South of Sepharad: The 1492 Jewish Expulsion from Spain by Eric Z Weintraub

South of Sepharad: The 1492 Jewish Expulsion from Spain by Eric Z Weintraub

Fleeing death by the Spanish Inquisition, a Jewish doctor makes an impossible choice between home and faith, then struggles to lead his family on a journey for a new life.

GRANADA, SPAIN, 1492. Vidal ha-Rofeh is a Jewish physician devoted to his faith, his family, and his patients. When Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand conquer Granada they sign the Alhambra Decree, an edict ordering all Jews convert to Catholicism or depart Spain in three months’ time under penalty of death.

Against his wife’s belief that converting is safer than exile, Vidal insists they flee. Unwillingly leaving behind their oldest daughter with her Catholic husband, Vidal’s family joins a caravan of 200 Jews journeying to start their lives anew across the sea in Fez. On the caravan, Vidal struggles to balance his physician duties of caring for the sick while struggling to mend strained relationships with his family. At the same time, his daughter back home finds herself exposed to the Spanish Inquisition living as a converso in a Christian empire.

Presenting readers with a painful but important part of Jewish history, South of Sepharad is a heroic, heart-breaking story of a father who holds tightly to his faith, his family, and his integrity all while confronting the grief of the past and the harsh realities of forced exile.

Year first published: 2024

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