The New York Times

Passover in a Land of Jewish Ghosts

ON FRIDAY NIGHT I WILL CELEBRATE THE SEDER IN SPAIN, WHERE PIETY AND POETRY ONCE FLOURISHED.

BARCELONA — This Passover I am in Spain, land of Jewish ghosts. Spain was once a place where Jewish piety and poetry flourished. Now it is full of neglected sites and abandoned synagogues. Fewer than 50,000 Jews remain.

Although Spain’s history is particular, its outlines are sadly familiar. To travel almost anywhere in the world as a Jew is a tour of loss. It’s a tour I’ve been taking: I have spent several months on sabbatical seeking out vestiges of Jewish life in Asia, in

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