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2 The Meʿam Loʿez: The Masterpiece of Ladino Literature (Eighteenth–Nineteenth Centuries)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks at the Meʿam Loʿez as a historical source and proposes a historical reading in a rabbinical source. It explains what can be learned from the content of Meʿam Loʿez about the daily life in the Sephardi family circle throughout the generations, in the lands of the Ottoman Empire. Meʿam Loʿez is fitting to use as a historical source because of the following reason: the compendium presents and represents Sephardi society in the Ottoman Empire in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In particular, one may learn of the daily life in the generation of the originator of the idea to write Meʿam Loʿez, Rabbi Yaʿakov Khuli, from edifying statements, personal memories and descriptions that he felt should be given to the reader while studying and discussing biblical verses.

Keywords: Meʿam Loʿez; biblical verses; Ottoman Empire; rabbinical source; Sephardi society



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