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178ReviewsLa corónica 31.1, 2002 Encuentros and Desencuentros: Spanish Jewish Cultural Interaction Throughout History. Eds. Carlos Carrete Parrondo, Marcelo Dascal, Francisco Márquez Villanueva, y Angel Sáenz Badillos. Project coordinator, Aviva Doron. Israel: Tel Aviv U, 2000. 678pp. ISBN 96-537-2042-2 The papers collected in this volume were originally presented in three Howard Oilman international symposia held between 1995 and 1997 in Harvard, Salamanca and Tel Aviv, and whose topic was Spanish-Jewish interaction from the Middle Ages to the present. These articles cover major topics of Spanish-Jewish relations, such as the Hebrew Golden Age, the literature of the Sephardic Jews from before the Reconquest and after 1492, the converso question, and the Inquisition. This volume shows the many ways, both beneficial and harmful, in which the social interaction between Jews and Spaniards has produced cultural energy - both within the independent culture of each group, and in the larger Iberian context. The focus of these studies is Jewish-Spanish cultural interaction, yet because the character of that interaction was in part determined by the pattern of cultural interaction previously employed by Jews and the dominant Arabic civilization of al-Andalus, a detailed consideration of this other major culture of medieval Iberia is also explored in several of the studies. The influence of the Arabic culture of al-Andalus on Jewish poets and grammarians is the subject of Aron Doton's "Vicissitudes of Arabic Impact on Hebrew Language Study in the East and in Spain" (131-58). Doton maintains that the Hebrew belle-lettrists of the tenth through the twelfth centuries, such as Saadia Gaon, Dunash ben Labrat, ha-Nagid, Ibn Gikatilla, the Ibn Ezras and Judah ha-Levi, could easily adopt the Arabic cultural model because they were geographically and culturally distanced from the influence of the Jewish religious centers in Babylonia and Palestine. The language of the Andalusian Jews also reflected their important cultural ties to Muslim Spain. Yom ??? Assis, '"Sefarad': A Definition in the Context of a Cultural Encounter" (29-37), defines the Hebrew term often used for Spain as a cultural concept, not a geographic location. ??? Assis points out that sefarad is only used for the geographic area of "Spain" after 1492; early on it was used first to denote the civilization of Muslim Spain, i.e., al-Andalus, and then, after the Almoravid and Almohad invasions and the subsequent territorial gains of the Christians, the Judeo-Arabic-Romance civilization of medieval Iberia. It was the latter culture, brought by such Andalusian Jews as the Ibn Tibbon, that "conquered" the Jewish communities of Provence. La corónica 31.1 (Fall, 2002): 178-82 Reviews179 While Iberian Jews introduced the Greco-Arabic culture of medieval Iberia to Southern France, there they came into contact with the Ashkenazi culture of the Jews of Northern Europe. Moshe Idel's "Kabbalah in Spain: Some Cultural Observations" (53-82) underscores the importance of Kabbalah as a foreign, northern, Ashkenazi import introduced into Arabized Spain. For Idei, the Kabbalah is the "single important form of Jewish speculative literature that emerged during the Middle Ages that was not dominated by already existing Muslim literary models" (54). Sara Klein-Braslavsky, "The Concept of Magic in R. Solomon Ben Abraham Adret (Rashba) and R. Nissim Gerondi (Ran)" (105-29), discusses how these two Spanish rabbis use Aristotelian physics as the basis for establishing those acts that were "natural ", and therefore permitted according to Jewish law, and those that were "magical", or the result of sorcery, and therefore prohibited. The glories of Andalusian Jewish civilization were not forgotten, and several writers of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries in both Spain and Southern France continued to look to the Jewish writers of al-Andalus as cultural models. Meira Polliack, "The Spanish Legacy in the Hebrew Bible Commentaries of Abraham Ibn Ezra and Profayt Duran" (83-103), shows that this was the case with Profayt Duran (1350-1414), who continued Abraham ibn Ezra's linguistic-contextual approach to Biblical exegesis. Aviva Doron, "New Trends in the Conception of Hebrew Poetry in Thirteenth and Fourteenth -Century Spain in Relation to Spanish Literature" (213-39), discusses the fundamental shift in the Hebrew poetics of Iberia that...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-4261
Print ISSN
0193-3892
Pages
pp. 178-182
Launched on MUSE
2012-04-04
Open Access
No
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