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In: Jews, Christians and Muslims in Medieval and Early Modern Times
In: Jews, Christians and Muslims in Medieval and Early Modern Times
In: "From a Sacred Source"
In: Material Evidence and Narrative Sources
Author: Miriam Frenkel

The paper deals with particular tactics, established during the Fatimid era, and thus additional to the traditional ones they already possessed, which permitted the Jews to define their niche within Fatimid society. It presents three of these tactics: 1. Production of historical and genealogical documents in order to ameliorate the status of dhimmīs and to achieve an intermediate position of privileged dhimmī. This is illustrated by an analysis of a Geniza document designed as a historical bill of rights accorded by the Prophet Muḥammad to the Jews of Khaybar. 2. The writing of literary-liturgical oeuvres that respond to current persecutions through a messianic interpretation hidden behind laudatory expressions to the Fatimid ruler. It is illustrated by an analysis of the liturgical composition known as “The Egyptian Scroll.” 3. Practices of mourning and repentance intended to cope with mass fear, illustrated through a record of testimony from 1030 about a traumatic event that almost took place in Ramla, but was prevented by a dream. Although the three tactics seem to be very diverse, they all responded to the Fatimid reality and used its language and norms.

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In: Medieval Encounters