“The Best Is Yet To Come”

While in Rome, my adorable blogofriend The Dippy-Dotty Girl has visited the Jewish Ghetto, billed as the oldest Jewish ghetto in Europe. Judging from her excellent description and gorgeous photos, the tour – and the kosher food! – was very impressive. However, I beg to disagree with the chronology of the tour books. While the Roman ghetto might be the oldest one preserved more or less intact, as shown to tourists, it was established by Pope Paul IV in 1555, while the ghetto in Granada, Spain, had already been in existence for almost 500 years.

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A brilliant medieval philosopher, scientist, poet, and bible commentator, Rabbi Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra arrived in Granada a few decades after the hideous 1066 massacre, during which the Jewish vizier (chief adviser to the king) was crucified and about 4,000 Jews killed.

“Do not consider it a breach of faith to kill them, the breach of faith would be to let them carry on, “ – declared the native poet Abu Ishaq, and openly revealed the main motivation for inspiring this pogrom, –“How can they have any pact when we are obscure and they are prominent?”

To protect the survived remainder of the Jewish population from further atrocities, Ibn Ezra conceived the idea of separating them in an enclosed area, sort of like today’s gated communities. The word ghetto, though, appeared much later, with the establishment of a Jewish ghetto in Venice, around 1516, which is still earlier than the Roman one. The word itself most probably originates from Hebrew get (a bill of divorce).

Rabbi Ibn Ezra, himself a great poet, became a subject of Robert Browning’s poem Rabbi Ben Ezra that opens with these lines:

Grow old along with me

The best is yet to be

John Lennon’s last song, Grow Old with Me, is based on this poem. Tragically, John and Yoko never got a chance to grow old together, but the beautiful, haunting song lives on. So does the memory of a great medieval thinker Rabbi Abraham ben Meir ibn Ezra. And in case you forget his name, there is a crater on the moon named after him, Crater Abenezer.

via Inside The Ghetto

38 Comments Add yours

    1. Thank you for pingback, dear friend!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I am also one of the lucky ones, I have walked these beautiful little cobble streets, I can honestly say I had the best food in Rome,! A wonderful experience I loved it ……………….

    Liked by 3 people

    1. So did I, and I am glad you enjoyed the experience!

      Like

      1. Wonderful and would repeat many times !

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I visited there a few years ago and was also impressed with the place and food. Thanks for bringing back nice memories!:)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I felt the same way when I read all her Italian posts!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for pointing out about the actual oldest ghetto in Europe, Dolly. I shall correct the point in my post straightaway. It makes sense that Granada should be the oldest. The ghetto there does have a beautiful evocative touch to it. xx

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I have never been to Granada (still on my list of places to visit!), but have you written about it?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No I have not written about it yet. I have such a backlog of places I want to write about and there never seems enough time! I shall get around with posting it someday soon 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ll be waiting for it. I so enjoy your posts, darling! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Thank you Dolly! Hugs xx

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hugs right back to you! 😻

        Like

  4. Osyth says:

    Fascinating as ever. I am hoping to be in Granada either later this year or certainly next. I will make a point of visiting the Ghetto, of course. In fact I lived just outside the Ghetto so I have far too many memories (all good for me) of wandering those streets. John Lennon’s song is one of my favourites, Brownings poem very beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. spearfruit says:

    Interesting post. Thanks for sharing Dolly. Gary

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Gary.

      Like

    1. Thank you so much, Cathy. Actually, I had known the story of Granada ghetto, so her beautiful post rang a bell, and I went to my sources to clarify and confirm.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. purpleslob says:

    Thanks for the history lesson, Dolly. I had no idea who that poem was based on, because I never read the whole thing, just familiar with that quote.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah, dear Melinda, believe me, you are not the only one by far, who reads the famous lines rather than the entire thing. It the high school student in us! 😻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. purpleslob says:

        Lol!! I survived on Cliff notes! lol
        How’s your book sales?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lucky you Americans – you had Cliff notes! Book sales are picking up, little by little, thanks for asking!😻

        Liked by 1 person

      3. purpleslob says:

        Lol, and they were used extensively!!
        YAY!! Of course, you’re my Dear Dolly!!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I just love you to bits, Purple Person! 😻

        Liked by 1 person

      5. purpleslob says:

        Aww, I love you too, my frisky, feline friend! ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing this tragic but enlightening story. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, dear Anna, for your comment!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reblogging.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hello, thank you for posting nice stuff. Have a great week. Michael 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You too, Michael! 😻

        Like

  8. oldpoet56 says:

    Excellent piece of knowledge, I enjoyed the read so I am going to reblog this article for you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you so much, Ted! I am glad you liked it.

      Like

  9. reocochran says:

    Beautiful post and I loved John Lennon, as he grew to be a good father and husband. I liked this link very much, Dolly. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, dear Robin! I also loved John Lennon, and I thought that senseless death was a great tragedy and a loss of great talent.

      Like

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