views updated May 08 2018


GUADALAJARA , city in Castile, central Spain. A Jewish community already existed there at the time of the *Visigoths, for the Jews are said to have been entrusted, by Ṭāriq ibn-Ziyād, with the defense of the town after the Arab conquest in 714. Joseph *Ferrizuel (Cidellus), the physician of Alfonso vi, was active on behalf of the Jews there after the Christian reconquest in 1085. Judah Halevi dedicated a poem to Ferrizuel on the occasion of the latter's visit in Guadalajara between 1091 and 1095. Further information on the Jews of Guadalajara is found in the charter granted to the Jews of the city by Alfonso vii in 1133. The Jews seemed to have occupied an important position there. One of the synagogues of the community was given to the monastery of Santa Clara in the 13th century. We have no information on the fate of the Jewish community during the 1391 massacres. In 1414 a mass conversion of 122 Jews occurred after supposedly a cross appeared in the skies during the sermon of a Franciscan. In 1444 Juan ii ordered that the New Christians be allowed to occupy public positions in the city. Most of the Guadalajara Jews earned their living from weaving, shoemaking, and tailoring. A tax of 11,000 maravedis, levied from the community as late as 1439, attests to its well-established financial situation. After the anti-Jewish persecutions of 1391, the order to confine the Jews and the Moors in separate sections of the city was rigorously enforced. Several Jews of Guadalajara acted as tax farmers even in the 15th century. The tax levied from the Jews of Guadalajara during the war against Granada was one of the highest paid by any Jewish community, amounting to 104,220 maravedis in 1488 and 90,620 maravedis in 1491.

Guadalajara was a foremost cultural center of Sephardi Jewry and the birthplace of the *Kabbalah in Castile. *Moses de León and other important scholars of the 13th century were active in Guadalajara. *Isaac ibn Sahula, author of the Meshalha-Kadmoni and mystical commentaries on Job, Song of Songs and Psalms, was in practice there as a physician. In Meshal ha-Kadmoni we find for the first time a quotation from the Zohar. Moses de León lived 50 years in Guadalajara. Another Jewish resident of the city in the 13th century was Solomon ben Abraham ben Yaish who wrote on Ibn Ezra's commentary on the Torah. In the 15th century, Guadalajara continued to be an important Jewish cultural center. In Guadalajara between 1422 and 1430 Moses Arragel translated the Bible into Castilian at the request of Luiz de Guzmán, the Great Master of Calatrava. The translation and the notes show the high level of learning that the rabbi from Guadalajara had achieved. This Bible, known as The Alba Bible, is of great artistic, exegetical, and linguistic value. The earliest-recorded Hebrew printing press in Spain was established in 1482 in Guadalajara by Solomon *Alkabeẓ, famous for his poem Lekha Dodi, who produced there in that year the commentary of David *Kimḥi on the later prophets and the Tur Even ha-Ezer of *Jacob b. Asher(1480–82). During the years before the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, residents included Isaac *Abrabanel and Isaac *Aboabii who directed one of the most important yeshivot in Castile. A document of 1499, concerning Jewish property in Guadalajara at the time of the expulsion, lists three synagogues and 36 Jewish houseowners. The exiles from Guadalajara established their own synagogue in Algiers in the early 16th century.

Until 1412 the Jews of Guadalajara lived outside the walls, in what was known as Castil de judíos. From 1412 onwards, the Jews lived near San Adrés, the commercial center of the city, and near San Gil, Santa María de la Fuente, and San Miguel. The judería was not exclusively inhabited by Jews. Following the decision to segregate the Jews in 1480, attempts were made to move the Jews into an area where they could be isolated from the Christian inhabitants. On the eve of the Expulsion, four synagogues are mentioned: Sinagoga mayor, Sinagoga de los Malutes, Sinoga del Midras, and Sinagoga de los Toledanos.


Baer, Spain, index; Baer, Urkunden, index; Suárez Fernández, Documentos, index; F. Cantera Burgos and C. Carrete Parrondo, Las juderías medievales en la provincia de Guadalajara, (1975) [rep. from Sefarad, 33–34 (1973–74); for Guadalajara, see Sefarad, 34 (1974), 43–78; 313–70]; F. Cantera Burgos, in: Proceedings of 6th World Congress of Jewish Studies (1976), 2:53–59; J.I. Alonso Campos and J.M. Calderón Ortega, in: Wad al-Hayara, 13 (1986), 401–4; J.E. Ávila Palet, in: Actas del I Encuentro de Historiadores del Valle de Henares (1988), 49–58.

[Haim Beinart]


views updated May 23 2018


Guadalajara is the commercial, industrial, and transportation center of western Mexico and with a population of approximately 6 million, the second largest city in the country. The capital of the state of Jalisco, Guadalajara lies about 325 miles (520 kilometers) west of Mexico City and at an altitude of 5,141 feet (1,569 meters). The city's rainy season lasts from midsummer to early fall, while the rest of the year is dry and the temperatures mild.

In pre-Columbian times, the Guadalajara area formed the northwestern frontier of the high civilizations of central Mexico against the hostile Chichimecs of the Mesa Central. In 1531 the brutal conquistador Nuño de Guzman invaded the area, enslaved many Indians, and left a trail of death and destruction in his wake. The city of Guadalajara was founded in 1532 but was relocated a number of times to protect it from Indian attack. In 1542 it was finally situated in the valley of the Rio Atemajac. The discovery of silver in Zacatecas in 1546 drew settlers to Guadalajara and its vicinity to provide food and supplies to the miners. In 1549 the bishop in the region moved his residence to Guadalajara, and the city was made the capital of the Audiencia of Nueva Galicia in 1560. Still, Guadalajara grew slowly but steadily. In 1600 it was inhabited by 500 Spaniards, but it had become a small city of 35,000 by 1803. In 1905 its population totaled more than 100,000. This growth during the nineteenth century was based largely on the production of foodstuffs, textiles, and animal products such as leather and soap, as well as the arrival of the railroad in the 1890s.

An almost explosive growth in population and demand for services characterized the city in the mid-twentieth century. For instance, its population doubled to about 750,000 during the decade of the 1950s alone. Guadalajara tried unsuccessfully to control the resultant sprawl of squatter settlements, and one major project related to this goal was the Plaza Tapatia, begun in 1960 and officially completed in 1982. Its primary intent was to preserve the city's downtown historic landscape and to blend it with modern architecture traditions by the placement of fountains, pools, and gardens on the open squares that formed the core of the project. Another component of the city is the quaint suburban neighborhood of Tlaquepaque. Located on the southeastern edge of Guadalajara, its streets and squares have been made into pedestrian walkways and its stores transformed into craft shops and boutiques. A recent addition to the suburban landscape in Latin America is the modern shopping mall, and one of the largest malls in all Latin America is the Plaza del Sol in Guadalajara (built in 1970 and renovated in 1996), with more than 250 commercial spaces. The tapatios, or natives, of Guadalajara have been characterized as politically conservative and staunchly Catholic, a heritage that has frequently placed them at odds with the more liberal secularism of central Mexico. They also take pride in their regional culture for its mariachi music and Guadalajara's part in the origin of tequila.

See alsoCities and Urbanization; Guzmán, Nuño Beltrán de.


Gilbert, Alan. The Latin American City, 2nd edition. London: Latin American Bureau; New York: Monthly Review Press, 1998.

Greenow, Linda L. Credit and Socioeconomic Change in Colonial Mexico: Loans and Mortgages in Guadalajara, 1720–1820. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1983.

Lindley, Richard B. Haciendas and Economic Development: Guadalajara, Mexico at Independence. Austin: University of Texas, 1983.

Logan, Kathleen. Hacienda Pueblo: The Development of a Guadalajaran Suburb. University: University of Alabama Press, 1984.

Riding, Alan. Distant Neighbors: A Portrait of the Mexicans. New York: Knopf, 1984.

Van Young, Eric. Hacienda and Market in Eighteenth-century Mexico: The Rural Economy of the Guadalajara Region, 1675–1820. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1981.

                                    John J. Winberry


views updated May 23 2018

Guadalajara City in sw Mexico; capital of Jalisco state and second-largest city in Mexico. Founded in 1531, it has some fine Spanish colonial architecture, such as the cathedral and governor's palace. Noted for its mountain scenery and mild climate, it is a popular health resort. Industries: engineering, textiles, pottery, glassware. Pop. (2000) 1,647,720.