Welcome to volume 4, issue 4 of Sephardic Horizons. We are pleased to bring you a new, scholarly article by Geoffrey Clarfield analyzing the music of the musical group "Gerineldo," and another interesting article by Tiberiu Weisz on potential parallels between Chinese and Jewish culture. You will also find an extract from a new novel in Hebrew called Benghazi—Bergen-Belsen, by Yossi Sukary, describing the persecution during the Shoah of Libyan Jews who happened to be British citizens. Besides representing a little-known chapter of Jewish and Sephardi/Mizrahi history, this novel is written in an innovative third-person style that earned it the Brenner Prize for Literature this year. We are proud to bring you an extract which has never before been published in English.
Our contributions in Ladino/Judeo-Spanish are from Rivka Abiry, "Hanukiya," and three poems from Haim Vitali Sadacca. Our reviews this time are by Andrew Apostolou, on a book about conversos and halakha by Dora Zsom, Ralph Tarica, on a book in French by Marie Christine Varol and Rosa Sánchez on the Judeo-Spanish press, and David Navarro, evaluating a book published in Italy on Giovanni Pico della Mirandola and the Kabbalah.
We would like to indicate, for your interest, a fascinating study by David Meghnagi in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis on the book by Silvano Arieti, The Parnas, going beyond the book to include a psychoanalytical portrait of Pardo Roques himself, caught in the Nazi period in Pisa between his own phobias and the genuinely fearsome and dehumanizing Nazi regime. Though a tragic story, we see how such a person can nevertheless rise above his own phobias in truly heroic fashion. The article is in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, No. 95 (2014), pp. 1155-1181. For further information, contact the author, firstname.lastname@example.org .
Sephardic Horizons mourns the passing of Isaac Nehama, z"l, our first webmaster, without whom this journal would never have come into being, and who has taken a lively interest over subsequent years. He was a brilliant yet extremely modest man, and also courageous, having fought the Nazis as a partisan in Macedonia. After a career in America as a scientist, he became a volunteer scholar at the Holocaust Museum in Washington DC, translating books from Ladino to English, such as Monastir without Jews, by Jamila Andjela Kolonomos, and lecturing on the history of Sephardim in the Holocaust also at the Vijitas de Alhad, when called upon. He is greatly missed by his family and friends, and leaves a legacy of commitment to accuracy in Sephardic history that serves as a model to us.
We rejoice, on the other hand, at the liberation of Alan Gross, closely connected with the Washington area, whose commitment to Jewish education in Cuba had landed him in a Cuban prison for the last five years.
This may be our last issue curated by Elliott Blufer, our reliable and meticulous webmaster, obviously destined for great things, and who has gone beyond the call of duty many times to bring Sephardic Horizons to its readers. Thank you Elliott!
Thanks also to all our creative and scholarly contributors, and to our readers for your continuing faith in this journal.
With best wishes to our readers for the New Year, Anyada Buena,
Editor, Sephardic Horizons