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July 19, 2012 5:51 pm

Israeli Library Gets Rare Collection of Inquisition-era Sermons

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The National Library of Israel. Photo: National Library of Israel.

The National Library of Israel has obtained a rare collection of 39 Portuguese sermons from the era of the Spanish and Portuguese Inquisitions, Israel Hayom reported.

Dating back to between 1618 and 1727, the collection of sermons—read by church officials prior to ritual executions of Jews—represents more than half of the 70 such texts ever printed.

During the Inquisition, the sermons were followed by elaborate ceremonies during which Jews were killed for either refusing to convert to Catholicism or still practicing their religion after converting.

“These events were a recreational Sunday activity for residents of the local towns and villages,” Dr. Aviad Stollman, Judaica collections curator at the National Library of Israel, said of the sermons and ceremonies.

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