Cadernos de Estudos Sefarditas

2nd semester 2017


ISSN: 1645-1910

Part I: Articles

Yossef Charvit (Bar-Ilan University) – Rabbi Maurice Eisenbeth: The Pioneer of Sephardi Onomastics

Cadernos de Estudos Sefarditas 17 (2017): 11-25


Rabbi Maurice Eisenbeth; Jewish onomastics; North African Jewry; Algerian Jewry; Sephardi Diaspora.


Rabbi Maurice Eisenbeth was born in Paris in 1883, attended the Paris Rabbinic Seminary from 1902 to 1908 and subsequently accepted his first rabbinic position in Sedan (1911). After serving as a military chaplain in the First World War, he was appointed Chief Rabbi of Constantine in 1928 and of Algiers in 1932. As of 1941, he represented all Algerian Jewry.

He was very attracted to the onomastic, demographic and historical research of the Jews of North Africa and wrote several books on these subjects. His study of Jewish onomastics may well constitute the inception of independent research on North African historiography according it immeasurable significance of both a cultural and historical nature.
While R. Eisenbeth did not consider himself a full-time researcher, his interest in local roots and respect for authenticity reflected his well-honed professional skills as an academic scholar. Although he felt no obligation to carry out in-depth research or to what he called “the minutiae of the ivory tower,” he definitely consulted and cited contemporary research and other scholarly sources. He provided a sound basis for linguistic, ethnographic and geographic research on North African Jews and explored the reciprocal relations obtaining among the different Jewish communities throughout North Africa.

Annette M. Boeckler (ZIID – Zürich Institute for Interreligious Dialogue) – The Portuguese influence on Progressive Judaism: an overlooked issue

Cadernos de Estudos Sefarditas 17 (2017): 27-53


Jewish Liturgy; Hamburg Temple; Progressive Judaism; Sephardic Piyyutim; Spanish-Portuguese Liturgy


The impact of Sephardim on the creation of progressive Judaism (the general term for “Reform” and “Liberal” synagogues) has so far been overlooked. It was in Hamburg, the only city with a Spanish-Portuguese community in Germany, that in 1817 the Hamburg Tempel came into being; as this article will show, its liturgy was strongly influenced by Western-Sephardic traditions. In the US the first Reform Liturgy was created within a Portuguese community where a “Reformed Society for the Israelites” was founded in 1824, but got into oblivion. In the UK the first progressive synagogue was founded by Spanish-Portuguese Jews. Soon after its founding Progressive Judaism adapted to the majority tradition in its countries and became more Ashkenazi, but till today the most characteristic features of Progressive Jewish liturgy are of Western-Sephardic origins.

Inês Thomas Almeida (INET-md, FCSH, Universidade NOVA de Lisboa) – “My father was a Portuguese Jew”: the portuguese roots of Henriette Herz de Lemos as a boost to Berlin intelectual revolution around 1800

Cadernos de Estudos Sefarditas 17 (2017): 55-84


German Pre-Romanticism; Berlin Salons; Sephardim; Diaspora; Benveniste de Lemos


“My father was a Portuguese Jew” – with these words begin the memoirs of Henriette Herz, born Henriette Benveniste de Lemos, pioneer of the Berlin salon culture and one of Germany’s most fascinating names of the late eighteenth century. This salonnière founded in 1780 the first Berlin literary salon, where she welcomed some of the most remarkable people of her time, discussed and spread the currents of the intellectual vanguard and was a teacher of Wilhelm von Humboldt, founder of the University of Berlin, and of his brother, the remarkable naturalist Alexander von Humboldt, among others. In this article, I defend that, more than an historical coincidence, Henriette Herz’s Portuguese origin was decisive for her supporting role in the pre-Romantic movement and the important social and intellectual transformations of German thought around 1800.

Sandra Neves Silva (CHAM-FCSH/NOVA-UAc) – “There is nothing new under the Sun”:
Aspects of the medical-astrological view of
Manuel Bocarro Francês e Rosales

Cadernos de Estudos Sefarditas 17 (2017): 85-99


Medicine; Galenism; Divine Transmission; Celestial Influence; Astrology


The present article focuses on the medical and astrological vision of Manuel Bocarro Francês e Rosales, a New Christian doctor born in Lisbon, who converted to Judaism when he moved to Hamburg. Graduated from the Castilian universities of Alcalá de Henares and Sigüenza, Bocarro defends the galenic medicine, professing also the idea that the origin of Medicine goes back to God, who transmitted it to Adam after his fall, to help him in his miserable condition. On the other hand, in his medical practice, Bocarro gives great importance to the theory of celestial influence on the human body because, as if endeavouring to bring to perfection the astrological matter, he proposes that, through the stars, it is possible to acquire knowledge of, among others things, temperament, physical weaknesses and admirable soul qualities of man, as well as the favourable occasion for the application of treatments.

Leonor Dias Garcia (CIDEHUS-UÉ) – Comissioners and notaries of the Holy Office from Braga (1700-1773): social profiles

Cadernos de Estudos Sefarditas 17 (2017): 101-137


Inquisition; Braga; Notary; Commissioner.


This paper aims to give a general perspective on the social profile of notaries and commissioners working for the Portuguese Holy Office who were born and/or lived in the city of Braga and within its limits in the years between 1700 and 1773.
The main objectives are: to identify the agents, to outline their social profile and to detect potential constraints on their appointments by the tribunal. The goal is to answer the following questions: Who and how many? What were their origins? How did they subsist? What kind of work did they do? Did being part of the clergy help to access an inquisitorial career or were there other types of constraints?
There was an analysis, by means of a mainly prosopographical methodology based on the Habilitações of the Holy Office (the only primary source consulted for this paper), of the socio-economic characteristics of notaries and commissioners at the time of their appointment: ancestry and purity of blood, social status and “life and customs”, financial situation, academic background, positions they held before applying for the Holy Office, difficulties in approving diligences, etc. The core criterion was the birth and /or address in the city of Braga and within its limits.
From the treatment and analysis of the data collected from the SPARES database, one can conclude that the two groups of agents had different social profiles, with a certain inequality between the two, mainly when it came to income levels and social status.

Part II: Chronicles and interview

Alessandra Dolce – Odmar Braga and his Rekodros: a poetry from afar in an alive language

Angelo Adriano Faria de Assis – Late Criptojudaism and Jewish identities

Natalia Urra Jaque – Seminary “Estudios Inquisitoriales en América Discourses, Methods and Representations” (Inquisitorial studies in America: discourses, methods and representations)



Part III: Reviews


James Nelson Novoa – Alisa Meyuhas Ginio, Between Sepharad and Jerusalem. History, Identity and Memory of the Sephardim, Leiden, Brill, 2014



Carla Vieira – Daniel Jütte, The Age of Secrecy. Jews, Christians, and the Economy of Secrets, 1400-1800, New Haven, Yale University Press, 2015



Adriana Dantas Reis – Suzana Maria de Sousa Santos Severs, Além da Exclusão: a convivência entre cristãos-novos e cristãos-velhos na Bahia setecentista, Salvador, EDUNEB, 2016



Susana Bastos Mateus – Ana E. Schaposchnik, The Lima Inquisition. The Plight of Crypto-Jews in Seventeenth-Century Peru, Madison, The University of Wisconsin Press, 2015