“Sultan Bayezid el segundo i los djudios desterados de Espanya”

“Sultan Bayezid II and the Jews exiled from Spain”

 An excerpt of a Ladino poem by Albert D. Levy (ca. 1920s) 

Transliterated and translated by Ashley Bobman (2013)

El mando un “ferman” ofisial,
asus provensias Evropeas en djeneral;
komandando a todos los governadores,
de no ronjar a los resfuidos Espanyoles 

de resirvirlos kon dulsor i afavilidad,
darles avrigo, en kualonke sivdad;
tratarlos komo sivdadinos pazeguozos,
porke bivyeran kontentes i orozos. 

Ansi donke, grasyas a este soverano,
tan bueno, dulse i muy umano;
los djudios de Espanya ronjados,
empesaron a bivir, dias mijorados. 

Miles se estabilisieron en Turkia,
formando una grandioza famia;
organizandosen en varias komunidades,
i despyegando esforsos i actividades 

avrieron eskolas, keilot fondaron,
varias institusiones organizaron;
en poko tiempo, se vido sukseso,
realizando un senyalado progreso. 

Los djudios en el Imperio Otomano,
izieron un esforso sovre-umano;
eyos krearon una Espanya orientala.
en sus vida partikolara i nasionala



He sent an official “decree”
to the European provinces, in general,
commanding all of the governors
to not expel the Spanish refugees

to receive them with sweetness and affability,
to give them shelter in any city,
to treat them as peaceful citizens
so that they live happily and with content.

Therefore, thanks to this sovereign,
so good, sweet, and very humane,
the expelled Jews from Spain
began to live better days.

Thousands established themselves in Turkey,
forming a grand family,
organizing themselves in various communities,
and displaying effort and activity.

They opened schools, they founded synagogues,
they organized various institutions;
in short time they witnessed success,
making noteworthy progress.

The Jews in the Ottoman Empire
made a super-human effort,
they created an Eastern Spain
in their private and national lives.

Want to know more? “Reading Her Great-Grandfather” describes how UW sophomore Ashley Bobman began working with Prof. Devin Naar to translate the Ladino scrapbooks that her great-grandfather, Sephardic cultural activist Albert D. Levy, compiled in the early twentieth century.

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