Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

Get access Subject: Jewish Studies
Executive Editor: Norman A. Stillman

The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World Online (EJIW) is the first cohesive and discreet reference work which covers the Jews of Muslim lands particularly in the late medieval, early modern and modern periods. The Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World Online is updated with newly commissioned articles, illustrations, multimedia, and primary source material. 

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(523 words)

Author(s): D Gershon Lewental
The maʿamad (Heb. assembly; rendered in Latin characters by western Sephardi communities as mahamad) was an executive council that managed the secular affairs of many Jewish congregations in the Ottoman Empire and other parts of the Sephardi Diaspora. Usually made up of seven members (the so-called seven best men of the city; Heb. shivʿat ṭove ha-ʿir), although some councils were smaller, it functioned alongside the community’s spiritual leadership. Tax-paying members of the congregation elected aldermen (Heb. parnasim, sing. parnas) at public gatherings in a fairly democ…

Maarek, Henri

(269 words)

Author(s): Haim Saadoun
Henri Maarek was born in Tunis in 1893. His father, Messod(1861–1941), was one of the best and most talented modern Hebrew scholars of the Tunisian Haskala (Hebrew Enlightenment) and the editor of the Judeo-Arabic newspapers al-Bustān (1888–1906) and al-Naḥla (1892–1895). Maarek was educated at a kuttāb (Jewish elementary school), the Alliance Israélite Universelle school, and a yeshiva. Upon completing his education, he became a teacher in the Alliance school. Between 1930 and 1934, Maarek was a member of a committee charged with improving education in the Jewis…

Macias, Enrico (Gaston Ghrenassia)

(649 words)

Author(s): Sasha Goldstein-Sabbah
Enrico Macias (né Gaston Ghrenassia) is perhaps the best-known Jewish musician from North Africa. Born in Constantine, Algeria, on December 11, 1938 into a highly musical family, he began playing the guitar at a very young age. At fifteen, Macias played guitar in the famed orchestra of Raymond Leyris (known as Cheikh Raymond), in which his father, Sylvain Ghrenassia, was a violinist. He was not, however, encouraged to pursue music full-time, and instead became a teacher to young, primarily Muslim students in Aïn Frain.  In 1961 Raymond Leyris was brutally murdered, and in the …

Macnin (Maqnīn), Meʾir

(589 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
Born in Marrakesh in the 1760s, Meʾir ben Abraham Cohen Macnin (Maqnīn; Mor. Ar. goldfinch) settled in Essaouira (Mogador) in the 1770s or early 1780s. He soon rose to prominence in the port as a merchant and key intermediary for the governor of Essaouira. In the winter of 1799 to 1800, he set sail for England during an outbreak of bubonic plague, leaving behind his wife whom he had recently married. This was the beginning of a long sojourn in London, during which Macnin joined the elite Spanish and Portuguese Jews’ Congregation, also known as the Bevis Marks Synagogue, eve…


(7 words)

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

Maftirim Choir

(477 words)

Author(s): Pamela Dorn Sezgin
mThe term mafṭirim designates both a special repertoire of pizmonim (hymns), or paraliturgical sung poetry, from the Ottoman Turkish Jewish tradition, and the choir of male singers that performs them. The tradition of singing poems modeled on the court traditions of Ottoman music originated in Edirne (Adrianople) in the seventeenth century. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, it spread to Izmir, Istanbul, and other Ottoman cities. The genre of mafṭirim stems from medieval Spanish and Levantine Jewish sung poetry. Religious poems were collected and publishe…

Maggid Mesharim (Calcutta)

(211 words)

Author(s): Lital Levy
Maggid Mesharim (The Announcer of Truth), edited by Rabbi Shelomo Twena, was one of a number of newspapers in Judeo-Arabic and/or Hebrew published by Baghdadi Jews in India during the second half of the nineteenth century. It appeared weekly in Calcutta from 1890 to 1900. Like its predecessors, it carried local news of Jewish communities in India, announcements of births, deaths, and marriages, shipping news and schedules, and worldwide Jewish news. Twena’s reportage focused heavily, however, on the hardships of Jews in Baghdad, such as persecution by the Ottoman authoritie…

Maghāriyya, al- (The Cave Sect)

(703 words)

Author(s): Steven M. Wasserstrom
Al-Maghāriyya (The Cave Sect) is mentioned by the Karaite scholars Jacob al-Qirqisānī and Judah Hadassi, as well as by the Muslim writers al-Bīrūnī and al-Shahrastānī, deriving in part from works by Severus ibn al-Muqaffaʿ, David ibn Marwān al-Muqammiṣ, and Abū ʿĪsa al-Warrāq. Stroumsa observes that David ibn Marwān al-Muqammiṣ was interested in the sect in connection with Christian origins. However, the historical evidence for the al-Maghāriyya as an ancient sect is slim, consisting solely of al-Shahrastānī’s claim that they lived four hundred years before Arius (ca. …

Maghīli, Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Karīm al-

(520 words)

Author(s): Mohamed Elmedlaoui
Muḥammad ibn ʿAbd al-Karīm al-Maghīlī (ca. 1440–ca. 1503) was a Muslim preacher,  activist, and jurist born and educated in Tlemcen. Moving to the fortified oasis town of Tamantit in the Touat region of west-central Algeria some 764 kilometers (475 miles) south of Tlemcen, he also journeyed throughout the Sahara and to West Africa as an adviser to local rulers. He wrote twenty-six works, most of them concerning Islamic theology and law. His Aḥkām Ahl al-Dhimma (Laws Relating to the People of the Dhimma) treats the subject of Jewish-Muslim relations; it may or may not have been ide…


(8 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see Algeria;Morocco; Libya; Tunisia Daniel Schroeter

Magic and Divination

(2,287 words)

Author(s): Gideon Bohak
The magical practices of the Jews of Islam are a doubly neglected topic: On the one hand, the Jews of Islam (with the exception of a few enlightened luminaries like Maimonides) have generally been marginalized in the academic study of Jews and Judaism. On the other, the magical and divinatory beliefs and practices of the Jews of all times and places have not fared well in the modern study of Jewish history and culture, and even the few good surveys of Jewish magic (e.g., Trachtenberg 1939) completely ignore the magic of the Jews of Islam. This scholarly neglect stands in invers…


(391 words)

Author(s): Aviad Moreno
La Revista Maguén-Escudo, often abbreviated as Maguén, is a Jewish periodical founded in Caracas, Venezuela, in 1970. Although its name combines the Hebrew word magen (shield) and its Spanish equivalent, escudo, Maguén appears only in the Spanish language. It is the official publication of the Asociación Israelíta de Venezuela (AIV), the principal Sephardic organization in Venezuela, founded and led primarily by Jewish immigrants from the  former Spanish protectorate in Morocco, and the city of Tangier. Since June 1982, the AIV has published Maguén in association with the Cen…

Mahalla al-Kubra

(589 words)

Author(s): Brendan Goldman
A town in the Nile Delta prominently featured in documents from the Cairo Geniza, Mahalla al-Kubra (Ar. al-Maḥalla al-Kubrā) hosted a significant Jewish community until the late nineteenth century. The Jewish businesses and residents of al-Maḥalla were located in the Khōkhat al-Yahūd quarter (see Jewish Quarters). Its many silk weavers and dyers gave Mahalla al-Kubra a role in the silk industry at least as strong as that of the predominant Egyptian Jewish community in neighboring Fustat (Ar. Al-Fusṭāṭ). A query submitted to Maimonides mentions a partnership between owners of …

Maḥḍar al Shuhūd fῑ Radd al-Yahūd

(428 words)

Author(s): Daniel Tsadik
Maḥḍar al-Shuhūd f Radd al-Yahūd (Ar. The Court forRefuting the Jews) is a polemic against Judaism written by Ḥājj Bābā Qazvīnī Yazdī in the city of Yazd during the month of Ramaḍān 1797. The author's father, Muḥammad Ismāʿīl, was a Jewish convert to Islam. The author, apparently not a Muslim from birth, organized meetings (Ar. majālis) with Jews in addition to writing Maḥḍar al-Shuhūd. The book is a major source of anti-Jewish contentions rooted in early Sunnī and Shīʿī writings. It criticizes the concept of the Oral Law, but its main target is the Hebrew Bible. It uses the Hebrew Bibl…

Mahdiyya, al-

(520 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
Al-Mahdiyya is a coastal city in present-day Tunisia, 200 kilometers (124 miles) south of Tunis, founded by the first Fatimid caliph, ʿUbayd Allāh al-Mahdī (r. 909–934), to be his capital in place of Qayrawan. The establishment of a capital on the coast represented a singular break with Islamic tradition, which since the time of the conquests in the seventh century was to build new urban administrative centers inland away from the Byzantine Sea (as the Mediterranean was called). Al-Mahdiyya did not replace Qayrawan …

Maḥmūd, Shah

(297 words)

Author(s): Vera B. Moreen
Maḥmūd Shah was a Ghilzāy Afghan chieftain who invaded Iran in 1722, and besieged Isfahan, the capital, for seven months (March–October 1722).  The city was subjected to terrible famine and suffering that caused the death of approximately eighty thousand people,  many of starvation. The effect of the siege on the city’s Jewish community is described briefly but movingly in Kitāb-i Sar-Guzasht-i Kāshān dar Bāb-i ʿIbrī va Goyimi-yi Sānī (The Book of Events in Kashan Concerning the Jews; Their Second Conversion), the Judeo-Persian chronicle of Bābāī ibn Far…

Maimon ben Joseph ha-Dayyan

(1,142 words)

Author(s): Judit Targarona
Maimon (Ar. Maymūn) ben Joseph ha-Dayyan (ca. 1110–ca. 1166), the father of Moses Maimonides, was a disciple of  Joseph ha-Levi ben Meʾir ibn Migash, with whom he studied in Lucena. Maimon served as a rabbi and jurist in Cordova until the Almohad conquest. He was a scion of an important Sephardi family of al-Andalus documented as far back as the beginning of the tenth century. Almost all of his forebears were judges (Heb. dayyanim) and communal leaders: The sources trace the family line back for seven generations from Maimon’s father, Joseph the sage. Joseph’s father was Isaac ha-dayyan, Is…

Maimonides, Abraham ben Moses

(1,322 words)

Author(s): Joaquín Lomba
Abraham (Abū ʾl-Munā Ibrāhīm) ben Moses ben Maymon (1186–1237), the only son of Moses Maimonides, was born in Fustat, Egypt. As a child he was meek and humble, with excellent virtues—sharp intelligence and a kind nature. His father devoted loving care to his education, and he was clearly a person of enormous erudition in both Jewish and secular, scientific literature. In 1204, at the age of only seventeen or eighteen, he was appointed leader (Ar. raʾīs al-yahūd; Heb. nagid ) of the Jewish community in Egypt upon the death of his father. In part, perhaps, because of his you…

Maimonides, David ben Abraham

(280 words)

Author(s): Paul Fenton
David ben Abraham Maimonides (1222–1300) was the leader of Egyptian Jewry and a grandson of Moses Maimonides. Following the demise of his father in 1237, David was appointed head of Egyptian Jewry (Heb. nagid; Ar. raʾīs al-Yahūd) at a tender age. Deposed, possibly because of his youth, and restored in 1225, he remained in office for several decades. An able communal leader and scholar, possibly also a physician, he was reputedly the author of a collection of Judeo-Arabic sermons on the weekly portions of the Torah, as well as a Ju…

Maimonides, Joshua ben Abraham

(261 words)

Author(s): Elinoar Bareket
Joshua ben Abraham Maimonides (Maymūnī) was the third son of Abraham ben David Maimonides. He inherited the office of nagid in Egypt either directly from his father or from his older brother Moses. According to the sixteenth-century Jewish chronicler Joseph Sambari, he was born in 1310 and died in 1355. Very little is known about his personal life other than the fact that he was a renowned and respected scholar. A letter to him from Hebron in the Cairo Geniza offers condolences on the death of his older brother Obadiah and laments the unfortunate state of the Hebron commu…

Maimonides, Moses

(3,626 words)

Author(s): Joel L. Kraemer
Moses ben Maimon, generally referred to as Maimonides or by the Hebrew acronym Rambam, was born in Cordova in 1137/38. He was the son of the scholar Maimon ben Joseph, and the scion of an illustrious succession of sages which he traced back seven generations (Kraemer, p. 421). A popular tradition relates that he was a descendant of R. Judah ha-Nasi, redactor of the Mishna, thereby having his genealogy go back to King David. Maimonides, however, makes no mention of this in his writings, and we may regard it as legendary. N…

Maimonides, Obadiah ben Abraham

(390 words)

Author(s): Paul Fenton
Obadiah ben Abraham Maimonides (1228–1265), one of the three known grandchildren of Moses Maimonides, was a pietistic mystic who lived in Cairo. Very little is known about him, the only substantial account having been written in the seventeenth century by the Egyptian Jewish chronicler Joseph Sambari. More is known about his elder brother David (1222–1300), who succeeded their father, Abraham, as head of Egyptian Jewry (Heb. nagid; Ar. raʾīs al-yahūd). Although mentioned together with David in a letter found in the Cairo Geniza as one of “the two great luminaries, the two ta…


(8 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Polemics (general) Norman A. Stillman

Majlis (Iran), Jews in

(1,367 words)

Author(s): Orly R. Rahimiyan
Iran’s first constitution was enacted in 1906 and a Majlis (parliament) was established. The constitution gave the Jewish, Armenian, and Zoroastrian religious minorities civil rights almost equal to those of Muslims.Each of the minority groups was given the right to elect a representative to the Majlis. Under the 1906 constitution, a Jew could only be elected to parliament as a representative of the Jewish community. They voted in elections to the Majlis as members of an ethnic group and not as individuals. There was, however, a slate of ca…

Majlisῑ, Muḥammad Bāqir, al-

(579 words)

Author(s): Daniel Tsadik
Muḥammad Bāqir al-Majlisῑ (d. 1699/1700) was one of the most important scholars of Imāmῑ (Twelver) Shīʿīsm in premodern Iran in sociopolitical matters as well as religious sciences. He mastered various fields of Islamic studies but was best known as an expert on ḥad th (Islamic traditions). Under his auspices, numerous Shīʿī ḥad ths were collected and compiled in Persian and Arabic books; the most famous and voluminous of these is Biḥār al-Anwār (Ar. Oceans of Lights), which in its modern edition runs to 110 volumes. One scholar maintains that this book explains …


(912 words)

Author(s): Jonathan P. Decter
Málaga (Ar. Mālaqa) is a port city on the Mediterranean coast of southern Iberia between Algeciras and Almería, positioned at the base of Mount Gibralfaro (Ar. jabal fāruh). The city was noted by medieval geographers for its international mercantile activity, the architectural beauty of its buildings, baths, and marketplaces, and the agricultural productivity of its environs. Its strategic location gave it a significant role in the political development of al-Andalus. Muslim historians note that Hispano-Jews in Málaga were mobilized into the militia during the conques…

Malchi (Malkhi) Esperanza

(280 words)

Author(s): Leah Bornstein-Makovetsky
Esperanza Malchi (Malkhi) was the third Jewish kira ( kiera, kyra), a Greek honorific title meaning lady, given to the women who attended to matters outside the palace for the queen mother ( valide sultan) and other influential women in the Ottoman royal harem. As a personal agent for Safiye, the consort of Murad III (r. 1574–1595) and the mother of Mehmed III (r. 1595–1603), Malchi played a part in the correspondence between Safiye and Queen Elizabeth I of England. At least once, in 1599, she addressed a letter in Italian to Elizabeth, dealing with the exchange of g…

Maleḥ, Jacques

(316 words)

Author(s): Ovadia Yeroushalmy
Jacques Maleḥ (Elmaleḥ) was a banker, writer, and journalist, born in Cairo in 1906. He began his literary career with a book entitled Chimères, published in Paris in 1927, and in 1935 published the novel Deux cœurs et dieux. He was a member of the Essayistes literary circle in Cairo, founded by Elian J. Finbert (1899–1976), who in the course of time became a noted author in France. In July 1931 Maleḥ took over as chief editor of the weekly L’Aurore in place of Lucien Sciuto (1858–1947), its owner and editor, who was experiencing economic and personal difficulties. Maleḥ obtained support from B’…

Malik al-Ramlī     

(638 words)

Author(s): Fred Astren
Malik al-Ramlī was the leader of a nonrabbinic Jewish movement in the mid-ninth century. Most of what is known about him comes from the tenth-century Karaite Jacob al-Qirqisānī, who states that Malik lived in Ramle in Palestine, as is indicated by his name. His followers were known in al-Qirqisānī’s time as al-Ramliyya or al-Malikiyya. He is treated in al-Qirqisānī’s heresiography in the same section as Abū ʿImrān al-Tiflīsī, and it is noted that neither “composed a book on the Law,” an observation that marks them in contrast to other nonrabbinic leaders, esp…

Malka, Solomon

(516 words)

Author(s): Naḥem Ilan
  Solomon Malka was born in Asfelou, in the Tafilalet region of Morocco, on August 14, 1878, and studied in his youth at a yeshiva in his hometown. In 1896, he married Hannah Assouline (1882–1952) from Tinghir, and two years later the couple immigrated to Palestine. Malka studied in Tiberias and Safed, was ordained as a rabbi, and served as a dayyan (rabbinical judge) in Tiberias. At the suggestion of Elijah Bekhor Ḥazzan, the chief rabbi of Alexandria, he set out in 1906 for Omdurman in what was then the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. In 1908, he brought his wife and two…


(458 words)

Author(s): Emily Gottreich
Specifically Jewish residential quarters, whether established by law or by custom, were found in towns and cities in many parts of the Islamic world. Depending on the locality, the Jewish quarter was designated as ḥārat al-yahūd, qāʿat al-yahūd, qāʿa, or maḥalla. The name used in Morocco since the fifteenth century is mallāḥ. Though often conflated with the European ghetto, the mallāḥ (Mor. Ar. mellāḥ) has a sufficiently distinct origin, morphology, and history to be considered an exclusively Moroccan institution. The term is derived from the salt marsh area in Fez where the first s…

Malul, Nissim Jacob

(598 words)

Author(s): Amy Jacobson
Nissim Jacob Malul (1892–1959) was born in Safed and studied at the American College in Tanta, Egypt and the Egyptian University, Cairo. An advocate of understanding and cooperation between Jews and Arabs in Palestine, he wrote for Arabic newspapers in Palestine, Egypt, and Lebanon, and worked for the Zionist Office in Jaffa. Nissim Jacob Malul was born in Safed in 1892 to a family of Tunisian descent. In 1900 his family moved to Egypt, where his father, R. Moses Ḥayyim, was appointed rabbi by the Jewish communities of Tanta and Cairo. Malul comp…

Mamālik al-Imām

(258 words)

Author(s): Daniel Tsadik
Mamālik al-imām (Ar. property/slaves of the imām) is a juridical concept in Shīʿī ḥad th, familiar to some eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Muslim legal scholars ( ulamāʾ), whereby the People of the Book are regarded as property or slaves of the Imām. This meant that if a member of a dhimm (see Dhimma) community killed or wounded someone, the dhimm community was not required to pay the blood money for the victim, and instead it would be taken from the perpetrator's property. If the perpetrator had no property, the indemnity for the felony would be claimed from the Imām, since dhimm s wer…

Maman, Joseph

(332 words)

Author(s): Vera B. Moreen
Joseph Maman (1741–1825), the great spiritual leader of Bukharan Jewry, was born in Tetouan, Morocco. He went to Palestine in 1770 and settled in Safed. In 1792, he was sent as a rabbinical emissary (Heb. shaliaḥ de-rabbanan or shadar) to Iran to collect charitable funds. While there he spent a few months in Mashhad, where he met and developed cordial relations with  Siman Ṭov Melammed (d. 1800, 1823, or 1828),according the town’s learned spiritual leader. According to some sources, Maman learned about the deplorable religious state of the Jews of Bukhara …


(9 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Monastir (Bitola, Manastir) Norman A. Stillman


(8 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Great Britain Norman A. Stillman

Mandel, Irvin

(127 words)

Author(s): Rifat Bali
Irvin Mandel, an Ashkenazi Jew, was born on November 20, 1956 in Istanbul. He holds a B.A. from the Higher Education Hospitality and Tourism Management program of the Glion Institute in Montreux, Switzerland, and is a partner in a tourism company. In addition, since 1992 he has drawn the “Mozotros Family” cartoon strip in Şalom, the only newspaper of the Turkish Jewish community. Mozotros is a Judeo-Spanish expression that means “our people.” The comic strip is a satirical depiction of the daily life of the  Jews of Istanbul. Mandel published his collected cartoons in five albums called Moz…

Mandel, Nil Molinas

(180 words)

Author(s): Rifat Bali
Nil Molinas Mandel was born in Istanbul on December 1, 1955 and received her medical training at the Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty of Istanbul University. Following a year working in the Cardiology Institute at Istanbul University, she undertook a four-year residency in internal medicine at the Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty. She then spent two years at the Malatya State Hospital before returning to the Cerrahpaşa Medical Faculty in 1987 as an associate professor in its Department of Internal Medicine. She became a full professor in 1994. Her vis…

Mangūbī, Shabbetay Elijah

(9 words)

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

Mani, Elijah ben Sulayman

(378 words)

Author(s): Pinchas Giller
Elijah ben Sulayman Mani (1818–1899, known as the Re'em) was one of Baghdad’s most prominent rabbis. His career was emblematic of the movement of Baghdad’s rabbinic elite to the land of Israel in the nineteenth century. He was educated by Rabbi Abdullah Somekh, and fell under the influence of Rabbi Joseph Ḥayyim al-Ḥakam, the Ben Ish Ḥayy, who encouraged him to emigrate to Jerusalem. Among the duties Mani took up on arriving in Israel in 1856 was the management of Joseph Ḥayyim’s estate. He truly flourished in Hebron, however, and after the death of Moses Pereira in 1865 became it…


(477 words)

Author(s): Omer Turan
Manisa (Ott. Turk. Maghnisa; ancient Magnesia) is a city in western Anatolia situated south of the Gediz River on the northeastern slopes of the Manisa Dağı, which separates it from Izmir. The Ottoman Turks conquered it in 1313. Under Ottoman rule, the city became an important political and economic center where Ottoman princes gained experience in governance. After the expulsion from Spain in 1492, small groups of Sephardi Jews began to arrive in Manisa via the Balkans. The Ottoman census of 1531 registered approximately five hundred Jews in Manisa, and in 157…

Mani, Sulayman Menahem

(272 words)

Author(s): Pinchas Giller
Sulayman Menahem Mani (1850–1924), the eldest son of Elijah Mani, was born in Baghdad but was brought to Palestine when his father settled there in 1856. He was a student of Rabbi Solomon Eliezrov, the son-in-law of Rabbi Moses Pereira, and he married Pereira’s daughter, Rina. In 1901, he published his father’s book Siaḥ Yiṣḥaq. Upon his father’s death in 1899, he became head of the rabbinical court in Hebron, while Ḥayyim Hezekiah Medini, the author of the Sede Ḥemed, succeeded his father as chief rabbi of Hebron. After Medini’s death, Sulayman in turn became chief rabbi …

Mann, Elijah Salim

(214 words)

Author(s): Yaron Harel
Elijah Salim Mann was born in Beirut around 1872, and passed away there in 1969. As a young man he taught Arabic in the Alliance Israélite Universelle school and wrote two textbooks for students of Arabic: Bākūra al-Manhaj al-Qawīm (1899) and Kitāb al-Manhaj al-Qawīm (1900). In 1902, he founded the first press in Beirut and printed the first official regulations of the local Jewish community. For a short time in 1911, he published a newspaper named Al-Riwāyāt al-ʿAṣriyya (The New Stories). In 1921, Mann began publishing Al-ʿĀlam al-Isrāʾīlī (The Jewish World), a Zionist-oriented w…

Manuscripts and manuscript collections

(4,967 words)

Author(s): Benjamin Richler
No Hebrew manuscripts have survived from the period between the first century B.C.E., when the latest of the scrolls found at Qumran (the Dead Sea Scrolls) were written, and the ninth century C.E. A few fragments of scrolls as well as a small number of documents and letters written on leather, parchment, or papyrus during the first centuries of the common era have been discovered in the Holy Land and in Egypt, but no complete scrolls or substantial parts of manuscripts. Hebrew books during this p…


(210 words)

Author(s): Eveline Kamstra
1. Al-Andalus 2. Morocco 3. Algeria 4. Tunisia 5. Egypt 6. Egypt in the Medieval Period 7. Turkey 8. Arabian Peninsula 9. Iran 10. Yemen 11. Exodus of Jews from the Islamic world 12. Afghanistan 13. Alliance Israélite Universelle Network A B 14. Long Distance Trade 15. Uzbekistan 16. The Ottoman Empire Eveline Kamstra

Maqāma (- āt) (poetic form)

(17 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Music, al-Ḥarīzī, Judah ben Solomon (c. 1166-1225) Norman A. Stillman

Maqām (musical genre)

(882 words)

Author(s): Mark Kligman
A maqām is a mode or scale in Arabic music. Sephardi/Mizraḥi communities from the Mediterranean, particularly the Levant, make systematic creative use of various forms of the maqām in their liturgical and paraliturgical music. The term maqām (pl. maqāmāt) can refer to either a simple or a very complex set of phenomena. In its simplest form, it may refer to a specific scale. Defined in greater depth, maqām may refer to a specific scale with a tonic (keynote), alternative directional notes, accidentals, a specific ambitus (range of notes), a specific tetrachordal…

Marciano, Eliahou Raphael

(543 words)

Author(s): Shalom Bar-Asher
Eliahou Raphael ben Meʾir Mordechai Marciano, (born in Debdou, Morocco, in 1944), is a rabbi and scholar, an Israel Defense Forces army chaplain, and an educator at the Torah ve-Ṣiyyon Society, established by Rabbi Paul Roitman (1920–2007) to promote educational and social activities among Israelis of North African and Middle Eastern heritage. As a scholar, Marciano is best known for his Bene Melakhim (The Sons of Kings; 1989), a bibliographical history of Hebrew book printing between 1516 and 1889 in Morocco’s nine largest Jewish communities, including Tangier and …

Marcus, David

(444 words)

Author(s): Aksel Erbahar
Dr. David Marcus was an influential Ashkenazi leader in Istanbul. Born in Novgorod, Russia, in 1870, he began his religious studies at the yeshiva in Lomza, Poland. After finishing high school, Marcus attended the University of Bonn in Germany, where he studied psychology, pedagogy, and philosophy, and obtained his doctorate in 1901. His impressive research and studies at the University of Bonn quickly drew the attention of the Jewish community in Germany. In 1900, the Ashkenazi community in Istanbul offered Marcus the position of headmaster of the Jewish Goldschmit Lycée in Galat…


(384 words)

Author(s): Onur Yildirim
The town of Mardin in southeastern Anatolia, situated on the heights overlooking the northern Syrian plain, was conquered by the Safavids in 1507 and then by the Ottomans in 1517. It was designated as a sanjak in the province of Diyarbakır in 1534. At that time, there were more Christians and Jews in Mardin than Muslims. The Christian population included Armenians, Nestorians, Chaldeans, Syrian Catholics, and Jacobites. The historic monastery of Dayr al-Zafarān (Tūr ‘Abdin) in Mardin, built in 493, served as the seat of the Jacobite patriarchate from …
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