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October 12, 1990 - Image 155

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1990-10-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

at°
1- ttoil 1,01s Clues To Sephardic Genealogy

and the waters subsided. And the
ark came to rest on the mountains
of Ararat.
NOAH: Open the window.
Good. Now gimmee the bird. No,
not the ostrich. The raven. Okay,
little birdy. Go see if there's dry land
out there.
RAVEN: Great. I can hardly wait
to get out of here. Wow! Water,
water, everywhere, but I'm not going
back to that ark.
NARRATOR: Then Noah sent
the dove. But the dove returned. He
waited another seven days and sent
the dove forth again.
DOVE: What a bully. The
elephants weren't doing anything.
Does he send them? No. But me he
sends twice. Hey, what have we
here? A branch. Boy, will Noah be
surprised.
NARRATOR: And the dove
returned with an olive branch. Noah
waited seven more days and sent
the dove forth again.
DOVE: This is ridiculous. Three
times. I'm not coming back. I'm
heading for Palm Springs. So long,
fellas.
NARRATOR: And the dove
returned no more and Noah
removed the covering of the ark and
he saw that the ground was drying.
GOD: Come out, Noah. The
weather is beautiful.
NOAH: It's over.
GOD: That's right. But I hate to
see this month's water bill.
NOAH: I've been thinking. Here
I am — little ole Noah — starting
the whole world over again.
Suppose we get off track in the
future — are you going to zap us
again?
GOD: No, I promise not to flood
the entire earth again. I'll create a
covenant between you and Me. This
shall be a sign of our agreement
forever.
NOAH: A second moon? How
nice.
GOD: Dull. It needs some color.
Let's try a rainbow. There. One
rainbow. It's beautiful. Sometimes
amaze even Myself.

As the Spanish government
plans its commemoration events for
1992 marking the anniversary of
Columbus' discovery of America
and the expulsion of the Jews, there
is revitalized interest in family
history dating back to Spain. The
search is not limited to the
Sephardic community since many
Ashkenazi Jews have heard family
stories about an ancestor who lived
in Spain before the Inquisition.
Sephardic genealogy can be
done in two phases. The first step is
finding links from the present and
tracing back as many generations
as possible, through documentation
from available records.
The second phase is more
difficult as it involves tracing links to
families who lived in Spain or
Portugal before the expulsion. If the
search leads to a Marrano family,
the problem is to find the assumed
name of the crypto-Jews and the
Jewish family name before
conversion.
The place to start is with A

Reprinted with permission from
Sedra Scenes by J. Beirer,
Alternatives in Religious Education.

Hispania Judaica series beginning
with Vol. I: History of the Jews in
Aragon: Regesta and Documents
(1213-1327) by Jean Regne. As an
example of how valuable these
translated documents are to the
family historian, one can turn to the
family of Dr. Daniel J. Elazar,
president of the Jerusalem Center
for Public Affairs and a prolific
author on Sephardic subjects in his
own right whose family dates back
to 1906 in Saragossa, Spain.

According to Mr. Beinart,
extensive reference material on
Spanish Jewry can be found in the
following repositories:
Library of Congress,
Washington, D.C.; Arias Montano
Institute, Madrid; Archivo General
de Simancas, Simancas; Hebrew
University, Jerusalem; Archivo
Historico Nacional, Madrid;
Bibliotheca Rosenthaliana at
University of Amsterdam and the
Municipal Archives, Amsterdam.

Miriam Weiner specializes in Jewish
genealogy and Holocaust research.

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NARRATOR: And the rainbow
became an everlasting covenant
between people and God. And
Noah's sons spread throughout the
world and seventy nations grew out
of them. And everyone started
begetting everyone. And everyone
spoke the same language.

History of the Jews in Christian
Spain (2 vols.) by Prof. Yitzhak
Baer, who is considered a pioneer
in this field based upon his
research in the archives of Spain in
Barcelona, Seville and Toledo. Mr.
Baer's star pupil and successor to
take up his work is Prof. Haim
Beinart.
Mr. Beinart, whose roots are in
Pskov, Russia where he was born in
1917, is the third generation of
historians, following in the footsteps
of Mr. Baer, his teacher and mentor.
In 1963, Mr. Beinart spent a
sabbatical year in Spain working in
the archives of Simancas, near
Valadolid. The archives are housed
in a castle containing 46 million
documents including records of the
Habsburg family from the 15th
century through the end of their
dynasty in 1709. Mr. Beinart
collected materials of the inquisition
period including documents which
contained many genealogies dating
back at least three generations
including aunts, uncles and cousins.
To date, Mr. Beinart has written
and/or edited a multi-volume

By MIRIAM WEINER

116

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THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

L-7

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