Shavei Israel | There is Jewish life in Mallorca

There is Jewish life in Mallorca

There is Jewish life in Mallorca

Inauguration of the memorial plaque, in honor of the 37 descendants of Chuetas Jews, executed by the Inquisition in 1691.
By Miquel Segura Aguiló

With my heart beating a bit calmer and my emotions better controlled, it is my turn to comment on the great event that took place last Sunday in Gomila Square in Ciutat de Mallorca. What can I say? After 30 years of fighting for minimal reparations, on the day when God allows it to happen, to be invaded by a jumble of contradictory feelings.

Let no one doubt that behind this event there is the hand of the G-d of Israel. We must thank Mayor Antoni Noguera who described the liquidation of the Chuetas as “an episode of intolerance that cannot happen again.” This tribute is part of the activities that the municipality of Palma has organized for the XIX European Day of Jewish Culture.

Also, the councilor Carrió helped to make the dream of some Mallorcans come true, as an act of justice that they have managed to bring to fruition. Also, we must not forget to thank those who have accompanied us on this path towards a horizon as uncertain as distant: Jacqueline Tobias, Manuel Quadreny, Albert Bonnin, Abraham Barchilon and many others. My recognition goes to all of them.

However, the first Sunday afternoon of September was very special for the Chuetas converted or returned to the faith of their forefathers. I would like to proclaim it to the whole world: the only crime of our ancestors, executed on May 5, 1691 – and of many others that were killed previously – was not being Jews, but Judaizing, that means practicing the religion of their forefathers after being forced to convert to Christianity. The amazing picture of mine taken by Pere Bota depicts the true religious essence of Chuetas of the island of Mallorca story.

We were there, Iskah and Pinchas, Aryeh Girondi – our president, Eliezer and Aliza, Pedro, Andratx, J. M., who will one day have to take my relay, Teresa, who humbly waits for the door of Zion to be opened. Maybe I missed someone, but I take them all in my heart, all together with an audience of almost 150 people.

It was our day, the one that God wanted to grant us, a beginning rather than an end, a regrowth of the Mallorcan Jewish souls. We are there for anyone who wants to get closer. There are no demands, there will be no reproach, only the renewed yearning for a restoration that seemed impossible. I said it in my speech: they didn’t win.

Personally, I must express my gratitude to Aryeh Girondi, the president, for granting me with an opportunity to speak, when it was his turn. It was a detail that moved me and that I will never forget.

And, the reverse: the ravages of the bitterness of those who are determined to look for dark reasons, which concoct battered reproaches. Nobody has to feel oblivious to this small miracle but emotions, like fear have been released.
We are getting closer to the great Rosh Hashanah holiday that will lead us on the path of atonement to Yom Kippur. It is a free and open road, which cannot be discouraged. There is Jewish life in Mallorca, that is great news. May the G-d of Abraham, Yitzhak and Yaakov bless you all.

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Esther Surikova
Esther Surikova
esther@shavei.org