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The Sephardic Anousim

by Shelomo Alfassa

This book is set to serve as a primer for those first learning or yet unfamiliar with the plight of the descendants of the anousim. Anousim generally means ‘forced ones’ or ‘coerced,’ in Hebrew. These are the Jews that because of 14th and 15th century coercion, (before and during the Inquisitions in Spain and Portugal), concealed their Judaic observance while acting like they were newly baptized Catholics. The word anousim not only refers to the original generation of forced ones, but also to the descendants of the original generation who today are coming out after centuries of darkness, searching for the light of truth, often still called marranos and for various reasons, crypto-Jews.

ISBN: 9780976322689
Copyright: Standard Copyright License
Publisher: ISLC
Published: April 20, 2010
Language: English
Pages: 260
Binding: Perfect-bound Paperback
Interior Ink: Black & white
Weight: 0.99 lbs.
Dimensions (inches): 6 wide x 9 tall

Keywords: Marranos, Crypto-Jews, Sefaradi, Sefardi, Judios

About the Book


THE SEPHARDIC ANOUSIM was written to fill a void in the subject of the anousim (Hebrew for 'coerced'). The anousim are descendants of the forcibly converted Jews of Spain and Portugal (in the past known as marranos). Many tens of thousands of Jews converted in the 14th and 15th century due to violence and religious intimidation-however, many of these Jews secretly concealed their Judaic observances while acting like they were newly baptized Catholics. Today, descendants of those converted Jews are increasingly "coming out" only to find themselves lost in a sea of complicated Jewish laws; getting deceived by missionaries; and are frustrated in seeking to fully understand the history of their own people.

THE SEPHARDIC ANOUSIM explains both the Inquisition as well as the expulsion from Spain in 1492. It provides first-hand accounts of the worst trials and tribulations the Jewish people suffered prior to the Holocaust. It discusses 'crypto-Jews' and controversy related to crypto-Jews. This 260 page book examines issues important to the anousim such as halakha (Jewish law), conversion or return, missionary interference and it highlights the opinions (responsa) of rabbinical leaders over past several centuries in regard to forcibly converted Jews.

This book is perfect for anyone wanting to understand the subject of the anousim. The anousim and their plight remains a matter that world Jewry still has not developed a comprehensive solution for. 

At a book signing for The Sephardic Anousim in NYC

"I just finished reading your Sephardic Anousim book. I think it's a masterpiece that contributes to the b’nai Anousim history." 
--Ely Benaim
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