Today’s Jewish terminology word is Converso. This Ladino word ( Judaeo-Spanish ) root word is convert.
Sometimes ones history or ancestors can have dark or not so glorious seasons. In current times, many enjoy the spirit of victimhood that can possibly come from possible dark areas in ones family historical line. This weeks Jewish Terminology word, I am not going to lye; has me as they say…. in my feelings. History is sometimes not pleasant. History is sometimes dark. When that darkness hits close to home, G-D forbid…. it can lead to more questions than answers.
I have been sporadically researching my own family history. Some days have been joyful. Other days frustrating and ended in tears. I have often ended days or research sessions asking G-D more questions and not finding any answers. Below are some interesting finds I want to share.
What does the term Converso mean and where does it come from?
This term was for those Jews who were forced to convert to Christianity in the middle ages during the Spanish Inquisition. Jews were often forced to publicly convert to avoid torture or death. The threat that was commonly used for those that would not recant on Judaism was: burning at the steak, downing, poisoning, rape, dismemberment, and many other public or ceremonial / ritual torture and ritual murder.
The many religious Jews who did publicly recant the Faith of Judaism, continued to practice aspects of Judaism in secret. Through the centuries these families became assimilated into Spanish society. Today, some Catholics in these countries will practice rituals that echo Judaism like not eating pork and even observe Jewish High Holidays.
Converso, is a more accurate less disparaging term to the more frequently used Morrano. Morrano, which comes from the Spanish word swine.
This disparaging term was used for those Jews who were publicly catholics, to preserve life, but secretly Jews. They were known as Morano Jews or Cryptic Jews.
Are there others who possibly spoke Ladino?
ladino, Westernized Central American person of predominantly mixed Spanish and indigenous descent. In that sense, ladino is synonymous with mestizo. The word ladino is Spanish (meaning “Latin”), and the ladinos of Central America are not to be confused with those Sephardic Jews who speak the Ladino language.
The term came later to apply to anyone—regardless of ancestry—who rejected indigenous culture. Ladinos were accepted by neither the various Maya peoples nor by the Spanish, whose language and manner of dress they adopted and who considered them superior to the Maya but inferior to themselves. The Maya considered them traitors. Ladinos are readily recognizable by their exclusive use of the Spanish language (rather than indigenous languages) and by their decided preference for Western (rather than traditional) dress.
Sometimes ones history or ancestors can have dark or not so glorious seasons. In current times, many enjoy the spirit of victimhood that can possibly come from possible dark areas in ones family historical line. Now, as I have said before I am an annoying optimistic kind of person. I know personally, some of my ancestors were probably not the best characters. Some in my family line might have been great, wonderful, brave, or even cowards? Who really knows…?
I chose believe G-D Almighty, had me in their family line for a reason. Maybe I am here to rebuild our name? Maybe I am here to claim our heritage? Maybe, I am here to right or correct wrongs?
I honestly, believe G-D gives us all a mission for this life. We have to ask Him and Him alone what that mission is and how might we accomplish the mission while we are here.
I do know this… no ones else’s choices determine my future.
So with love I say this.. don’t let someone else’s actions: family, friends, or even foe; determine your actions or future.
Instead, let’s choose to look into G-D’s word for answers. Let’s decide today and from now on to listen to G-D! If G-D allowed it or them…it must have been for our good.
We may not understand.
We may not agree how somethings can about.
This might have been painful or even G-D forbid very very difficult.
But, we can trust that G-D is on His throne and there is always a reason and purpose.
For I am mindful of the plans I have made concerning you—declares the LORD—plans for your welfare, not for disaster, to give you a hopeful future.
When you call Me, and come and pray to Me, I will give heed to you.
You will search for Me and find Me, if only you seek Me wholeheartedly.
I will be at hand for you—declares the LORD—and I will restore your fortunes. And I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places to which I have banished you—declares the LORD—and I will bring you back to the place from which I have exiled you.
With G-D’s merciful……Until next time,