Friday, April 24, 2015

So What's New?

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 2:00 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO BY JOAN SAFIER
  • Photo by Joan Safier

So what's been happening the past few weeks I should know about, and maybe write about? I've been traveling in southern Spain, and the reason you go there isn't to follow current events, though thanks to the miracle of wireless-in-every-hotel, I kept up a bit. The main lure of the area is getting a glimpse of the area pre- and post-inquisition. When it comes to Spain, I learned in school that in 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean blue. It wasn't until later I learned the date was also a marker of the worst kind of intolerance: 1492 was a very bad time to be a Jew, and a bad time to be a Muslim too. It was also later that I learned, when the Muslims were in control of the area, it was a hotbed of learning, culture and art. The Alhambra, above, is a wonder. The time is known as the Golden Age of Jewish Culture, when Jewish learning blossomed alongside Muslim learning. Walking through the Muslim palaces and mosques, seeing a small pre-Inquisition synagogue — one of three still standing in Spain — was educational and awe inspiring. And rubbing the feet of a statue of The Rambam (the name given to the scholar/philosopher/physician Maimonides [If you didn't before, next time you watch The Big Lebowski, you'll get John Goodman's reference]) is supposed to grant you luck and impart wisdom. I usually don't go in for the rubbing-for-luck thing, but in Córdoba, I rubbed his feet every time I passed.

So . . . if you think I missed something important in the news, give me a heads up in the comments, preferably with a link,
 and I'll try to get my mind back in Arizona, circa 2015 C.E.

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