И вот, благодаря читаемой ныне книге неожиданно выяснилось, что, оказывается, в Российский империи бала бюрократическая должность, на которую (за редчайшим исключением) крещеных евреев не назначали. А назначали, напротив, лиц Моисеева закона, а крещение служило формальным поводом для отклонения кандидатуры.
Читателям предлагается, не пользуясь гуглем, ответить, что это за должность. (UPDATE: в комментах есть правильный ответ, поэтому кто хочет сам - в кибитку не ходи).
Ну и раз уж речь зашла о крещеных евреях - ища материал для одного проекта, аз, многогрешный, обнаружил в блоге проф. Марка Шапиро чудесный сюжет о роли выкрестов в судьбе одной из важнейших еврейских книг:
Two grandsons of Levita also played a role in Jewish history. One was named Vittorio Eliano (which means “from the house of Elijah”), and the other was his brother Giovanni Battista. They were both apostates. Eliano became a priest as did Battista, who was actually a Jesuit...
During the great sixteenth-century dispute in Venice between two Christian printers of Hebrew books – a dispute that also involved R. Meir Katzenellenbogen and R. Moses Isserles – both Christian sides denounced the other to Rome “for producing works which contained matter offensive to the Holy Catholic Faith.” Eliano and Battista ended up giving testimony about supposedly blasphemous material in the Talmud, which in turn led to the Talmud being burned in Rome, in the Campo de Fiori, on September 9, 1553. Soon after that the Talmud was burned in Venice and in other places in Italy, and the work itself became an illegal text.
Although the Talmud was illegal, the Zohar was not. It was none other than the apostate Eliano who had a central role in the second printing of the Zohar in Cremona in 1559-1560, as he was a proof reader. (The first printing was in Mantua in 1558-1560.) This edition “was the preferred of the two editions by eastern European kabbalists.”
Here is the title page of the Cremona Zohar. You can see at the bottom the statement that the publication was approved by the Inquisition.
Here is the last page of the Cremona Zohar. You can see that Eliano is mentioned as one of the two people who prepared the text for publication.
While on the topic of apostates and the Zohar, here is another interesting point. The Soncino Press of London published a translation of the Zohar. For some of this translation they had the assistance of Paul Levertoff. What makes this so significant is that Levertoff, who began life as a Habad Hasid and later studied in Volozhin, was an apostate. If you search on the internet you will find that Levertoff continues to have a real influence among Messianic Jews.
I find it astounding that the Soncino Press, which was identified with British Orthodoxy, chose to collaborate on the Zohar translation with an apostate, especially an apostate who was a “true believer,” not simply an opportunist like Daniel Chwolson.