By André N. Chouraqui
Original 12 months of publication: 1968
With the tragic destruction of relevant and East ecu Jewries, the Oriental Jewish groups have grown in value within the balance-sheet of Jewish existence.
This booklet is the results of 20 years of study into the Jewish groups of North Africa and covers a interval of greater than thousand years within the historical past of these communities.
Though the origins of the North African Jewish groups are imprecise, one uncomplicated truth is obvious: Jews have been current and have been fascinated about the ancient improvement of that a part of the realm, particularly in the course of its domination by way of the Roman Empire, the reigns of the Vandals and Byzantines, and as much as the emergence and next conquest of that quarter via the Moslems towards the top of the 7th century. the writer deals a desirable research of this nearly unknown interval of North African Jewish history.
In the second one a part of the publication the writer discusses the historical past of the trendy Algerian, Tunisian, and Moroccan Jewish groups. easy evidence emerge: the typical destiny which makes those a number of groups a unmarried unit, and their range of starting place and culture. the writer makes an attempt a cultural research of this variety by way of featuring a quick yet attention-grabbing exposition of the Oriental, Spanish, mystical, and Arab-Berber components of those groups, and an account in their reactions to trendy developments and impacts. therefore, it seems that those groups, secluded until eventually lately and devoted to their traditions, constituted even as some of the most ideal examples of a fast transition from the Oriental culture to the fashionable world.
The writer supplies us a cautious account of the heritage of those groups less than French domination and describes their demographic constitution, their social adjustments, and their folklore and traditions. His description of lifestyles within the ghetto is powerfuble and bold, and explains why the emancipation has taken at the personality of a social explosion.
Dr. Chouraqui, who was once a private adviser of best Minister Ben Gurion at the query of integration, bargains a willing research of the issues dealing with Jews of North Africa in Israel.
The booklet is obviously written and amply documented. It comprises a number of statistical tables, criminal texts, bibliographies, and indexes.
Between East and West is a important contribution to our knowing of “the forgotten million” that when comprised the good Jewish groups of North Africa.
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Additional resources for Between East and West: A history of the Jews of North Africa
From those quarters the mellahs ultimately built, and inside them used to be laid the elemental framework of Jewish existence and the constitution of group agencies which remained considerably unchanged until the coming of the French within the 19th century. The Moslems left all inner preparations to the initiative of the Jews. inside their 96 B E TWEEN EAST AND WEST mellahs they lived as though inside miniature republics, having fun with a wide degree of inner autonomy. They their very own spiritual practices, geared up their groups and their approach of justice with out outdoors interference. As has been mentioned within the previous bankruptcy, Moslem legislations used to be extra specific and extra beneficiant towards the Jews during this admire than the laws of Christian nations. The hyperlink among the separate entity that every mellah shaped and the significant nation used to be the Sheikh el Yahud, the Prefect of the Jews—symbol of the ruler’s energy and authority one of the “Jewish Infidels. ” He used to be appointed by way of the Sultan and, because the consultant of the Moslem management, was once as detested as he was once robust. His tasks incorporated the gathering of fines, the requisition of compelled hard work and the workout of vigilance in looking forward to any signal of incipient uprising. Tsedaka, charity in its widest experience, used to be on the middle of the Jewish neighborhood constitution. The mellah, a closed global, had the spiritual and social legal responsibility of taking good care of its personal negative. The better-off notables of the mellah have been entrusted with the administration of the community’s funds that have been dedicated to non secular wishes, schooling, and charity to the terrible and unwell. They have been additionally charged with influencing the experts while worthwhile on behalf in their coreligionists; they have been either the community’s directors and its ambassadors to the Sultan’s court docket. It was once a rudimentary method of management and it tended to confuse diversified powers and capabilities. The group used to be administered without delay by way of a council of notables, Tovei Ha’ir, the “Quality” of the town. Council contributors have been nominated by way of the group, their quantity various based on the community’s significance. The council observed to the appointment of rabbis and the right kind functioning of all spiritual associations; it supervised the distribution of alms and 97 Judaism within the Maghreb: The Spanish part offered to the maksen (administration) petitions on behalf of the Jews. The Council of Notables, the gizbar (treasurer) and the rabbis constituted the professional organs of the full Jewish group. No crucial physique existed to prepare or coordinate the separate group enterprises. moreover, every one neighborhood used to be independent and had no direct natural ties with neighboring groups. lower than the impression of the Christian civilization of Castillian Spain, the perspective of Spanish Jewry to the rights and place of ladies had gone through a marked switch. The takanot (regulations) which were issued via the rabbis of Castille have been brought to the Maghreb through the Spanish refugee rabbis and therefore caused a metamorphosis for the Jewish girls of the Maghreb to boot.