Snippet: Manuel Forcano’s “Catalan Jews”

Manuel Forcano (Barcelona, 1968; philologist, poet, translator), Els jueus catalans. La història que mai no t’han explicat. [The Catalan Jews: the history they never told you], 384 pages.

The publisher’s summary:

This book gives an overview of the history of Jews in Catalonia, from the first mentioning to the current Jewish communities. When they arrived, where they settled, how they lived, who persecuted them and for which reasons, how they survived the attacks, where and how they prayed, how they organized themselves, which figures led them, what of them has survived, what they wrote and if they did so in Hebrew or Catalan – these are some of the questions that the book answers in an informative and entertaining way. During their century-long presence in Catalonia, from the Jewish communities arose geographers, grammaticians, physicians, poets, philosophers, theologians and kabbalists of enormous prestige, even today venerated in the Jewish world, but unfortunately hardly known in Catalonia.

• In the tenth century a jew from Tortosa wrote the first Hebrew dictionary.

• What is today’s Plaça de Catalunya [main square] in Barcelona was in the 12th century property of a jew.

• One of the first Catalan mayors of Lleida was a jew and held the post for 18 years.

• Up to the 13th century the city of Girona was called «Mare d’Israel» [Mother of Israel].

• In the Jewish quarters of Barcelona and Girona there existed two schools of Kabbalah that had great influence in the Jewish world.

• The first modern Jewish community of the Spanish state after 1492 was that of Barcelona.

A book to discover the importance and force of the Jewish legacy in Catalonia in history and until today.

The author (incomplete English bio) will present his book in a local public library tonight – that is how this blogger learnt about it …

SOURCE: Angle Editorial

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