My Roots in Sepharad
The roots of my family are nourished in Sepharad, the Spain of the Jews. That Spain where coexisted during many centuries Christians, Muslims and Jews in a same land. A land that they all loved and
from where Moors and Jews were expelled.
The Argentine Republic, by the end of XIX century and the
beginning of the XX, had a great affluence of immigrants.
The foreigners were an important part of our
Most of them were Spanish and Italian, but also came
Germans, French, English; some were of Catholic Christian religion
others, Protestant. With them also arrived Jewish from Eastern
Europe and from the basin of the Mediterranean Sea.
The last ones came from Algiers or Alepo, Rhodes or
Today, immigration from Europe to Argentina is not many,
but is important the immigration that arrives from the neighbour countries:
Chile, Uruguay, Bolivia, Peru and Paraguay.
Returning to my roots, I mean that my grandparents were
immigrants who arrived from the island of Rhodes, in the Mediterranean Sea.
The island today belongs to Greece, but when they left, was part of the
Then I wanted to study the origin of these Jews, and I learned that they lived during many centuries in cities of Spain: Cordoba, Granada, Seville, Toledo, Caltayud, Hervas, Barcelona and many others. The name they called Spain was Sepharad. They were expelled from Sepharad in the year 1492, by Kings Fernando and Isabel, the Catholic Kings.
After a peregrination by several countries, finally they
settled down in the Turkish Empire, favored by sultans, and lived
during four hundred years in cities like Esmirna, Istambul, Alepo, or
They are the Jews called Sephardic Jews.
They continued speaking the Spanish, as was spoken in 1492, with
old expressions of the language and a pronunciation that today sounds
strange to us. They called their language "ladino". That was the language that I listened during my childhood in the house of my grandparents, who arrived to Argentina from Rhodes in search of work and freedom.
All this took to me to write a novel that I called
Sepharad, about the expulsion of the Jews forom Spain.
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