Don Isaac Abarbanel believed that most Jews who had converted had done so for the sake of survival. He states, “Because of the miseries, the condemnations, and the massacres by the enemies, they left the totality of the Law, and they thought to become like one of the people of the land.”1
The following is an essay written by Michael Freund, the founder and director of Shavei Israel. This organization is dedicated to helping “lost Jews” return to Judaism and many cases emigrate to Israel.
Abarbanel and the Return of the Bnei Anusim
This short article focuses on Don Isaac Abarbanel’s belief that the return of the descendants of Conversos was part of the future restoration of the Jewish people.
1. Jose Faur, “Four Classes of Conversos: A Typological Study,” Revue des Etudes Juives, CXLIX (1-3), Janiver-Juin (1990): 113-124.
By Rabbi Juan Bejarano-Gutierrez, the director of the B’nei Anusim Center for Education, and author of What is Kosher?