Biography •  Jewish Studies and Latin America

$24.95 hardcover
978-0-8263-3055-0

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The Marrano Legacy: A Contemporary Crypto-Jewish Priest Reveals Secrets of His Double Life


Trudi Alexy

The Marrano Legacy chronicles the astounding, intensely personal correspondence between two strangers from different countries who shared the unusual experience of discovering in their teens that they were Jews: "Simon," a descendant of Spain's medieval Marranos who submitted to baptism to escape the Inquisition, and Trudi Alexy who survived the Holocaust when her family fled from Prague to Paris and hid in Fascist Spain as hastily baptized Catholics.

Fifty years later, when she set out to recapture her lost Jewish identity, she discovered a spiritual kinship with the medieval Marranos who, though they were forced to hide their Jewishness, held to their ancient traditions in secret.

Simon has lived the hazardous life of a Crypto-Jewish Catholic priest, providing protection to a large community of secret Jews living as Catholics in a Latin American country. In their correspondence, Alexy shares her own inner conflicts as she struggles to understand why Simon continues to live in constant danger of discovery by both Catholics and mainstream Jews, wrestling with doubts and coping with personal tragedies that almost cause him to abandon his faith in God and his Jewish identity.

"Trudi Alexy has written a spellbinding book revealing the clandestine lives of people of our times who were coerced to hide their identities. This is not a work of fiction. The characters presented are real persons encountered by the author and they include confessional letters that instruct us about the gain and losses of self-revelation."-Rabbi Harold M. Schulweis, author of For Those Who Can't Believe

"Ms Alexy probes skillfully the fascinating story of the marranos (or the sephardics as they call themselves in northern Arizona and New Mexico). It was one of the most fascinating tales of American history, and it should stir up strong and important controversy."-Fr. Andrew Greeley

"What a compelling and fascinating true story! Every Jew and every Christian should read this book. . . . I applaud Trudi Alexy for her remarkable way of uncovering and telling a story that we've never been told before, but that helps to make sense of so much of the painful clashes of our history."-Len Felder, Ph.D., author of The Ten Challenges


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

Trudi Alexy, 1927-2004, was also the author of The Mezuzah in the Madonna's Foot: Marranos and Other Secret Jews. Searching for her own Jewish identity, Alexy researched, wrote, and lectured on hidden Jews in many countries.

ACCLAIM

"The drama of The Marrano Legacy offers a human face and a mournful soul to what is truly among the darker and sadder corners of Jewish and Catholic histories. The book is deeply disturbing and more than memorable."

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New York Resident



"Some people are perplexed why hidden Jews are so secretive about their identities. This book helps us to understand their reasons and makes us aware of the emotional and psychological burdens carried by those who live or have lived secret lives."

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Southwest BookViews



"A fascinating meld of some old religious histories and modern-day mysteries."

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Dallas Morning News




6 x 8.5 in. 160 pages