In 1492, Chemor, chief Rabbi of Spain, wrote to the Grand Sanhedrin, which had its seat in Constantinople, for advice, when a Spanish law threatened expulsion.2 This was the reply :
" Beloved brethren in Moses, we have received your letter in which you tell us of the anxieties and misfortunes which you are enduring. We are pierced by as great pain to hear it as yourselves.
The advice of the Grand Satraps and Rabbis is the following:
1. As for what you say that the King of Spain 3 obliges you to become Christians: do it, since you cannot do otherwise.
2. As for what you say about the command to despoil you of your property: make your sons merchants that they may despoil, little by little, the Christians of theirs.
3. As for what you say about making attempts on your lives: make your sons doctors and apothecaries, that they may take away Christians' lives.
4. As for what you say of their destroying your syna gogues: make your sons canons and clerics in order that they may destroy their churches.
5. As for the many other vexations you complain of: arrange that your sons become advocates and lawyers, and see that they always mix in affairs of State, that by putting Christians under your yoke you may dominate the world and be avenged on them.
6. Do not swerve from this order that we give you, because you will find by experience that, humiliated as you are, you will reach the actuality of power.
(Signed) PRINCE OF THE JEWS OF CONSTANTINOPLE