Cheshvan 4
click here to jump to start of article
Join Our Newsletter

Get latest articles and videos with Jewish inspiration and insights​




Cheshvan 4

In 1483, Tomas de Torquemada was appointed as "Grand Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition." Jews of Spain had been forced to convert to Christianity, and the Inquisition was designed to uncover those who were continuing to practice their Judaism in secret (called Conversos or Marranos). Those who never confessed were burned at the stake; those who did confess were strangled first. Torquemada believed that as long as the Jews remained in Spain, they might influence the tens of thousands of Jews who had converted to Christianity. It was on his recommendation that the remainder of the Jewish community -- 200,000 people -- was expelled from Spain in 1492. An estimated 32,000 were burned at the stake, and Torquemada's name became a byword for cruelty and fanaticism in the service of religion. The order of expulsion was not officially voided by the government of Spain until 1968.

Article 34 of 356 in the series Day in Jewish History

Give Tzedakah! Help Aish.com create inspiring
articles, videos and blogs featuring timeless Jewish wisdom.