Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Sephardi (Sephardim)
(1,257 words)

Sephardi (pl. Sephardim) refers either to the Jews of the Iberian Peninsula and their descendants after the expulsion from Spain in 1492 or, in juxtaposition to Ashkenazi (Ashkenazim), to one of the two major traditions of Jewish law and custom, with the Sephardim following Rabbi Joseph Caro’s sixteenth-century code, the Bet Yosef. In either case, the meaning of the term has varied over time and is best understood in changing historical contexts. It derives from the place-name Sepharad, which appears in the biblical book of Obadiah (1:20) and was identified as Spain in the Aramaic Targum …

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Matthias Lehmann, “Sephardi (Sephardim)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 20 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_000143>
First published online: 2010

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