Prensa - Column
For April 6, 2008
Secrets of Our
Writer: Dell F. Sanchez
I would like to continue with my previous title, “In
search of our forefathers” but focus more on their
secrets. This column will enlighten you on the fact
that the forefathers we are searching for are descendants
of the survivors of the infamous Inquisitions in Spain,
Portugal, Mexico, Latin America and yes, even New Mexico.
I want to go on record by declaring that these “Inquisitions”
were not subtle prejudices that hardly go unnoticed
or domesticated racial profiling. These Inquisitions
were treacherous and made ample use of torture in order
to force our forefathers to convert to “Christianity”
because they were Jewish descendants from Spain. I need
to emphasize that history proves that the version of
“Christianity” that was represented here
was Roman Catholicism.
Once they succeeded with such conversions, they were
forced to eat pork (needless to say this is totally
un-kosher) and then they were called Marranos which
we all know means swine, hog, pig, puerco, cerdo and
so forth. This label was placed on many of our forefathers
during the vicious days of the Inquisitions. However,
other terms were also used to depict a converted Jew,
whether they were sincere or insincere about such conversion.
A few of them are Converso (a Convert) and Nuevo Creyente
(a New Believer).
Interestingly, there was an old term that was also used
to describe a Jew that had been a Catholic for many
generations. This term is called Hidalgo. I learned
about its meaning from Professor Avi Gross of Ben Gurion
University in Beer Sheba, Israel. He stated that the
Inquisition’s application of Hidalgo actually
comes from the term hijo-de- algo or “son of something”
not “son of someone.”
During my initial days of researching this whole subject
about 12 years ago, I had a hard time digesting the
things Helen and I were discovering about our true history.
However, when I began to dig into what took place in
the nearby land of many of our forefathers which is
Mexico, I was shocked. I discovered that there was a
thing called La Santa Inquisicion Mexicana or The Holy
Mexican Inquisition which was headquartered in Mexico
City. This lasted about 300 years and has been kept
an air-tight secret-until now.
A thousand columns would not have the space to portray
the treacheries our forefathers suffered. It’s
no wonder why so many of us have sensed a kind of pain
deep within our soul and have never been able to put
a finger on it. The reason for this pain is due to the
fact that our forefathers endured not only physical
pain but the pain of shame, guilt and condemnation.
It is one thing to hide physical pain but it’s
quite another to try to camouflage the pain caused by
shame and baseless guilt.
It’s a wonder that today the children of the survivors
of all those Inquisitions are waking up to their true
identity and heritage. It’s even a greater miracle
that they want to connect with the other side of their
family who are Jewish and to reconnect with the homeland
of their forefathers, which is Israel. I say this because
we all know that for 3000 years or more Jews have been
persecuted all around the earth and in every generation
and nation under the sun.
However, there’s a bright ray of good news. Truly,
there’s hope in all of this. As we’re discovering
our true history and not some myth or fable we’ve
been fed; and as we’re finding our role in the
writings of ancient prophets, we are slowly discovering
our real destiny.
In my next column I shall attempt to pick up here and
tell you a little more about the specific reasons why
our forefathers went underground hundreds of years ago
and how they kept secret Sephardic Jewish practices
and terms which are still alive today.
Send your questions and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
And don’t forget to check out our newly reconstructed
website: www.4sephardim.com. If you’re not into
email and the internet, address your mail to: PO Box
75, Helotes, Texas 78023. La Prensa - Column #5
for February 10th, 2008
Proposed title: In Search
of our Forefathers
Writer: Dell F. Sanchez
I’ve often wondered why, since my childhood, I
felt like a stranger in my own land. It wasn’t
until I began to discover what happened to our forefathers
during the slow holocausts of the Inquisitions in Spain,
Portugal, Mexico and throughout Latin America.
The fact is that the majority of our forefathers actually
came from Spain as they fled the tortures, massacres,
confiscations, kidnappings and burnings at the stake
because they weren’t Catholic Christians but Jewish
in faith and lifestyle. In my last column I mentioned
how our forefathers were called La Gente Prohibida meaning
that upon their expulsion from Spain in 1492, they weren’t
to cross the Atlantic into the New World but were free
to go anywhere they desired east of the Atlantic.
We learned that Christopher Columbus was actually bussing
many of our Spanish surname, Sephardic Jewish ancestors
across the Atlantic as far away from the infamous Inquisition
in Spain and later Portugal. What I neglected to tell
you is that Spain’s Queen Isabella wasn’t
the one that financed Columbus’ journeys to the
New World but three or four wealthy Sephardic leaders,
Abravanel, Señor, Santangel and Sanchez.
Just three decades after Columbus discovered America,
the Spanish Crown sent a dozen Franciscan friars to
install the “Holy Mexican Inquisition” in
1524. Why? Because reports got back to the Spanish Crown
that these “prohibited” people were multiplying
and prospering in the New World. It seems the Franciscans
weren’t doing too good a job with their Inquisition
headquartered in Mexico City. Hence, in 1527, the Crown
sent a dozen Dominican Friars to fuel the fires of Las
Hogueras or the burnings at the stake of Sephardic victims.
During a month long research journey to Mexico, my wife,
Helen and I found the place where Inquisition victims
were actually burned at the stake right in front of
El Convento San Diego or the San Diego Convent in Mexico
City. In fact, we also found the Palace of the Inquisition.
What surprised us most is that we bumped into an unadvertised
display of dozens of torture tools and weapons, many
of which were used on our ancestors and so few of our
people have any hint about it. (By a miracle from heaven
I succeeded in taking photos of all of this evidence
which some day I’d love to share with our local
About eight years after the Mexican Inquisition established
a High Tribunal in Mexico City, fate would have it that
Don Luis de Carvajal y de la Cueva succeeded in bringing
with him around 200 members of his and his wife’s
family from Iberia. Since Carvajal had already spent
around a decade in Mexico scouting the land from top
to bottom, he knew he wasn’t to land his ship,
La Santa Catalina in the Port of Vera Cruz where all
other boats and fleets landed.
Thus in 1580, Carvajal managed to pull away from his
fleet in order to land further north at the Port of
Tampico. He knew his Sephardic cargo didn’t have
much of a chance if they landed in Vera Cruz because
there awaited an incredible prison called San Juan de
Ulua. Helen and I also witnessed this horrible site
which reminded me of one of Hitler’s death camps.
This prison housed criminals and those accused of witchcraft
which made it even worst for innocent Sephardic Jews
King Philip II had given a huge land grant to Don Luis
de Carvajal which was measured in leagues. My estimation
is that it was somewhere around 320,000 square miles
later known as “the Tragic Square” because
of the manner in which Carvajal’s Spanish speaking
Jews were hunted down and persecuted by La Santa Inquisicion
This Mexican Inquisition got so bad that in 1591, despite
his high position as Viceroy to the king Carvajal died
in an Inquisition prison in Mexico City. Just five years
later, in 1596, his own sister together with three of
her daughters and her son, Don Luis el Mozo (the young)
were burned alive at the stake in Mexico City simply
because they were Sephardic Jews.
This story is far from over but we’ll need to
pick up on it in my next column. I hope to tell you
a bit about some of the torture methods that were used
on our Crypto-Jewish forefathers and how and why they
fled across the Rio Grande into Texas and New Mexico.
And I also wish to let you know that San Antonio was
in the northeastern corner of Carvajal’s huge
land grant. Who knows, you might finally discover that
you, too, have Sephardic Jewish roots and didn’t
Please send me your questions and comments at email@example.com.
And don’t forget to check out my newly reconstructed
website: www.4sephardim.com. If you’re not into
email and the internet, address your mail to: PO Box
75, Helotes, Texas 78023.
Prensa - Columna #4
for February 3rd, 2008
title: Endurance of our Prohibited Forefathers
Writer: Dell F. Sanchez
A couple of weeks ago I declared in my column that many
of our forefathers who were Spanish Jews known as Sephardim
were labeled as La Gente Prohibida. This means they
were a “prohibited people.” The travesty
is that this has not been a mere label but a curse that
was placed upon our forefathers, which I’ll attempt
to explain in this column.
The issue is what were our Jewish forefathers prohibited
from doing? Upon their expulsion by the Spanish and
later the Portuguese Inquisition, they were commanded
to leave their homeland and go in any direction they
so desired. Many went into parts of Central Europe,
others fled to North Africa and Middle Eastern countries.
A few made it all the way back to Erez Israel. But they
were ordered not to cross the Atlantic Ocean. This is
what they were prohibited from doing-from crossing the
Atlantic in order to come to the New World which is
the Americas of today.
The curse of the Inquisition which labeled our forefathers
as “prohibited” was branded in the souls
of our people. This curse was reinforced by the use
of psychological spy games called “inquiry”
by the Inquisition. These inquiries took the shape of
torture. Hence, torture was used by the inquisitors
in order to force confessions and conversions to the
Roman Catholic Church. There was no famine of torture
tools and methods by the Inquisition within the chambers
of what was called La Casa Santa or The Holy House.
These methods fell under the specific auspice of El
Santo Oficio or the Holy Office. In other words, the
Inquisition machinery felt it was holy to torture and
even burn its Jewish victims at the stake for being
Jews and not Catholic Christians.
Sure enough, the very thing the Inquisition did not
want to see happen, which was for Sephardim to cut across
the ocean, did in fact occur. Records reveal that the
majority of the passengers’ names on Columbus’
ships, La Nina, La Pinta y La Santa Maria so happened
to be of Sephardic origin. Yes, I’m referring
to many commonly known Hispanic and Latino apellidos
or surnames such as ours. Due to the records, I hypothesize
that Mr. Columbus was doing nothing less than bussing
Sephardic families as far away from harm’s way
as possible. After all, we’ve discovered that
Columbus’ mother, wife and mother-in-law had confessed
to the Inquisition that they were Sephardic Jews. While
Columbus was never referred to as a Marrano yet it’s
apparent he was what was called a Nuevo Creyente, a
Converso or a New Christian.
By the way, after a Sephardic Jew was forced to leave
their Jewish faith and lifestyle, they were then forced
to eat pork and then called Marrano. Marrano means hog,
swine, and pig. So now you begin to see the horrific
odds our people have had to endure in order to come
as far as we have to this day. We’ve survived
“the curse” of being known as “prohibited”
from crossing borders as well as psychological and physical
duress as well as the terrible labels that were placed
In my next column, I’ll share with you about a
hero among our Sephardic ancestors, Don Luis de Carvajal
y de la Cueva. I’ll show you how he succeeded
in gaining great favor with King Philip II of Spain.
I’ll demonstrate how between him and his mother
in law they were able to persuade the King to allow
about 200 of their Sephardic families to cross the Atlantic
and come into Mexico. I’ll attempt to show you
how subsequent to this, the Spanish Crown installed
La Santa Inquisicion Mexicana in Mexico City and the
cycle of terror took root in Mexico and lasted 300 years
and hardly anyone knows about it.
Consult my newly overhauled website for more facts and
information: www.4sephardim.com. And if you’re
interested in my monthly newsletter, write me firstname.lastname@example.org.
or drop me a card at: PO Box 75, Helotes, Texas 78023.
Prensa - Column #3
for January 20th, 2008
Proposed title: Flight across an ocean and a river
Writer: Dell F. Sanchez
In my last column, I left you in Spain. I explained
how Jews wound up in Sepharad, which is Hebrew for Spain,
during the times of King David and King Solomon. I stated
that the greatest migration from Israel to Spain probably
came around AD 70. This happened during the destruction
of the Temple in Jerusalem by the Roman Legion. Two
thousand years later, there is still intense turmoil
over the Temple Mount which is under Moslem control
with their mosque setting atop the place where the Jewish
Temple is prophesied to be rebuilt.
It’s important to note that there were many communities
of exiled Jews throughout Western Europe such as Rome
and Italy and subsequently also in France and other
European locations. I say this so that no one gets the
notion that all of our ancestors came only from Spain
and Portugal. Nonetheless, at that time, Spain was the
primary Jewish community outside of Israel.
Unfortunate to our Jewish forefathers, a vast number
of Church Councils were held in Spain such as in Toledo
and Elvira because of increased rulings to sabotage
Jewish growth and prosperity. These Councils actually
began in the 1st Century AD and continued for no less
than 1800 long years. These Councils were not Protestant
because the Protestant movement didn’t emerge
until the early 1500s with Martin Luther and the Great
Not a Church Council passed by without the installation
of new rulings directed straight at Sephardic Jews as
we’ve also referred to them as Spanish Jews. The
irony was that the intent of these rulings was not merely
religious or a matter of ones theology and faith but
of economics as well. After all, Sephardim had been
extremely successful in every facet of society ranging
from philosophy and theology to letters or translations,
medicine, the arts and above all banking and economics.
My theory is that the ‘intent behind the intent’
of all these rulings against Jews wasn’t religious
but economic control.
On the one hand, our Sephardic ancestors flourished
in all aspects of life yet on the other, anti-Semitism
increased dramatically. All this led to the infamous
Spanish Inquisition which I call “The Slow Holocaust”
because it lasted hundreds of years, and so few know
While the “spirit of the Inquisition” existed
way before its official installation in 1531 Jews were
expelled (yes, kicked out) of their forefathers’
homeland in 1492, which I’ll get to momentarily.
What’s quite interesting is that the same year
the Inquisition was officially installed, there was
a major earthquake in that region.
We’ve all heard the little jingle, Columbus sailed
the ocean blue in 1492. But what we don’t know
is that just a few days before, the Jews had been expelled
and ordered to leave Spain within a few days, without
their wealth and personal possessions. Remember that
these were the very folks that led the whole entourage
which led to the Golden Era of extreme brilliance and
The very tactics of “inquiring” and interrogation
through the use of torture were used in Spain and Portugal.
Yet fewer people are aware that this devilish pogrom
known as La Santa Inquisición was exported across
the Atlantic and took root in Mexico-yes, our Mexico
just across El Rio Bravo or the Rio Grande. The point
is that our people weren’t supposed to flee across
the Atlantic Ocean which is why they were called La
Gente Prohibida strictly prohibited from coming west
into the New World which is where I’ll pick up
in my next column, si Dios nos da licencia.
Please direct any feedback by consulting my website:
www.4sephardim.com. And if you’re interested in
my monthly newsletter, write me at email@example.com.
Prensa - Column #2
for ending of December 2007
Proposed title: Our History-Past and Present
Writer: Dell F. Sanchez
In my first column, I stated that there are many Hispanics
throughout the Southwest of the USA that have Sephardic
Jewish roots. These people are discovering their roots
and wanting to know how to accommodate to their new-found
history and heritage. The best way to begin is by knowing
the facts about who we are and where we come from.
But before I plunge into the subject of our history
I would like to say that history isn’t just in
our past because we’re making history as we go.
In the process, something very special took place in
Israel a few days ago. Specifically, it took place in
the land the prophet Obadiah prophesied we’re
to occupy and possess which is the Negev.
My wife and I had the joy of leading around 25 Americans
and a few European friends on a journey up to the Negev
where we held a very special conference on American
Sephardic Anusim. Half of our sessions were in a classroom
type environment and the other half were out in the
field enjoying the landscape many of our people will
call home in years to come. The thought that kept resurging
within me was that we are like David Ben Gurion who
was Israel’s first Prime Minister at the rebirthing
of Israel in 1948. I get the feeling that his pioneering
spirit in the Negev kept him sharp enough to endure
the challenges and travesties of Israel’s early
beginnings. After all, his home was there and there’s
where he chose to be buried, both he and his wife.
In another sense, King David was also a great champion
and pioneer who was of the Tribe of Judah. Fact is that
most of Judah’s borders were in the Negev.
What’s most amazing is that God preserved and
has hidden Sephardic Jews for the last three thousand
years. Our forefathers came close to being annihilated
many times since the days of King David. In the B.C.
era, they escaped Babylon’s plunder and in the
A.D. era, they escaped Rome’s rage. But the worst
came with what I call the “slow holocausts”
of the Spanish, the Portuguese and the Mexican Inquisitions.
Time and again, our people have arisen above all types
of prejudice and racism many of which have been masked
maneuvers of anti-Semitism.
So it is that the intent of these columns is to explain
how our roots go way back to Las mañanitas del
Rey David and the Proverbs of King Solomon. In order
to make this 3000 year historical journey possible,
allow me to give you some highlights of where we come
Three millennia ago, King David had an amazing relationship
with King Hiram of the Phoenician Empire which is in
today’s Lebanon. They had a military force on
land and sea that was unequaled. In fact, his son, King
Solomon took this relationship to a maritime partnership.
The world’s greatest history book called the Bible
says that King Solomon and King Hiram had a ship building
port near Elat near the Red Sea where the Israelites
crossed in their exodus out of Egypt.
Bible history declares these two kings sent fleets of
ships every three years to a faraway place called Tarshish,
which is where Jonah was fleeing from God’s presence.
Their purpose was to bring gold, silver and exotic fruits
and animals such as apes and peacocks. Some historians
believe the gold was used in building Solomon’s
Temple in Jerusalem.
The interesting thing is that ancient Tarshish is later
called Sepharad by the prophet Obadiah. Remember that
our historical identification as Sephardic Jews comes
from the word Sepharad. In Hebrew, Spain has continued
to be called Sepharad since bible times. Another interesting
observation is that Spain and Portugal are in what’s
called the Iberian Peninsula. “Iberia” is
linked to the term, Ibrit which means Hebrew.
There is no question in my mind that the first waves
of Jewish migration to Spain were during David and Solomon’s
time. This is extremely important because that’s
where we began our trek in the direction to where we’re
at today. Subsequent waves of migration to Spain were
during those periods of exile I’ve referred to
above, namely, the Babylonian and later the Roman exiles.
It was at these specific times when multitudes of Jews
escaped the sword of these empires and fled to Sepharad.
These Jews specifically fled to Spain because their
forefathers had co-founded Spain along with their cousins,
the Phoenicians. They chose Spain because there was
a strong Sephardic Jewish presence there and because
there was a wondrous spirit of a future glory that captivated
their hearts. Above all, they chose Spain because God
had chosen Spain for them. God sheltered and prospered
them there and also prepared them for the time they
would flee across the Atlantic to be hid from their
perpetrators which we’ll discuss in later columns.
Meanwhile, Chanukkah samea or Happy Chanukkah and Feliz
Navidad to all of you.
For more information or feedback visit Dr. Sanchez’
website: www4sephardim.com or write him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Column by Dell F. Sanchez, Ph.D.
I’ve not written regularly for any newspaper since
I did the sports page for El Nopal in the early ‘60s
at Lanier High School. However, I have learned to write
a bit since then. In the process, I’ve published
nine books and a number of magazine articles over the
last decade or so. This column is only a bird’s
eye view regarding our people’s history and destiny.
I trust it will add new hope and dignity to your life
as you find out who you really are and are not.
I have a desire to share with you a little of what I’ve
gleaned regarding the subject of my publications. This
subject has to do with the discovery of deep roots of
a Sephardic Jewish heritage among many of our Hispanics
in San Antonio and the Southwest. We have discovered
genealogical roots, oral histories, material evidences
and even DNA test results that confirm this subject.
The first giveaway of our linkage with Sephardic Jewish
roots has been the fact that many of our apellidos or
surnames happen to be found in the field of onomastics
which contributes to my point. I’m referring to
a massive host of surnames such as Alvarez, Bazan, Calderon,
Duran, Elizondo, Garcia, Martinez, Ortiz, Pacheco, Sanchez,
Tello and thousands more.
But rather than to dive into this subject with a hard
core historical perspective, I prefer to have a platica
or a heart to heart conversation with you about this
matter. In the process, I hope you’ll also unearth
the destiny that’s connected to your own history.
As a pregunton that I am, one that’s forever asking
questions, it all began when my wife declared to me
that she was Jewish on her mother’s side. I found
it very hard to believe that a surname such as Martinez
would have Jewish roots. Had it been Martinestein, and
on her father’s side Anciraberg, maybe I would
have believed it. It wasn’t until eleven years
ago that my father discovered the secret of his family’s
Sephardic heritage. Maybe some day I’ll share
it with you.
Hence, my wife and I were catapulted into this quest
for truth about our ancestors. We’ve traveled
all across the Southwest, Mexico, and Spain and often
to Israel in our search.
In my future writings, you’ll find me trekking
through 3000 years of history in order to get to where
we’re at today. I will take you on this long journey
that begins with King David and Solomon in order to
find out why, when and how Jews got from Israel to Spain
in the first place. We’ll discover how Jews co-founded
Spain which was known as Sepharad in Bible times which
is the root from where we get the term, Sephardim.
From Spain, I’ll guide you across the Atlantic
to the Americas. I’ll share with you how our forefathers
were expelled from Spain by the Spanish Inquisition
and how they were hunted down after they arrived in
Mexico as many fled into Texas and other parts of America’s
I’ll talk about the gold and glory of our ancestors
as well as the manner in which they were forced into
barrios known as Juderias. In the process, we shall
see that the ancient prophets had us in mind when they
spoke of our people returning to the land of our forefathers
which is Israel. I hope to inspire you about our people’s
future role that’s linked to our true history.
For more information or feedback visit Dr. Sanchez’