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Coming Out of Hiding : A Secret Passover in Portugal 2012-03-22

The Pesach of the Anusim

A Catholic priest encouraging his entire congregation to fast on Yom Kippur ?

Eating matzos only on the second day of the holiday ?

A secret ceremony re-enacting the Splitting of The Red Sea ?

For centuries, the Marranos would be outwardly celebrating Easter, but in their homes they would observe Passover. Passover was an especially dangerous festival to observe. Any family which refrained from eating ordinary bread for 8 days would be betraying itself to the Inquisition. But Passover, the feast of Israel's deliverance from Egypt, was the constant symbol of their own hopes for salvation.

In a firsthand gripping account of a Passover spent amongst the crypto-Jews of Belmonte, Portugal , Ari Greenspan reveals how centuries of clandestine living created a culture of secrecy.  


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For more on crypto-Jewish customs

This year, Passover begins sundown April 6, 2012 – through April 14

As we sit down to our Seder  this year, let’s understand the true blessings we enjoy in our lives.