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Posted by / 23-Jan-2016 17:05

Indeed, a further number of those Jews who had not yet joined the converso community finally chose to convert and avoid expulsion as a result of the edict.

As a result of the Alhambra decree and persecution during the prior century, between 200,000 and 250,000 Jews converted to Catholicism and between one third and one half of Spain's remaining 100,000 non-converted Jews chose exile, with an indeterminate number returning to Spain in the years following the expulsion.

Over half of Spain's Jews had converted as a result of the religious persecution and pogroms which occurred in 1391, and as such were not subject to the Decree or to expulsion, yet remained under the watchful eye of the Spanish Inquisition.

It has been argued by British scholar Henry Kamen, that "the real purpose of the 1492 edict likely was not expulsion, but compulsory conversion and assimilation of all Spanish Jews, a process which had been underway for a number of centuries.

Historically, the vernacular languages of Sephardim and their descendants have been variants of either Spanish or Portuguese, though other tongues had been adopted and adapted throughout their history.

The main feature of this dialect is the heavy influence of the Jebli Arabic dialect of northern Morocco.The divisions among Sephardim and their descendants today are largely a result of the consequences of the Royal edicts of expulsion.Both the Spanish and Portuguese edicts ordered their respective Jewish residents to choose one of only three options: In the case of the Alhambra Decree of 1492, the primary purpose was to eliminate their influence on Spain's large converso population and ensure they did not revert to Judaism.For religious purposes, and in modern Israel, "Sephardim" is most often used in this wider sense which encompasses most non-Ashkenazi Jews who are not ethnically Sephardi, but are in most instances of West Asian or North African origin, but who nonetheless commonly use a Sephardic style of liturgy, meaning a majority of Mizrahi Jews.The term Sephardi in the broad sense, thus describes the nusach (Hebrew language, "liturgical tradition") used by Sephardi Jews in their Siddur (prayer book).

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In this latter case, these varieties have incorporated loanwords from the indigenous languages of the Americas introduced following the Spanish conquest.