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The Expulsion of the Portuguese Jews and the Paris Shootings

Shortly after the exile of the sultan of Granada in 1492, Queen Isabella of Castile expelled the Jews from Spain. Many of these Jews moved to Portugal which was more tolerant of Jews (relatively speaking). But Portugal's King Manuel the 1st wished to unite Spain and Portugal through a marriage with Queen Isabella's daughter. The Queen agreed to the marriage of her daughter on condition that King Manuel expel all the Jews from Portugal. A few days after signing the marriage contract King Manual signs the decree to rid Portugal of the Jews in less than year. He also decrees that all Jewish children from age 4 to 20 are to be taken from their parents and forcibly baptized as Christians. Isaac ibn Zachin [Isaac e-bin zak-KEEN] killed all of his children rather than see them become Christians. He then killed himself. Other Jews converted to Christianity but maintained their rituals in secret. Some sailed to Portugal's island possessions such as São Tomé off the coast of west Africa. By next year 20,000 Jews who could not get out of Portugal will be enslaved. A new synagogue will not be built in Lisbon until 1904. [1] [2] [3] [4]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
FYI, forced conversions STILL happen when some babysitter decides to "save" a Jewish child. [Insert-explicative-here.] In the early 1500s many of these New Christians, as they were called, were taken to the New World as slave labor. The majority of these Jewish children died there farming sugar cane.

It's difficult to comprehend such brutality coupled with religious fervor. It reminds me of the Islamic terrorists gunning down unarmed French men and women in the streets of Paris due to a satirical magazine mocking Mohammad. [5] Islam is supposed to be peaceful. So is Christianity, BTW. As an Orthodox Jew, I worked for a Sunni Muslim for several years. He was the model of honesty, kindness and sincerity. The local Imam smiles when he sees me (about once a month) and shakes my hand enthusiastically in front of the whole world. I am clearly Jewish, dressed in a skullcap and fringes. He is clearly Muslim, dressed in a knitted cap and white thobe (which looks like a thin house coat). How can I reconcile what I know about Muslims in my personal life with what I see happening in Paris? It doesn't match! Yet it is my reality. [6] [7]

Leonardo's Broken Flight *

Leonardo da Vinci was fascinated with birds in flight and his enthusiasm has led to drawings of flying machines, possibly gliders, a parachute and even an early helicopter. Some time early this year, Leonardo tests one of his designs for a flying machine. He sends his assistant out with the device, but after the man breaks his leg, it is back to the drawing board. It is not clear which of these designs was tested but like Archimedes, some of his ideas remained on the drawing board to come down to us in the modern day to stimulate the imagination. [8] [9] [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
This account might be a myth but it could have happened. People will continue to be fascinated with flight. Many will lose their lives testing various designs. In the late 1800s, the problem of flight will be given over to the smartest man in America... Dr. Samuel Langley... the Secretary of the Smithsonian. He was given a substantial government grant and produced a number of working models but the models never scaled up. In 1896 he crashed into the Potomac and gave up. He realized he needed more power but the world would have to wait for a more efficient engine. In fact such an engine existed but it is likely he didn't know it. Powered flight would have to wait until the Wright Brothers managed it in 1903.[11] [12]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1496, Wikipedia.

See Also


* The asterisk in the section header indicates that it was read on the podcast.
  1. Expulsion of the Jews from Portugal - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 6 January 2015.
  2. PORTUGAL - JewishEncyclopedia.com. JewishEncyclopedia.com (1906). Retrieved on 9 January 2015. “Manuel thought to unite the whole peninsula under his scepter by marrying a Spanish princess, Isabella, the young widow of the Infante of Portugal and daughter of Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. The latter couple, who had driven the Jews out of their own land (1492), made their consent dependent on the condition that Manuel should expel all the Jews from his country.”
  3. São Tomé and Príncipe - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 January 2015.
  4. Lisbon Synagogue - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 January 2015.
  5. Charlie Hebdo shooting - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 January 2015.
  6. Thawb or Thobe - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 9 January 2015.
  7. Kittel - Wikipedia (2014). Retrieved on 9 January 2015.
  8. Science and inventions of Leonardo da Vinci: Flight - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 9 January 2015.
  9. Leonardo Da Vinci flying machine! The Flight of Genius!. leonardo-da-vinci-biography.com (2014). Retrieved on 9 January 2015. “1496, 3rd of January: An entry made in one of the Leonardo's notebooks stated that he had unsuccessfully conducted a flight test. This tells us an interesting point about the great inventor. Leonardo may have produced and tested more of his designs than we realise.”
  10. Da Vinci unsuccessfully tests a flying machine, January 3, 1496 - EDN. edn.com (January 03, 2015). Retrieved on 9 January 2015. “Unsuccessful designs were not common for the engineer. While many of his engineering designs languished in his notebook as their builds were impossible in da Vinci's lifetime, including a calculator, he did manage to build a flying machine resembling a helicopter (see drawing from the inventor's notebook below).”
  11. Samuel Pierpont Langley: Aviation Work - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  12. History of the Internal Combustion Engine: 1860-1920 - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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