A significant focus of future blog posts will be on the topic of Jewish identity, since this is I believe the central element regarding the Conversos of centuries past as well as those claiming to be their descendants.
I was introduced to the Maharal (Morenu HaRav Judah Loew) by my esteemed teacher, Rabbi Dr. Byron L. Sherwin, z”l. Dr. Sherwin presented the Maharal’s view of Jewish identity as one of many poles in Jewish thought. For those interested in learning more about the Maharal, an invaluable source remains Rabbi Sherwin’s Mystical Theology and Social Dissent.
The Maharal’s views are of particular interest when discussing apostasy, forced or voluntary. His views stand in opposition to the views of the Rambam (Rabbi Moses Ben Maimon) regarding Jewish identity. For the Rambam, Jewish identity was a religious faith and identity which could be negated. This is a topic which will be discussed in future posts.