AMNewYork Article: Jewish Spain

June 27, 2006 § 3 Comments

AM New YorkI was on the train this morning and picked up a copy of AM NewYork as I do every morning on my way to work. AM NewYork is New York’s most widely distributed newspaper, primarily because its free. However, the editorials and articles are not bad if you can tolerate all of the advertisements.

Anyway, while I was on my way to Brooklyn I came to a section about foreign travel featuring a “Jewish Spain”. A beautifully preserved area part of Spain’s history that deserves recognition. The article describes it as such,

“Jewish Spain” offers travelers a unique opportunity to see first-hand the cultural legacy of the Jewish people from what is often called their “Golden Age” in Spain. (AM NewYork)

However, what I would like to highlight is that the era which AM NewYork described as the Golden Age is actually the period of Islamic rule on the Iberian Peninsula then known as Al-Andalus. During this period al-Āndalus became the center of Jewish art being home to poets and orators like Judah Halevi (10861145) and Dunash ben Labrat (920990) , but not only was it a center for Jewish art but important to the development of Jewish philosophy.

“A stream of Jewish philosophers, cross-fertilizing with Muslim philosophers, (see Joint Jewish and Islamic Philosophies) culminated in the most important Jewish thinker of the Middle Ages, Maimonides (11351205)…(Wikipedia)

Lion Patio @ Al-HambraThis “Golden Age” was the result of just treatment from the Muslim rulers who defeated the cruel Visigoth’s who were tyrants that ruled the Iberian Peninsula through brutality and terror. This is an important part of European history particularly in these times where so little is known about the long standing relationship that the world has had with Islam. Which is why I have included in this post a BBC production on the influence of Islam on Europe.


§ 3 Responses to AMNewYork Article: Jewish Spain

  • Chandira says:

    Great post! I could’t get the video to work but I do know a little about Islam and Judaism in Spain, and yes, it’s fascinating. What fascinates me is the cross-pollination of ideas and the tolerance that was happening at that time in Europe.
    Most European history is bloodshed and hatred, but the msot elightened minds were sharing so much awesome information and ideas. I love that! Why can’t that be the case nowadays. I see no real reason.

    And I love the architecture so much!! It inspires a sense of awe and humility, just perfect to remind us of God.

    So much Mystery…

  • Al-Hakim says:

    Thank you for your kind words Chandira. By-the-way, if you wish you may view the video clip. I think you will enjoy it. BBC always does a good job with this kind of thing.


  • […] If interested I have provided a link to a BBC Production on the history Islam in Europe. […]

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