The New Babylonian Diaspora: Rise and Fall of Jewish Community in Iraq, 16th–20th Centuries C.E. provides a historical survey of the Iraqi Jewish community's evolution from the apex of its golden age to its disappearance, emergence, rapid growth and annihilation. Making use of Judeo-Arabic newspapers and archives in London, Paris, Washington D.C. and other sources, Zvi Yehuda proves that from 1740 to 1914, Iraq became a lodestone for tens of thousands of Jewish immigrants from Kurdistan, Persia, the Mediterranean Basin, and Eastern and Central Europe. After these Jews had settled in Baghdad and Mesopotamia, they became “Babylonians” and ‘forgot’ their lands of origin, contrary to the social habit of Jews in other communities throughout history.
Iberia and the Emergence of Modernity
Edited by Mercedes García-Arenal
This book examines the religious and ideological consequences of mass conversion in Iberia, where Jews and Muslims were forcibly converted or expelled at the end of the XVth century and beginning of the XVIth, and in this way it explores the fraught relationship between origins and faith. It treats also of the consequences of coercion on intellectual debates and the production of knowledge, taking into account how integrating new converts from Judaism and Islam stimulated Christian scholars to confront the converts’ sacred texts and created a distinctive peninsular hermeneutics. The book thus assesses the importance of the “Converso problem” in issues such as religious dissidence, dissimulation, and doubt and skepticism while establishing the process by which religious dissidence came to be categorized as heresy and was identified with converts from Judaism and Islam even when Lutheranism was often in the background.
A Political and Economic History of the Jews of Afghanistan by Sara Koplik describes the situation of Jews in that country during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly 1839-1952. It examines the political, economic and social conditions they faced as religious minorities. The work focuses upon harsh governmental economic policies of the 1930s and 1940s spearheaded by 'Abd al-Majid Khan Zabuli which caused the impoverishment and suffering of both the local community and refugees from Soviet Central Asia. The question of Nazi influence in Afghanistan is addressed, with the author arguing that it was mainly limited to the economic sphere. An examination of the appeal of Zionism and the community's immigration to Israel is included.
Interpellation, Exclusion, and Inessential Solidarities
In Who Needs Arab-Jewish Identity?: Interpellation, Exclusion, and Inessential Solidarities, Professor Reuven Snir, Dean of Humanities at Haifa University, presents a new approach to the study of Arab-Jewish identity and the subjectivities of Arabized Jews. Against the historical background of Arab-Jewish culture and in light of identity theory, Snir shows how the exclusion that the Arabized Jews had experienced, both in their mother countries and then in Israel, led to the fragmentation of their original identities and encouraged them to find refuge in inessential solidarities. Following double exclusion, intense globalization, and contemporary fluidity of identities, singularity, not identity, has become the major war cry among Arabized Jews during the last decade in our present liquid society.
A Festschrift in Honor of Mark R. Cohen
Edited by Arnold E. Franklin, Roxani Eleni Margariti, Marina Rustow and Uriel Simonsohn
This volume brings together articles on the cultural, religious, social and commercial interactions among Jews, Christians and Muslims in the medieval and early modern periods. Written by leading scholars in Jewish studies, Islamic studies, medieval history and social and economic history, the contributions to this volume reflect the profound influence on these fields of the volume’s honoree, Professor Mark R. Cohen.
The Dome of the Rock as Image of the Ancient Jewish Sanctuary
"The Crescent on the Temple" by Pamela Berger elucidates an obscured tradition—how the Dome of the Rock came to stand for the Temple of Solomon in Christian, Muslim, and Jewish art. The crusaders called the Dome of the Rock the “Temple of the Lord,” while Muslim imagery depicted Solomon enthroned within the domed structure. Jews knew that the ancient Temple had been destroyed. Nevertheless, in their imagery, they commonly labeled the Muslim shrine “The Temple.” That domed “Temple” was often represented with a crescent on top. This iconography, long hidden in plain sight, reflects one aspect of an historical affinity between Jews and Muslims.