By Marianna D. Birnbaum

This paintings presents a ancient biography of a Jewish heroine in her day, Gracia Mendes. It information this woman's notable character till her loss of life in 1569 in Constantinople (today's Istanbul). Her lifestyles exemplified a perseverance by means of the Jewish tradition to outlive and triumph.

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252–23. Roth (p. 40) mentions that the above were the primary social obligations among Jews, after the promotion of study. 67 In his will, Diogo appointed two other relatives, Abraham Benveniste and Agostino (Augustin) Enriquez, to assist Gracia. 68 When the testament was later contested, it turned out that their identities were hidden under fictitious names. M. M. A. Levy identified them as they were used in the rabbinical decisions of Joseph Karo (Caro). See Grunebaum-Ballin, p. 34, note 3. 69 Diogo’s will was published by Goris (p.

On May 23, 1536, the Holy Office of Inquisition was established in Portugal, based on the Spanish model. The fact that Gracia left Portugal soon after Francisco’s passing supports the view that Francisco himself had initiated the move. Plans were under way at the time of his death. The fiasco suffered in the negotiations gave the immediate impetus for Gracia to leave. She did so, in the company of her daughter, sister, and probably two nephews, João and Bernard, although the boys might have arrived later.

In Venice, for the same reason (as well as for fear of being returned to Antwerp), Gracia had insisted on calling herself a Portuguese subject. ”110 The nuncio correctly gauged the true sentiments of the Christian leaders: whenever they pursued the Mendes fortune, the Christian states gave their enterprise a religious character. ”111 Gracia probably approached the sultan indirectly and in great secrecy. Therefore, an envoy’s arrival to assist her move generated intense speculations.

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