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The «Sacrifice of Isaac» in Spanish and Sephardic Balladry

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Alberto Barugel

The focus of this book is the treatment of the Akedah (Genesis 22:1-19) in the Romanceros of Spain, Portugal and the Judeo-Spanish communities in exile. The author demonstrates how the midrashic tradition has had a significant impact not only on the oral repertoire of the Sephardic Jews but also on contemporary Spanish versions of the ballad known as El sacrificio de Isaac. This fascinating study traces the evolution of a 16th-century text into three modern-day branches, and examines how each has reflected the society and culture of its transmitters. In the final chapter, the author explores the theory that the Peninsular version may have been preserved by Crypto-Jews and conversos through the centuries as a powerful symbol of their destiny.
Contents: Study of the biblical ballads of the Romancero. Synchronic and diachronic analyses of El sacrificio de Isaac. Midrashic motifs in Peninsular and Sephardic versions. Socio-historical dimensions and symbolism of the ballad.