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Unorthodox KinPortuguese Marranos and the Global Search for Belonging$
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Naomi Leite

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520285040

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520285040.001.0001

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From Ancestors to Affection

From Ancestors to Affection

Making Connections, Making Kin

(p.220) Five From Ancestors to Affection
Unorthodox Kin

Naomi Leite

University of California Press

This chapter explains that the urban Marranos were effectively consigned to waiting for the right visitors to appear, people who would see them simultaneously as B'nai Anusim—descendants of the forced converts—and as historically situated individuals living very much in the Portuguese present. It shows that the few visitors who were able to hold those two aspects of their condition in tension realized that their primary need, more than an appropriate ritual of reincorporation, was a concrete program of face-to-face instruction, guidance, and community building before they could live as fully fledged Jews. Ultimately, what proved most important was for them to forge lasting bonds with visitors who would incorporate them into the global “Jewish family” through personal relations of love and care.

Keywords:   kinship, reincorporation, Jews, Jewish family, personal relations, ancestry

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