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The Long Road into Exile

The Long Road into Exile

(p.33) 2 The Long Road into Exile
After Expulsion
Jonathan Ray
NYU Press

This chapter recounts the first years following the expulsion of 1492. The passage of Iberian Jewry from West to East was neither immediate nor direct. Whereas some of the refugees were able to find safe haven in the eastern Mediterranean, the vast majority spent the rest of their lives amid a succession of tribulations in Portugal, North Africa, and Italy. Those who were able to gain a foothold in their new lands laid the first tentative foundations for the various communities that would eventually develop into the Sephardic Diaspora. Other refugees found the hardships of those first years too much to bear and accepted conversion in exchange for sustenance. Indeed, those who decided to return to Spain did so because they saw life in exile as socially, politically, and economically untenable, not because they had a theological change of heart.

Keywords:   Jewish expulsion, Iberian Jewry, eastern Mediterranean, Portugal, North Africa, Italy, Sephardic Diaspora

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