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Jews on Spanish Island Get First 'Public' Sukkah

Before the Spanish Inquisition, the island of Mallorca had a sizable Jewish community. Every fall, the island became dotted with the leaf-roofed huts that Jews are commanded to erect during the holiday of Sukkot.

But that all changed under the Inquisition’s campaign of persecution that began in 1488 (four years before it started on Spain’s mainland) and was only officially abolished centuries later in 1834.

This year, however, the island’s tiny Jewish community in the capital Palma is determined to reintroduce its Sukkot tradition with a public statement.

Ahead of the holiday this week, the Jewish community along with the municipality of Palma have erected what organizers are calling the island’s first “public” sukkah since the Inquisition, situated in the city’s former Jewish Quarter.

“It’s one of several firsts for the Jews of Mallorca, and it’s especially meaningful because it restores something from this community’s past,” said Dani Rotstein, founder of Limud Mallorca and secretary of the Jewish Community of the Balearic Islands. A tourism and video production professional from New Jersey, he has led efforts to promote Mallorca’s Jewish community since he moved there in 2014. (INN / VFI News)

“You shall dwell in booths for seven days. All native Israelites shall dwell in booths, that your generations may know that I made the people of Israel dwell in booths when I brought them out of the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God.” - Leviticus 23:42-43