By André N. Chouraqui
Original 12 months of publication: 1968
With the tragic destruction of crucial and East ecu Jewries, the Oriental Jewish groups have grown in significance within the balance-sheet of Jewish existence.
This publication is the results of two decades of study into the Jewish groups of North Africa and covers a interval of greater than thousand years within the heritage of these communities.
Though the origins of the North African Jewish groups are vague, one simple truth is obvious: Jews have been current and have been considering the historic improvement of that a part of the area, particularly in the course of its domination through the Roman Empire, the reigns of the Vandals and Byzantines, and as much as the emergence and next conquest of that sector by means of the Moslems towards the tip of the 7th century. the writer bargains a desirable research of this virtually unknown interval of North African Jewish history.
In the second one a part of the ebook the writer discusses the historical past of the trendy Algerian, Tunisian, and Moroccan Jewish groups. uncomplicated evidence emerge: the typical destiny which makes those a number of groups a unmarried unit, and their range of foundation and culture. the writer makes an attempt a cultural research of this range through offering a quick yet interesting exposition of the Oriental, Spanish, mystical, and Arab-Berber components of those groups, and an account in their reactions to fashionable developments and affects. hence, it seems that those groups, secluded till lately and devoted to their traditions, constituted even as some of the most excellent examples of a quick transition from the Oriental culture to the fashionable world.
The writer provides us a cautious account of the background of those groups below French domination and describes their demographic constitution, their social alterations, and their folklore and traditions. His description of existence within the ghetto is useful and bold, and explains why the emancipation has taken at the personality of a social explosion.
Dr. Chouraqui, who used to be a private adviser of top Minister Ben Gurion at the query of integration, deals a willing research of the issues dealing with Jews of North Africa in Israel.
The publication is obviously written and amply documented. It comprises a number of statistical tables, felony texts, bibliographies, and indexes.
Between East and West is a beneficial 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
22 A precise detailing of the fortunes and sorrows of individual Jewish communities in North Africa is not, however, necessary for the purpose of this book. From the little that is available from Arab historians and extant Jewish texts, together with the available nineteenth century records, an overall picture emerges of Jewish life in the Dark Ages under Islam and of Moslem attitudes that shaped Jewish life in those days. 5 The Status of the Jews under Islam The Attitude of Islam toward the Jews The attitude of Islam toward the Jews was based in large measure on a zealous devotion to what they considered the true will of their God.
Part 2 The Rule of Jslam 4 The Moslem Conquest of the Maghreb: 642–ca. 900 Berber and Jewish Resistance to the Arabs The conquering wave of the followers of Mohammed poured out from Medina and began to engulf North Africa in 642. In that year the Arab governor of Egypt, Amr ibn Al-As, seized Cyrenaica and Tripolitania. Caliph Omar feared to provoke the Berbers1 who were viewed as unconquerable warriors, seasoned as they were by a century of combat against Byzantium, but Amr’s successor, Abdallah ibn Saad, overcame his apprehension.
The wars between them and the Arabs lasted into the ninth century, ending only when the Berbers, now Moslems, had driven the last of the Arabs from North Africa. They seized Tripolitania and Egypt, continued into Mesopotamia, overthrew the Caliphate and established the new Fatimid dynasty. Kahena For the purposes of this history it is unnecessary to recount the details of the long wars between the Berbers and the Arabs, but the episode involving the warrior-priestess Kahena (or Kahiya),2 heroine of the Berber resistance and famous for her supernatural powers, is worth recalling.