Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sephardic America!

Introduced a friend to Bluestockings, one of the city's few surviving radical bookstores, yesterday and felt, as I always do when I go there, obliged to buy something. I wound up with a new graphic novel called El Iluminado by Ilan Stavans and Steve Sheinkin. It's not a great work of art, the style perhaps deliberately amateurish, but it tells a fascinating story about the "cryto-Jews" of New Mexico - secret Jews who fled Spain for Mexico, and then Mexico for New Mexico long ago. Could it be that the oldest church in the United States, Santa Fe's Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis (Santa Fe was established ten years before Jamestown), grew from what what was really a synagogue disguised as a church?

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