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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Taragano Family

(416 words)

Author(s): Eliezer Bashan
Taragano (Tarigano, Taregano, Taragan) was a surname borne by Jews whose ancestors came from Tarragona, a port city on the Mediterranean coast of southern Catalonia. Jews from Tarragona settled mainly in North Africa or other parts of the Ottoman Empire following the expulsion in 1492. Members of the Taragano family who lived in Morocco included  Isaac Tarigano (Fez, ca. 1700) and Abraham Taregano, who lived in the Atlantic port of Larache (south of Tangier). Abraham represented the economic interests of Great Britain as a consular agent from 1826 to 1837, a posit…

Targhilil

(6 words)

Author(s): Daniel Schroeter
see Dra’a Daniel Schroeter

Tarragona

(596 words)

Author(s): Angel Saénz-Badillos
Tarragona is a port city on the Mediterranean coast of southern Catalonia. The ancient Iberic settlement and port were used by Phoenician merchants. In Roman times, Tarraco was one of the most important cities in the Iberian Peninsula, first as the capital of Hispania Citerior and later of Hispania Tarraconensis. With the decline of Rome, the city suffered many attacks from the north. During the Visigothic period it lost its importance, with a much smaller population and just a few Jews. In 713 Tarragona was occupied by Muslim troops. Situated on the border with the Christian Nort…

Tarudant

(1,318 words)

Author(s): Yossef Chetrit
Although the origins and early evolution of the Jewish communities of Tarudant and the surrounding region are not documented, it can be asserted that Jewish rural or semi-rural communities existed at least since the eleventh century in Tarudant and its environs. In the mid-twelfth century, Abraham Ibn Ezra’s famous qina (elegy), which evoked the destruction of Jewish communities in North Africa and Andalusia under the Almohads, mentioned the Sous region; Tarudant was one of the largest communities there. Extant sources demonstrate that Tarudant, a town located 8…

Tashkent

(1,424 words)

Author(s): Albert Kaganovitch
Tashkent (Tāshkend and Tashkend in Arabic and Persian manuscripts) in the Chirchik oasis of Central Asia is today the capital of Uzbekistan. No surviving historical evidence points to the existence of a Jewish community in Tashkent, then known as Shāsh or al-Shāsh, during the Islamic Middle Ages. Jewish traders from Bukhara began to appear in Tashkent on a regular basis n the first two decades of the nineteenth century, living temporarily in two of the town’s caravanserais. According to oral tradition, a Bukharan Jew nicknamed “Pucha” established a Jewish cemetery near Tashkent as …

Tata and Region

(567 words)

Author(s): Aomar Boum
Tata (Tatta, Ar. Ṭāṭā) , located on the southeastern edge of the Sous region of Morocco, is an oasis of palm groves situated at the mouth of Oued Tata, a tributary of Oued Draa (Wād Darʿa), that originates from Ida Ou Nadif, Tagmout, and Indouzal. It is one of the most important settlements of the southern Darʿa and  Bani regions, and a key passage through the Anti-Atlas Mountains north of Akka. Despite the semi-arid climate and sparse rainfall, Tata remains one of the most populated areas of the Bani region, with about twenty villages comprising more …

Taxation

(5,491 words)

Author(s): Phillip Ackerman-Lieberman
1. Medieval Period  The  Jews of Islam were subject to a number of imposts, collected both by representatives of the local Jewish community and by Muslim officials. During the period of its institutional ascendancy, the leadership of the Jewish community of Babylonia also imposed taxes upon the Jewish communities in the Diaspora, the funds collected and remitted to Iraq by local representatives. As the conquests of the early Islamic period saw the perpetuation and development of preexisting tax structures, both the imposts demanded …

Tax-Farming

(1,014 words)

Author(s): Onur Yildirim
Tax-farming was a method of landholding and surplus extraction employed by many premodern states across Eurasia. Under this system, the government contracted out the collection of revenues from designated tax-units for a given period to a private bidder, who in return for a substantial payment was given the right to collect the unit’s taxes or fees in the name of the state and keep the balance over and above the initial amount he paid to the state. In the early Islamic world, the Abbasids, Fatimids, Ayyubids, and Mamluks all extensively used such a system, usually called ḍamān or ḍamāna (sec…

Taytaṣak, Joseph

(545 words)

Author(s): Yaron Ben Naeh
Joseph ben Solomon Taytaṣak was a scholar and rabbi, active from the late fifteenth to the mid-sixteenth century, who excelled both in traditional Jewish subjects and in secular subjects. As a young man in Castile, where he was born in 1465, Taytaṣak caught the attention of Rabbi  Levi ibn Ḥabib (Ralbaḥ, ca. 1480–1545). He moved from Spain to Portugal but fled to Italy after the expulsion edict in 1497. Taytaṣak lived in Salonica during the first decade of the sixteenth century, and later spent time in Yanina (Ioannina) and Serres. He was considered one of Saloni…

Ṭayyib, Ḥayy

(1,130 words)

Author(s): Ephraim Hazan
Cities throughout the State of Israel have streets named in honor of the Tunisian rabbi (Isaac)  Ḥayy Ṭayyib (1743–1837). This phenomenon stems from the admiration and appreciation for Rabbi Ḥayy Ṭayyib among the Jews of Tunisia. Wherever members of this community have influence in the public sector, they have made efforts to memorialize the name of their esteemed rabbi, whom they refer to with the phrase “Rabbi Ḥayy Ṭayyib is not dead” ( Rabbi Ḥayy Ṭayyib loʾ met). This expression alludes to a wonder he is said to have performed after his death. According to the story, the r…

Tazenakht

(384 words)

Author(s): Yossef Chetrit
The town of Tazenakht is located in the Sirwa massif, adjacent to the Anti-Atlas Mountains on the east, and at the crossroads of the mountainous routes between the Darʿa and Sous valleys and the Dadès of southern Morocco. Caravans and armies have crossed the region at least since the sixteenth century, and a large weekly market was held there. The town is now known for weaving and selling Berber carpets. Jews probably first settled in the town in the sixteenth century, during the period of Sa‘di rule, when the trans-Saharan caravan trade was growing.       In the twentieth century the Je…

Tébessa

(212 words)

Author(s): Richard Ayoun
Tébessa (Ar. Tabīsa; ancient Theveste) is a town located about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from the Algerian-Tunisian border in the Aurès Mountains, 960 meters (3,150 feet) above sea level in the northern foothills of Jebel Doukkane. Jews lived in Tébessa or its vicinity in ancient times, and during the Ottoman period they were involved in exporting iron and lead. In 1851, when Tébessa was occupied by the French, there were only a handful of Jews. A decade later, a community was formed and it fel…

Teboul, Victor

(625 words)

Author(s): Aimée Israel-Pelletier
Victor Teboul was born in Alexandria on May 9, 1945. When he was eleven, his family was expelled from Egypt on the grounds that they had a French passport and given seven days to leave the country. They arrived in France on December 25, 1956 and from January 1957 to May 1957 lived, under the auspices of the French government, at the convent of Notre-Dame-de-l’Osier in the Isère with a hundred other expelled Egyptian Jewish families.  In July 1963, the Tebouls emigrated to Canada, where in due course Victor earne…

Tefillat Rabbi Shimʿon Bar Yoḥay

(415 words)

Author(s): Ronit Nikolsky
Tefillat Rabbi Shimʿon bar Yoḥay (The Prayer of R. Simeon bar Yohay) is a late apocalyptic composition in which many of the future historical events are based on Nistarot shel Rabbi Simeon Bar Yoḥay (The Secrets of R. Simeon bar Yohay) but updated to reach the tenth century. The composition opens with a narrative (a later addition to the composition) that is an almost word-for-word quotation from Midrash Zuṭa on Lamentations. It recounts how the demon Ashmaday (Asmodeus) helps Rabbi Simeon, the second-century tanna, win his way into the court of the Caesar in Rome (a diffe…

Tehran

(1,223 words)

Author(s): Nahid Pirnazar
1.  Historical Background Tehran, Iran’s capital since 1786, was mentioned by Muslim geographers in the ninth century as a village near the city of Ray. It received attention after the Mongol destruction of Ray in 1220, but was not developed further until the seventeenth century. Although the settlement of Jews in Tehran dates back to the mid-eighteenth century, documented reports by travelers cannot be traced prior to the reign of Fatḥ ʿAlī Shah Qājār (1797–1834). The Jewish population of six hundred  reported by Rabbi David d’Beth Hillel in 1827 can be compared to the four th…

Tekinalp, Munis

(10 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Kohen, Moise (Tekinalp) Norman A. Stillman

Tekirdağ

(467 words)

Author(s): Omer Turan
Located in eastern Thrace on the western shores of the Sea of Marmara, Tekirdağ (Rodosto) is a port city in Turkey. It was conquered by the Ottomans in 1357, and its port served both Edirne and Istanbul for centuries. The city was occupied by the Bulgarians during the Balkan Wars of 1912 to 1913. By the Treaty of Sèvres (August 10, 1920), eastern Thrace, including Tekirdağ, was attached to Greece, but the region was recaptured by the Turkish army in October and November of 1922. Although the date when the Jewish community in Tekirdağ was founded is unknown, the city’s commercial poss…

Telouet

(615 words)

Author(s): Aomar Boum
Located in the High Atlas Mountains between Marrakesh and Ouarzazate, Telouet(Berb. Talwāt) was the political center of the powerful Glāwā (sing. Glāwī; usual Fr. rendering -Glaoui) family. The valley of Telouet was a passage of the caravans from the interior to the northern and western plains of Morocco. The valley is about twelve kilometers long and four kilometers wide. Among the villages in each side of Telouet valley, four had Jewish settlements (mellahs, Ar. mallāḥ ) in the nineteenth century according to Charles de Foucauld, though there may have been a few other small…

Tesciuba, Renato

(541 words)

Author(s): Maurice Roumani
Born in the Libyan city of Benghazi, Renato Tesciuba (1894–1976) founded the Herzl Association in 1919 and became its first president. He resigned in 1921, dismayed by the poor membership turnout for an election, but continued thereafter to be affiliated with the association as its honorary president. In 1926, Tesciuba became a member of the Community Council of Benghazi, then headed by Elia Fargion. He was elected vice-president of the council in 1929 and was put in charge of its charity portfolio. When Fargion resigned in 1935 because the Italian …

Testour

(375 words)

Author(s): Jacques Taïeb
The town of Testour, located 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Tunis, was founded by Moriscos in 1610, and Jews settled there around 1620. They were indigenous, not refugees from Spain like the Moriscos, as Marcel Gandolphe suggested. Gandolphe may have been misled by the fact that there was a Spanish-speaking Jew from the Ottoman Levant living in Testour around 1746. The Jewish family names found in Testour were of rural origin—Allouche, Chaouat, Lellouche, Messica—or possibly of Bedouin origin, as in the case of the Meimouni, who were related to the baḥuṣim . The grave of Frājī Shaww…
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