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B'siyata d'shmaya - With the help of Heaven

Origin of the 'Statement' of Sultan Bayezit II on the Jews

By Shelomo Alfassa



When the Jews were expelled from Spain in 1492, a majority went to the Ottoman Empire where they settled. There has been a traditional story that the Ottoman sultan, Bayezit II (1447-1512), made a statement which spoke about the king of Spain being a fool for expelling his own people, a people which then went to the Ottoman Empire where they would enrich their new homeland. There are many variations of this story, but no one seems to know who originally stated it, or if it was true at all. This paper summarizes my findings on the origin of the traditional legend. This paper examins the origin of this statement.

A sample of the statement follows:

"You call Ferdinand a cleaver king, who has impoverished his own land and made ours rich."

Alt: bayazid beyazid bayezid




© Shelomo Alfassa