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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H (Ḥakim, Joseph - Ḥara Ṣeghira (Jerba, Tunisia): synagogues)

(1,905 words)

Ḥakim, Joseph, Izmir, Pallache Family (Turkish Branch) Ḥakīm synagogue (Tehran), Ḥakīm Yazghel Ḥaqnaẓͅar Ḥakīmān, Aaron seeAaron ben Abraham Ḥakīmān Hakkāri (region of Kurdistan), Jews in, messianic movements, Rūjī, Solomon and Menahem, al-, Rūjī, Solomon and Menahem, al- Hakko, Vitali, Turkish Republic, Acıman, Eli, Hakko, Vitali ḥakme ha-shir (sages of poetry, intellectual circle of Hebrew poets), Longo, Saʿadya Hakohen, Ephraim, Buda (Budīn), Budapest Hakohen, Khalfon Moshe, Jerba Hakohen, Shalom Obadiah, Aleppo Haksiz Fiilde Hukuka Aykirilik Unsuru (The Element of…

H (Ha-Kohen, Aaron Ḥayyim - ḥakīm (Jewish physicians))

(1,806 words)

Ha-Kohen, Aaron Ḥayyim, Balkans Ha-Kohen, Abū Zikrī Judah ben Joseph, Clothing, Jewelry and Make-up Ha-Kohen, Bezalel, Romania (Ottoman) Ha-Kohen, David, Kalai (Qalʿī), Samuel Ben Moses Ha-Kohen, Elijah ben Solomon Abraham (d. 1729), Gaon and Gaonate, Izmir, Judeo-Spanish Literature, Palestine, Palestine, Abiathar ben Elijah ha-Kohen, Judah ben Saʿadya, David ben Hezekiah, Elijah ben Solomon ha-Kohen, Ha-Kohen Ha-Itmari, Elijah ben Solomon Abraham, Maṣliaḥ ben Solomon ha-Kohen, Megillat Evyatar (Scroll of Abiathar), Mevorakh ben Sa‘adya, Nathan ben Abraham  grave of, P…

H (Haramati, Shlomo - Ḥayyūj, Judah (Abū Zakariyyā Yaḥyā) ben David al-Fāsi: translations into Hebrew of works of)

(1,930 words)

Haramati, Shlomo, Miṭrani, Barukh ben Isaac Harar, Nathan ben Sa‘adya, Mysticism Harari, Ralph, Harari, Sir Victor Pasha and Ralph Harari, Sir Victor Pasha, Harari, Sir Victor Pasha and Ralph Harari brothers, Journalism Harari family, ʿAntebi (Antibi) Family Harari Raful, Ezra, Mishʿan, Elijah Harari Raful, Nissim ben Isaiah, Harari-Raful, Nissim ben Isaiah Hạrba de-Moshe (The Sword of Moses, book of magic), Magic and Divination Harboune, William, Ben Yaʿesh (also Ibn Yaʿish or Abenæs), Solomon Hardoon, Silas Aaron (Ṣāliḥ Hārūn), Hardoon, Silas Aaron (Ṣāliḥ Hārūn) Hardy, Georg…

H (Ḥayyun, Gedaliah - ḥeders (Jewish religious schools): criticism of)

(1,603 words)

Ḥayyun, Gedaliah, Bet El Kabbalists, Sharʿabi, Shalom, Ḥayyun, Gedaliah Hazan, Aaron de Yosef, Hazan, Aron de Yosef, Jurnal Izraelit, Istanbul, La Buena Esperansa (Izmir), 1874-1917 Hazan, Hayyim David, Hazan, Aron de Yosef Ḥazan, Joseph, Socialism, Socialists, Jewish Role in Ḥazan family, Uzziel, Ben-Zion Me’ir Ḥayy Haziza, Rabbi, Nédroma Ḥazon la-Mo‘ed (A Vision for the Appointed Time, ‘Abd Allāh Somekh), Somekh, ʿAbd Allah Ḥazon ‘Ovadya (The Vision of Obadiah, Ovadia Yosef), Sephardi Jurisprudence in the Past Half-Millennium Hazzan, Amram, Fez, Printing and Printers Ḥazzan…

H (Hegyon ha-Nefesh ha-‘Aṣuva (Meditation of the Sad Soul, Bar Ḥiyya) - Hirsch, Maurice de: development of Salonica by)

(1,788 words)

Hegyon ha-Nefesh ha-‘Aṣuva (Meditation of the Sad Soul, Bar Ḥiyya), Abraham bar Ḥiyya Hegyone ‘Uzzi’el (Uzziel), Uzziel, Ben-Zion Me’ir Ḥayy Heikhal Haness Synagogue (Geneva), Gaon, Nessim, Switzerland Hekhal ha-Berakha (Isaac Eizik of Komarno), Duwayk (Douek, Dweck), Ḥayyim Saul Hekhal ha-Qodesh (The Holy Sanctuary, Moses ben Maimon Elbaz), Elbaz Family Hekhal Yehuda Synagogue (Tel Aviv), Recanati Family hekhalot (holy arks) in synagogues, Art of Islamic Lands, Ben Ezra Synagogue, Ben Ezra Synagogue  in Afghanistan, Synagogues in the Islamic World  in China, Synagogues …

H (Hirschberg, Haïm Zeev - hybridized identities, of Jews converted to Islam)

(2,108 words)

Hirschberg, Haïm Zeev, Almoravids, Academic Study of Islamicate Jewry, Academic Study of Islamicate Jewry, Historiography/Historical Writing, Slouschz, Nahum, Aghmāṭī, Zechariah ben Judah al-  on Berber Jews, Berber Jews  on Jews in Hijaz, Hijaz  on Jews in Oran, Oran Hirschfeld, H., Jacob ben Eleazar ḥirz (tube containers), Clothing, Jewelry and Make-up al-Ḥiṣad al-Awwal (The First Harvest, Anwar Shā’ūl), Shā’ūl, Anwar ḥisba treatise (handbook for market inspectors, Ibn ‘Abdūn), Almoravids, Niebla Hishām II (Umayyad caliph Cordova, 976–1013), Al-Andalus, Ibn Jaw, Jacob Hi…

Hijā' (Heb. neʿaṣa)

(871 words)

Author(s): Esperanza Alfonso
The Arabic word hijā' describes one of the major modes in Arabic literature, covering a wide range of topics from the most edifying to the highly indecent and insulting. In its broadest sense, the term has been understood as the opposite of madīḥ (praise), and literary scholars often render it as "satire"; in its narrowest sense, it specifically designates invective poetry. The genre is widely attested in Arabic poetry as early as the pre-Islamic era. Its origins have been related to curses and incantations, on the one hand, and to the …


(943 words)

Author(s): Shari Lowin
Hijaz is a region in northwestern Arabia situated on the Red Sea between the Gulf of Aqaba and ʿAsīr. It is home to the Muslim sacred cities of Mecca and Medina. Lacking clearly defined boundaries, the term Hijaz (Ar. al-Ḥijāz) refers generally to the region along the Red Sea coast. While scholars agree that the word means “the barrier,” they do not agree as to the reason; the dispute centers on which particular mountain chain the “barrier” refers to. Although Jews were a powerful presence in the Hijaz by the time of Muḥammad, scholars are uncertain about the origin of Jew…

Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden

(477 words)

Author(s): Rachel Simon
The Hilfsverein der Deutschen Juden (Heb. Ḥevrat ha-‛Ezra li-Yehude Germanya) was established in 1901 in Berlin to alleviate the cultural, social, and political conditions of Jews in the Levant and Eastern Europe. Its operations in the “Orient” (i.e., the Ottoman Empire and especially Palestine) ceased by the end of World War I, and it was officially dissolved in 1939. Its welfare activities centered on Russia and Romania, but some took place in Ottoman lands and the Balkans, mainly during the Balkan War (1912) and World War I. Most of the Hilfsverein’s educational operations cent…


(451 words)

Author(s): Ariel I. Ahram
Hilla (Ar. al-Ḥilla) is a city on the northern bank of the Euphrates River in Iraq. It was founded in 1102 near the ancient ruins of Babylon and sits astride the Muslim pilgrimage route midway between Baghdad and Kufa. The name Hilla appears to refer both to the city itself and to the surrounding rural districts. Today, Hilla is the capital of Iraq’s Babil governorate. The city was an important transit hub for riverine commerce and hosted a large market. In the twelfth century, Benjamin of Tudela reported that Hilla had ten thousand Jews and four synagogues, but it is likely th…

Hillel ben Eli

(473 words)

Author(s): Elinoar Bareket
Hillel ben Eli was a scribe and cantor in Fustat, Egypt, between 1066 and 1108. Numerous rabbinical court documents and other items in his handwriting have survived, constituting the second-largest body of documents in the Cairo Geniza written in one individual’s handwriting. The only person to surpass him in this respect was his son-in-law, Ḥalfon ha-Levi ben Manasseh, who was also a rabbinical court scribe. Interestingly, the Geniza documents reveal that even an experienced scribe like Hillel ben Eli would sometimes spell the same word differently, even in the same document. In addi…

Hillel, Shlomo

(483 words)

Author(s): Daphne Tsimhoni
Born in Baghdad in 1923, Shlomo (Salīm) Hillel immigrated to Palestine together with his family in 1934, after they witnessed the massacre of Assyrians following Iraq’s independence. He graduated from the Herzlia High School in Tel Aviv and joined a group of pioneers preparing to establish a kibbutz. He was also involved in the establishment of a clandestine munitions factory. Following the  pogrom against (Farhūd) the Jews of Baghdad in 1941, Hillel was sent as an emissary of the Mosad la-ʿAliya Bet (the organization for clandestine immigration) to help build an underground Zio…


(872 words)

Author(s): Oren Kosansky
A hillula (pl. hillulot) is the anniversary of the death of a Jewish saint, known in Hebrew as a ṣaddiq (righteous individual) or a qadosh (holy man). The term, which in Aramaic means “wedding,” is used especially in North African contexts. It is generally traced to the Zohar, where it is used in reference to the demise of Rabbi Simeon Bar Yoḥay and is interpreted as indicating the marriage of his soul with the Divine. As such, the hillula represents the enduring life of a saint’s soul rather than the mortal death of his or her body. Given Bar Yoḥay’s standing as the puta…

Hilperine, Wolf

(9 words)

Author(s): Norman A. Stillman
see Em ha-Banim Norman A. Stillman

Historiography/Historical Writing

(4,041 words)

Author(s): Fred Astren
Modern critical historical study of Jews in the medieval Islamic world began with rise of the Wissenschaft des Judentums movement in the mid-nineteenth century. Based upon the application of “scientific method” to Jewish literature, history, and culture, this movement was consistent with contemporaneous European historical and cultural intellectual trends that sought to develop discourses of peoplehood and national identity. Mirroring issues related to Jewish emancipation and Westernization, the movement sought t…

Ḥīwī al-Balkhī

(584 words)

Author(s): Marzena Zawanowska
Ḥīwī al-Balkhī or ha-Balkhī, a native of Balkh, in Khurasan in the territory of Persia (now Afghanistan), was a ninth-century freethinker and Bible critic. His name is probably a misspelling of the Persian name Ḥayyawayh, the Arabicized form of Persian Ḥayyōyeh or Ḥayyūyeh, possibly shortened to Ḥayyōy (Ben Shammai 2003). A contemporary of Mishawayh and Ibn al-Rāwandī, Ḥīwī was opposed and condemned as a heretic ( mulḥid) and a blasphemer by both Rabbanites (Saʿadya Gaon) and Karaites, as well as by other biblically oriented sectarians (e.g., Abū ʿImrān al-Tif…