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North Africa

(8 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Maghreb Norman A. Stillman


(9 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Judeo-Spanish - Haketia Norman A. Stillman

Romanelli, Samuel

(588 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
Samuel Romanelli was born in Mantua on September 19, 1757. Little is known about his youth, but clearly he had a superb Jewish and secular education in the Italian Jewish tradition. An accomplished linguist, he was fluent in ten languages.  He was a poet, playwright, and translator of European literature into Hebrew. In 1786, while returning home to Italy from London, he was stranded in Gibraltar (see Gibraltar) and, strapped for funds, accepted an offer to accompany a merchant on a business trip to Morocco. Losing his passport, Roman…


(11 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Culi (Hulli), Jacob Ben Meir Norman A. Stillman


(7 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Todghra Norman A. Stillman

Los Angeles

(11 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see United States of America Norman A. Stillman


(368 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
Baḥuṣim (Heb. outsiders), or sometimes baḥūṣiyya, a slightly arabized variant of the Hebrew, was the name Jewish townsfolk gave to the semi-nomadic, tent-dwelling Jews who lived in duwwārs, or small encampments, in the area extending from the region around Jerid and Le Kef in western Tunisia to the province of Constantine across the border in Algeria, where they could be found between Suq-el-Ahras and Tébessa and in the southern oases. Muslims referred to them as Yahūd al-cArab (Ar. Bedouin Jews). The baḥuṣim were often allied with or under the protection of larger Arab tribal confed…

LICA (La Ligue Internationale contre l'Antisémitisme Allemand)

(448 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
LICA was the acronym of La Ligue Internationale contre l’Antisémitisme Allemand Formée par Toutes les Oeuvres et Institutions Juives en Egypte. It was founded in April 1933 under the name of La Ligue Contre l’Antisémitisme Allemand Formée par Toutes les Oeuvres et Institutions Juives en Egypte in conjunction with mass protests organized by the B'nai B'rith lodges in Cairo and Alexandria to counter increasing Nazi activity and propaganda in Egypt. The league was headed by a committee of important Jewish public figures. One of the founders was Léon Castro, a lawyer, journalist, and Wafd P…

Qāʾid al-Yahūd

(8 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Tunisia Norman A. Stillman

Mendes, Alvaro

(15 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Ben Yaʿesh (also Ibn Yaʿish or Abenæs), Solomon Norman A. Stillman

Ibn Gikatilla/Ibn Jikatilla

(24 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
See Ibn Chiquitilla, Isaac (fl. 10th Century) , and Ibn Chiquitilla, Moses ben Samuel ha-Kohen (11th century) Norman A. Stillman


(14 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Food and Drink - Wine and Alcoholic Beverages Norman A. Stillman

Yeshuʿa ben Judah

(16 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Jeshua ben Judah (Abu 'l-Faraj Furqan ibn Asad) Norman A. Stillman

Shacarē Ṣiyyon Society (Mogador/Essaouira)

(11 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Essaouira (Mogador) Norman A. Stillman

Judaism, History of, Part V.B: Modern Times. The Muslim World

(10,641 words)

Author(s): Stillman, Norman A.
The expulsion of the Jews from Christian Spain in 1492 in a very real sense marked the beginning of modern times for the Jews of the Muslim world. Many of the exiles sought refuge in the Islamic kingdoms of the Maghreb, in Mamluk Egypt and the Levant, and in the expanding Ottoman Empire, which within a generation would take over all of the Middle East and North Africa between the borders of Persia and Morocco. These Sephardic refugees infused new vitality—demographically, culturally, and spiritu…

Judaism, History of, Part IV.B: Medieval Times. Islam

(10,626 words)

Author(s): Stillman, Norman A.
It is virtually impossible to know what was normative Judaism and Jewish practice during the first two hundred years of the Muslim Caliphate, in the seventh through ninth centuries. The great Islamic Arab conquests of the seventh and early eighth centuries brought the majority of world Jewry living at that time from Spain to Persia and Central Asia under the rule of a single empire, the Dar al-Islam (“the Domain of Islam”). The two hundred years immediately preceding the Islamic conquests and fo…

Abū ʾl-Barakāt al-Baghdādī

(2,228 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman | Shlomo Pines
1. Life Abū ʾl-Barakāt Hibat Allāh ibn Malkā al-Baghdādī al-Baladī was a physician and philosopher in twelfth-century Iraq. His contemporaries dubbed him “the Singular One of the Age” (Ar. awḥad al-zamān), and some claimed that as a philosopher he had attained the level of Aristotle himself. Born in Balad, near Mosul, around 1077, Abūʾl-Barakāt was one of the foremost Jewish intellectuals of his time. Under his Hebrew name, Baruch ben Melekh, he wrote Bible and Talmud commentaries in Judeo-Arabic, including commentaries on the Book of Ecclesiastes and on tractate Soṭ…


(2,461 words)

Author(s): Miriam Frenkel | Norman A. Stillman | Tomer Levi
1. Medieval Alexandria (Ar. al-Iskandariyya), on the southern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the western edge of the Nile Delta, is the principal port city of Egypt and was the capital until the Arab conquest, when it was replaced by Fustat.  There was a substantial Jewish community in the city from the third century B.C.E.  (According to Josephus, Jews already settled there at the time of Alexander's founding of the city.)  Alexandria became the principal center of Hellenistic Jewish culture in Antiquity.  It was there that the Bible was translated into Greek (the…


(2,754 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman | Galit Hasan-Rokem | Ora Schwarzwald
1. Judeo-Arabic As in many traditional cultures, Arabic-speaking Jews drew upon a rich lexicon of proverbs, maxims, and aphorisms in both oral and written expression. These gnomic expressions, in addition to being original creations, derived from a variety of sources. The specifically Jewish sources included biblical and rabbinic literature, and the principal non-Jewish source was the local Arab milieu. Specifically Muslim dicta from the Qur’an and ḥadīth rarely entered Judeo-Arabic usage. Rather,…
Date: 2015-09-03

Interfaith Relations

(4,378 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman | Maurits H. van den Boogert
1.   Medieval Period It would be anachronistic to think in contemporary post-Enlightenment terms of interfaith relations in the medieval Islamic world. The modern virtues of social, religious, and political equality would have been totally incomprehensible to anyone living in the Dār al-Islām (Domain of Islam)—or in Byzantium and Latin Christendom, for that matter. Muslims, Christians, and Jews all believed that they had been granted the most perfect of divine dispensations and, whether they had been given te…
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