This important history documents the religious customs of the crypto-Jewish culture in Spain, Portugal, and their American colonies, principally Mexico, Peru, and Brazil. In coping with clandestineness, crypto-Jews rapidly evolved their own idiosyncratic religion. Its Jewish core was quickly replaced with concepts and practices from the surrounding Catholic culture covered by a veneer of Jewish theology. Included in this award-winning volume are examinations of crypto-Jewish beliefs, superstitions, birth customs, education, marriage and sex, holidays, dietary laws, conversions and death, and burial practices. Secrecy and Deceit provides a comprehensive account of the customs of these secret Jews.
"Secrecy and Deceit provides rare glimpses into a subject that is increasingly fascinating to many different audiences."--Jane S. Gerber, Director, Institute for Sephardic Studies, CUNY Graduate Center
"Historians and students of comparative and popular religion will be drawing on this work for years."--Haym Soloveitchik, Yeshiva University
Winner of the National Jewish Book Award and the Lucy B. Davidowicz History Award