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6 The Lost Identity of the Sephardim in The Land of Israel and the State of Israel

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses the reaction of the Sephardim in The Land of Israel to the Holocaust that struck their Jewish Spanish speaking brothers in the Balkans and especially in Salonika, that was known as a "city and mother in Israel" and as "Jerusalem of the Balkans", which had been the capital of Ladino culture since the Expulsion from Spain and where the overwhelming majority of the Jewish population had been annihilated in the Holocaust. In the author's opinion, one must examine the response of the Jewish Spanish speaking Sephardim in The Land of Israel to the Holocaust and its terrors against the backdrop of their conscious and willing relinquishing of the basis of their socio-cultural identity: their Jewish Spanish language, and adopting or, at least, coming closer to Hebrew as their regular language, over the course of the twentieth century.

Keywords: Holocaust; Jerusalem of the Balkans; Land of Israel; Sephardim



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