Moshe Nunez: On Being Mexican American & Hasidic

Latino and Jewish in America: Brooklyn resident Moshe Nunez shares his unique cultural identity as both a Latino and Jewish American.

I thought this was really interesting and I laughed when he showed us the cilantro and jalapeños in his fridge (like some weird episode of Cribs). I also like that he speaks to history of the “Marranos or secret Jews (also known as Anusim)who were Sephardic Jews (Jews resident in the Iberian peninsula) who were forced to adopt Christianity under threat of expulsion but who continued to practice Judaism secretly, thus preserving their Jewish identity. The term in Spanish meant pigs; it stemmed from the ritual prohibition against eating pork, a prohibition practiced by both Jews and Muslims.”

A while back I had picked up Incantation by Alice Hoffman, whose writing I love. The book is for younger readers but it was rather lovely and historically informative. It is set in the time of the Spanish Inquisition, and the main character is a Spanish Jew who whose family is leading double lives as Catholics.


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