Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition; kibud av under trying circumstances.

The October 1765 issue of The Jester's Magazine featured the following anecdotewhich admittedly feels incompleteabout a Jewish father and son ensnared by the Spanish Inquisition.

British periodicals of the era enjoyed reporting on the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition. For example, here's something from 1731:

Getting back to the story in the Jester's Magazine, it's interesting mainly for how . . . pointless it seems. I mean, it's a nice story. Father and son are in a dungeon, son escapes, but returns to save his father. The point seems to be the "Generosity that would have done Credit to a Christian," that is the mussar point that it was a Jew who was demonstrating such selfless filial piety. While the stories are entirely different, I feel slightly reminded of the Talmudic story of Dama ben Nethina, a gentile whose demonstration of filial devotion so impressed the rabbis.


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