish belief, which was according to the law of the Church permitted for Jews, but heretical for Christians. Many had fine general educations from Portuguese universities; they were successful international merchants, or highly respected physicians. They had the psychological mobility to decide to pull up their stakes and leave behind the familiar environment of the Iberian peninsula for a totally different environment. They had made a decision to live as Jews, leading them to opt for a Jewish community, rather than Antwerp or Bordeaux, where emigrants from Portugal lived nominally as Christians without an Inquisition to investigate. But they knew very little about what this actually meant. There may have been some underground programs of rudimentary Jewish education that survived through the sixteenth century despite the Inquisitional surveillance. They knew that Jews accepted only the Old Testament, not the New Testament. But their knowledge of the rich post-Biblical Jewish tradition was extremely limited. Now, in Amsterdam, they were building a Jewish community virtually ex nihilo. How were they to learn what it meant to live as a Jew?

Voor de volledige tekst van de lezing als een PDF-file, klik hier.