Isaac Abarbanel and the Return of the Bnei Anusim

Don Isaac Abarbanel believed that most Jews who had converted had done so for the sake of survival. He states, “Because of the miseries, the condemnations, and the massacres by the enemies, they left the totality of the Law, and they thought to become like one of the people of the land.”1

The following is an essay written by Michael Freund, the founder and director of Shavei Israel. This organization is dedicated to helping “lost Jews” return to Judaism and many cases emigrate to Israel.

Abarbanel and the Return of the Bnei Anusim

This short article focuses on Don Isaac Abarbanel’s belief that the return of the descendants of Conversos was part of the future restoration of the Jewish people.


1. Jose Faur, “Four Classes of Conversos: A Typological Study,” Revue des Etudes Juives, CXLIX (1-3), Janiver-Juin (1990): 113-124.


By  Rabbi Juan Bejarano-Gutierrez, the director of the B’nei Anusim Center for Education, and author of What is Kosher?

About rambam442013 108 Articles
Rabbi Juan Bejarano-Gutierrez is a graduate of the University of Texas at Dallas where he earned a bachelor of science in electrical engineering. He studied at the Siegal College of Judaic Studies in Cleveland and received a Master of Arts Degree with Distinction in Judaic Studies. He completed his doctoral studies at the Spertus Institute of Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago in 2015. His doctoral dissertation is titled “Complex Identities: Christian and Jewish Attitudes Towards Conversos” and was accepted in September 2015. He also studied at the American Seminary for Contemporary Judaism and received rabbinic ordination in 2011 from Yeshiva Mesilat Yesharim.