Historical Notes by Paula Rose Michelson

It might seem odd to some that a reflective blog would post historical notes. However, I believe that what the Sephardim experienced during the inquisition is something we all encounter, namely name-calling, or group labeling, and targeting. Many believe this practice is harmless. However, name-calling and group labeling, and targeting are abusive because it affects an individual’s life and influences how others see them. Unlike like other abuses most verbally wounded people have no one to commiserate with and never speak of what happened. This is what happened to the Spanish Jews and it most like happened, or will happen to you as well.

The portion of text for today says:

The Spanish Inquisition began with the signing of the Decree of Alhambra on March 31, 1492, which was in effect for five hundred years. That decree instituted pureblood laws, which forced the Jews to leave Spain before midnight of the above date, become a Catholic converso (which was the title the church gave them, meaning convert) or Anusim (the forced ones, as they called themselves), or die.

Here we see that the church (a group of people) named another group of people, thus defining and threatening them. Historically this has happened to many groups. Kings and rulers, countries and people of different faiths have done this to stigmatize those they want nothing to do with, those they envy, and those they fear. The key words that drive this situation are envy and fear. So let me ask you:

• Has envy or fear caused people to treat you differently?

• Have you treated others poorly because you envy or fear them?

• How did you feel when others treated you differently?

• How did others react when you treated them differently?

• What types of people want to be your friend?

• What type of people do you wish would befriend you?

• What behavior will attract people to you?

Since you might wonder why your answers to these questions matter please read “Watch Your Thoughts, They Become Words” by Frank Outlaw, which I have posted below.

Watch your thoughts, they become words.

Watch your words, they become actions.

Watch your actions, they become habits.

Watch your habits, they become your character.

Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.

Reflection: Since these simple statements might be ones you have never read before, take a moment to reflect on, or write down your thoughts.


By now, I hope you have realized that what was done to the Spanish Jews is no different from what some do to others. That is a good first step. However, another must follow if we are to clean our internal house and keep it that way. To learn the importance of keeping your commitment to choose to be a person that does not prey upon others, please read Matthew 12:43-45. “When an impure spirit comes out of a person, it goes through arid places seeking rest and does not find it. Then it says, ‘I will return to the house I left.’ When it arrives, it finds the house unoccupied, swept clean and put in order. Then it goes and takes with it seven other spirits more wicked than itself, and they go in and live there. And the final condition of that person is worse than the first. That is how it will be with this wicked generation,” is critical to us if we want to facilitate life change.

By now this might be beginning to sound like alot of work. You might be asking yourself, “Why would I want to change?”

The answer is easy if you believe that ‘as you do unto others it will be done to you.’ To illustrate what I mean I have posted another portion of Scripture from the book of Mathew, which many refer to as the Beatitudes. As you read, you will discover a way of living, acting, and reacting that you may not know about. My challenge to you is to conceder that you create your world through your thoughts, which drive your behavior. If you want to create a better world, allow Gods word to dwell within you, and watch a miracle unfold.

Matthew 5: 1-11 Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

0 Response to "Historical Notes by Paula Rose Michelson"

Post a Comment