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Sephardic Jews

August 04, 1987

It was heartening to read (July 25) that Spain intends to give Sephardic Jews a "special place in Columbus rites," the upcoming celebration of the 500th anniversary of his discovery of the Americas; 1492 was also the year that Jews were expelled from Spain.

A Spanish official said that one intent is to publicize Spain's Jewish past, both at home and abroad.

My Sephardic co-religionists in Spain and elsewhere should press the state and the Catholic Church of Spain to use the occasion to memorialize those who died during the Inquisition on flaming stakes rather than be forced to convert to Catholicism.

What an inspiration to worldwide youth this would be. It would prove that repentance is not just a moral obligation for individuals. It would show that nation-states and churches have the same ability, albeit belatedly, to repent for heinous crimes against humanity.

ZEV WEINSTEIN

Sherman Oaks

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