Hidden History of Middle Eastern Jews

Posted on The Jewish Daily Forward 7/18/12 By: Matti Friedman Having just spent four years on a book about the biblical manuscript known as the Aleppo Codex, I can say with some certainty that some of the most important things I learned had nothing to do with the codex at all, but rather with the people who guarded it. I came to think of this as a hidden history behind events in the Middle East. The Jewish community of Aleppo, a trading city in northern Syria where this manuscript was kept in a synagogue for six centuries, was one of the communities we sometimes think of — to the extent that we think of them at all — as belonging to the lands of Islam. But Islam came to those places only long after the Jews were already there; the Aleppo Jews, for example, were in the city roughly a millennium before Muhammad preached in Arabia and before his adherents arrived in Syria. In Aleppo, and in many cities throughout the Middle East, the Jews were natives in a way that those of us of European descent, with our transient ancestors, can hardly imagine. On November 30, 1947, mobs in Aleppo incensed by the UN vote the previous day to partition Palestine attacked the city’s Jews. I interviewed people who remembered the rioters torching synagogues, making piles of Hebrew manuscripts, prayer shawls and phylacteries and setting them alight. Like a different wave of riots in Europe nine years before, this one was a harbinger of the end for a Jewish way of life: Today, Jewish Aleppo has vanished; its residents were among the 850,000 Jews forced out of their ancestral homes in Islamic countries. Two Jewish worlds came to an end in the 1940s. We are familiar with the first, which many of us think of simply as the Jewish world: Jewish humor, Jewish cuisine, Jewish writing — all of these terms apply, in North American parlance, to the Jews of Europe. The Jewish world of the Middle East included fewer people and ended in less cataclysmic circumstances. But it was just as Jewish and just as important, and it is just as gone. In discussing the modern state of Israel, the Jews of the Middle East are often mentioned as a kind of curiosity, an aside in what we tell as a European story — pogroms, Herzl, Zionism, the Holocaust. In this story, Jews and Arabs first encountered each other in the late 19th century; we imagine the Russian-born pioneer encountering the Arab fellah on the rocky soil of Palestine. But that isn’t true, and the Jews who had always lived in the Middle East are not a footnote. When Islam began in Arabia, Jews were there, and when the first Muslims began spreading to cities across the Mideast, they found Jews there as well. Jews were recognized by Islam as a protected, second-class ethnic group, dhimmi, sometimes persecuted, sometimes tolerated. They were generally considered to be effete and without honor. In recent years it has become common to speak of the Muslim Middle East as a haven in which Jews thrived, but this is nonsense; the Islamic world owes its good reputation in this regard to Europeans, who set a standard for mistreatment that is impossible to match. Jews had existed in the Muslim imagination for many centuries by the time the first Zionists arrived in the Middle East, and the place they occupied in that imagination made the Zionist project problematic in ways that are still playing out. Jews were inferior to Muslims by definition. They were weak, a subject community, and that made their success in Palestine impossible to accept: Being beaten and outsmarted by a powerful empire like Britain or France was one thing. Being beaten and dominated by Jews — as Arabs were, again and again, before 1948 and in subsequent wars — was a humiliation that simply could not be accepted. It was like being beaten by a girl. The depth of this humiliation, which lies at the root of today’s conflict, is something Israel and its supporters have too often failed to appreciate. The dissonance between the very old Muslim perception of the Jew and the reality of the 20th century came to be explained in the Arab world by turning to conspiracy theories. Jews could not have beaten Muslims fairly; they were nefarious, and here Europeans had plenty of material they were happy to share, and which was translated into Arabic and still enthusiastically circulates across the Middle East. (I have encountered the Protocols of the Elders of Zion at otherwise normal bookstores in Istanbul and Cairo and in an academic bookstore adjacent to the prestigious American University of Beirut.) By the 1950s, most of the Jews of the Middle East were concentrated in Israel, and they played a central role in forging the national life of the country. And yet it has been convenient for all parties, Israelis included, to describe Israel as a European enclave. For Israelis, this claim allows them a sense of superiority. For the Arabs, it allows the erasure of the fate of their own Jewish communities and enables them to portray Israel as a Western invader. It has become cliché, for example, to note that hummus and falafel and other Middle Eastern foods that Israelis consider to be Israeli are in fact a native cuisine appropriated by newcomers. This only makes sense if you don’t understand that fully 50 percent of Israel’s Jews are the people who were kicked out of Islamic countries or their descendants — the cuisine of the Mideast, of course, belongs to them and their countrymen as much as it does to anyone else. When we look at Israel and its neighbors, and at the last Jewish century, we would benefit by restoring this missing history to its place — right at the center of the story. Read More... %d/%m/%Y لا تعليقات

The Jewish Daily Forward 7/18/12 By: Matti Friedman Having just spent four years on a book about the biblical manuscript known as the Aleppo Codex, I can say with some certainty that some of the most important things I learned had nothing to do with the codex at all, but rather with the people who […]

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العائلة اليهودية التي تستضيف لاجئ مسلم في بيتها في المانيا

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عفوا، هذه المدخلة موجودة فقط في English.

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الأطباء الاسرائيليين الذي حافظوا على أرواح السوريين

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الصرخة الصامتة ليهود ايران .

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متطوعين اسرائيليين لرعاية اللاجئين في العالم

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مشاكل الهجرة في العالم العربي .

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اليهود جزء لا يتجزأ من المجتمع الدمشقي في كتاب يهود الشام

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أنهار

٣٤٥٦

صدر حديثاً في دمشق كتاب "يهود دمشق الشام" للباحث  شمس الدين العجلاني.

جاء الكتاب في 432 صفحة من القطع الكبير موثقاً بالصور والوثائق ، ويعتبر هذا الكتاب الأول من نوعه الذي يؤرخ و يوثق ويكشف عن أخبار وحكايا يهود دمشق الشام.

ففيه يبحث في شتى مناحي حياتهم ويؤرخ لعائلاتهم ومهنهم وقصورهم ومدارسهم وحاخاماتهم ودورهم على الصعيد السياسي والاجتماعي والثقافة.

ويظهر الكتاب ان الباحث شمس الدين العجلاني بذل جهداً كبيراً يستحق عليه الشكر والتقدير حيث بحث في بطون الكتب والصحف والمجلات وذاكرة من عاصر يهود دمشق الشام وعاش بينهم في العصر الحديث. كما بحث في المؤلفات والمخطوطات والوثائق الموجودة في الخزائن العامة والخاصة و مراكز البحوث والمكتبات العامة في العديد من الدول.

ويأتي هذا الكتاب ليؤكد ان لدمشق قصصاً وحكايا وأسرار.

وانها المدينة العريقة القديمة التي مر عليها آلاف مؤلفة من الأمم والحضارات والولاة والسلاطين.. وهي مهد الانسان ومنها انطلقت الديانات والمذاهب.. وممن جاء إليها من مشارب الدنيا اليهود الذين احتضنتهم وآوتهم تحت سمائها وعلى أرضها كأم حنون عاملتهم بالحسنى كطائفة من طوائف بلاد الشام. ‏

الكتاب يوضح من هم هؤلاء اليهود الذين عاشوا في دمشق كجزء لا يتجزأ من نسيج المجتمع الدمشقي. ‏

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أنهار صدر حديثاً في دمشق كتاب “يهود دمشق الشام” للباحث  شمس الدين العجلاني. جاء الكتاب في 432 صفحة من القطع الكبير موثقاً بالصور والوثائق ، ويعتبر هذا الكتاب الأول من نوعه الذي يؤرخ و يوثق ويكشف عن أخبار وحكايا يهود دمشق الشام. ففيه يبحث في شتى مناحي حياتهم ويؤرخ لعائلاتهم ومهنهم وقصورهم ومدارسهم وحاخاماتهم ودورهم على […]

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فيديو: صلاة مشتركة بين يهود وفلسطينيين من أجل عودة الطلاب اليهود المخطوفين

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نقل موقع " تايمز أف إسرائيل" الإلكتروني أن يهوداً ومسلمين أدوا صلاة مشتركة من أجل عودة المفقودين الإسرائيليين الثلاثة، الذين اختطفوا الخميس الماضي بالقرب من مستوطنة "غوش عصيون" . ونُظمت الصلاة من قبل "منتدى تاغ مئير"، وهي منظمة أنشئت لمحاربة الاعتداءات القومية اليهودية التي تستهدف المستوطنين

وقام حاخامات وشخصيات بارزة، بمن فيهم الوزير السابق في حكومة الاحتلال من حزب "ميماد" الحاخام ميخائيل ملكيور، والحاخام يوئيل بن نون من "ألون شفوت" المجاورة، وهداسا فورمان، أرملة الحاخام وناشط سلام الآن مناحيم فورمان من مستوطنة"تكواع"، بتلاوة المزامير، إلى جانب عدد من المسلمين. وقال الشيخ إبراهيم الهوا من حي" الطور" على جبل الزيتون في القدس، قبل سورة الفاتحة، "قلوبنا تتمزق في هذه اللحظة، وقلبي مع أمهات هؤلاء الأطفال". وأضاف، متحدثا بالعربية، "هناك جدار بين بلدينا، ونتمنى إزالة هذا الجدار الذي يفصل قلوب البشر… نصلي إلى الله أن يعود هؤلاء الشبان إلى أمهاتهم بأسرع وقت ممكن، بإذن الله". وقال ملكيور للحضور أنه "تحدث مع شيوخ مسلمين الذين أعربوا عن قلقهم بشأن مصير الشبان، مطالبين بتحريرهم فوراً من دون أي نقاش أو تفاوض". وتابع ملكيور للموقع الإسرائيلي:"ليس الإسرائيليين فقط هم الذين يشعرون بحزن، بل يشعر الفلسطينيون بحزن كبير أيضاًن هم يشعرون أنه تم ارتكاب جريمة، كل ما بالإمكان فعله هو الصلاة من أجل رحمة الله". وقال ناشط السلام الفلسطيني من قرية حوسان زياد سباتين، 42 عاماً، غربي بيت لحم"على كل شخص مؤمن أن يكون هنا اليوم، وأضاف أن الإنسان أقدس من الأرض". وأعرب سباتين عن خيبة أمله مما اعتبره عدم التعاطف الإسرائيلي مع مئات الأسرى الفلسطينيين المضربين عن الطعام منذ 55 يوما، قائلاً "يجب أخذ هؤلاء الأشخاص في الحسبان أيضا". watch?v=awuKJDf0kzg

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جيمنا نقل موقع ” تايمز أف إسرائيل” الإلكتروني أن يهوداً ومسلمين أدوا صلاة مشتركة من أجل عودة المفقودين الإسرائيليين الثلاثة، الذين اختطفوا الخميس الماضي بالقرب من مستوطنة “غوش عصيون” . ونُظمت الصلاة من قبل “منتدى تاغ مئير”، وهي منظمة أنشئت لمحاربة الاعتداءات القومية اليهودية التي تستهدف المستوطنين وقام حاخامات وشخصيات بارزة، بمن فيهم الوزير السابق في […]

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طالما أميركا لن توقف المذابح بحق المسيحيين فعلى اسرائيل أن تفعل

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Judy Feld Carr secretly rescued Syrian Jews

Posted on The Jerusalem Post 6/18/12 By: Steve Linde Judy Feld Carr chuckles when told that someone had called her “the Canadian Cindy.” But while “Cindy” honey-trapped nuclear whistle- blower Mordechai Vanunu, Feld Carr is credited with finding an escape route for Jews trapped in Syria over almost three decades. Feld Carr – a musicologist, mother of six and grandmother of 13 who lives most of the year in Toronto – says she secretly and discreetly used money and connections to help Jews get out of Syria. On Monday, she was given the Presidential Award of Distinction by Shimon Peres in recognition of her heroic role in the rescue of Syrian Jewry. Peres, who had phoned her in Toronto in February to inform her of her award, praised her “courageous action and exceptional contribution to the Jewish people.” In an interview at the Jerusalem home in which she and her lawyer husband, Donald Carr, often spend part of their summers, Feld Carr smiles when asked why she was given the prize. “I was awarded it because I secretly took out three-quarters of the Syrian Jewish community by escape routes and by ransom, and it was the biggest secret in the Jewish world,” she tells The Jerusalem Post. “Nobody, but I mean nobody, knew how I was doing it.” Based in Toronto, she devoted herself to working with smugglers and bribing government officials to save Jews from the hostile Syrian regime, methodically keeping files on each one of them. “I started a communication with Syria at the end of 1972. I took my first person out of Syria by ransom – a rabbi from Aleppo – in 1977; I finished the morning of September 11, 2001, an hour before the Trade Center tragedy happened,” she explains, matterof- factly. “I was involved with [rescuing] 3,228 Jews out of a population of 4,500 when I started. Slowly, slowly, slowly, with a great deal of difficulty; it was not an easy thing to do, and I am not from Syria – I am an Ashkenazi from northern Canada originally – I figured out the system.” Her interest in Syria started when she and her first husband, Rubin Feld, clandestinely started sending “religious books” to the country from Canada, and she was later approached by a couple of Syrian Jews who came to Toronto to visit her. She makes a point of expressing her gratitude to her home country of Canada for enabling her to conduct her rescue operation there without word getting out to the rest of the world. “Canada is another best-kept secret. I could do things quietly in Canada and not be seen by the press or the media,” she says, emphatically. “A lot of my neshama [soul] has been in this. I did this quietly for 28 years, and I raised all the money quietly – no dinners, no parties, no fund-raising. All the money was raised by my best friend and a few other people on a committee that I had in Toronto and me. “It was all by word of mouth, and the money went into a fund in my synagogue, Beth Tzedec Congregation. The fund was named in memory of my late husband who died in 1973 of a heart attack, after a major threat against my life.” Asked how she pulled it off, Feld Carr still cannot tell the whole story, which apparently involved paying smugglers to take Jews through other Muslim countries, or paying for their release and flying them to the United States. But, she stresses, it was extremely tough. “There’s no one answer. Each person was done totally differently. One thing you have to understand right up front, I never made a contact to get anybody out of Syria and that’s the most important thing,” she says. “Syrian Jews had tried every single way they could think of to get out; their own ransoming, other escapes, people were caught, people were sent to prison. They had to find me; I was their last resort out of the country. They found me through a relative, a brother or a sister, or someone in Israel.” Her face lights up as she gives an example: “As a matter of fact, one of the presidents of Israel was approached by a young man in the Israel Air Force who who came to him to say, ‘Please, I have a family in Syria, you have to get them out.’ And the president’s secretary called me in Toronto. That’s how I came to get his family out, part as a result of an escape and part by ransoming. “It was the most difficult thing. First they had to find me. They never saw me; I was the voice on the telephone, and they had to trust what I was going to do.” When confronted with the current bloodshed in Syria, she expresses her relief that the majority of Jews are now out of the country, living mostly in the US, South America and Israel: “There’s certainly a civil war [in Syria], and as the so-called rebellious side gets more and more arms, there are going to be more and more murders,” she predicts. “I know what hell Syrian Jews went through. I can say to you, thank goodness there are only 17 Jews left there, all older people who did not want to leave. I’d hate to think what would happen from either side if there were Jews left in Syria.” Feld Carr has been awarded a number of top honors over recent years, including an appointment as a member of the Order of Canada and the Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. In 1995, then-prime minister Yitzhak Rabin was the first to acknowledge her “extraordinary work,” in a letter which now hangs on her wall: “Now that for all practical purposes, the entire Syrian Jewish community has left Syria, the time for thanks is here – first and foremost to you,” Rabin wrote. A book called The Rescuer by Canadian Jewish historian Harold Troper was written in 2007 about “the amazing, true story of how one woman helped save the Jews of Syria.” Israel Broadcasting Authority Channel 1’s made a documentary about her work titled Miss Judy, which was shown at the Toronto Film Festival. She was called Miss or Mrs. Judy and given the codename “Gin” by many of those she rescued – some of whom have honored her by naming babies after her. “A wonderful thing happened last month in New York,” she says, smiling broadly. She and her husband were in New York for another honor, and she invited a family she had saved from Syria to dinner. One of the sons’ wives had just given birth to a daughter, whom they named Judy. “There are now several Judys in the Syrian community, but I had to see this latest Judy, and she was so cute!” Feld Carr says. Her eyes sparkle with pride, and she sighs with the relief of someone who has completed a mission impossible. Read More...%d/%m/%Y لا تعليقات

The Jerusalem Post 6/18/12 By: Steve Linde Judy Feld Carr chuckles when told that someone had called her “the Canadian Cindy.” But while “Cindy” honey-trapped nuclear whistle- blower Mordechai Vanunu, Feld Carr is credited with finding an escape route for Jews trapped in Syria over almost three decades. Feld Carr – a musicologist, mother of […]

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