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Between East and West (Used Book)
Between East and West (Used Book)


 
Our Price: $29.95

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Product Code: 6819610
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Between East and West: A History of the Jews of North Africa.
With the tragic destruction of Central and East European Jewries, the Oriental Jewish communities have grown in importance in the balance-sheet of Jewish existence.

This book is the result of twenty years of research into the Jewish communities of North Africa and covers a period of more than two thousand years in the history of those communities.

Though the origins of the North African Jewish communities are obscure, one basic fact is clear: Jews were present and were involved in the historical development of that part of the world, especially during its domination by the Roman Empire, the reigns of the Vandals and Byzantines, and up to the emergence and subsequent conquest of that region by the Moslems toward the end of the seventh century. The author offers a fascinating analysis of this almost unknown period of North African Jewish history.

In the second part of the book the author discusses the history of the modern Algerian, Tunisian, and Moroccan Jewish communities. Two basic facts emerge: the common fate which makes these various communities a single unit, and their diversity of origin and tradition. The author attempts a cultural analysis of this diversity by presenting a brief but fascinating exposition of the Oriental, Spanish, mystical, and Arab-Berber elements of these communities, and an account of their reactions to modern trends and influences. As a result, it appears that these communities, secluded until recently and faithful to their traditions, constituted at the same time one of the most perfect examples of a swift transition from the Oriental tradition to the modern world.

The author gives us a careful account of the history of these communities under French domination and describes their demographic structure, their social changes, and their folklore and traditions. His description of life in the ghetto is competent and impressive, and explains why the emancipation has taken on the character of a social explosion.

Dr. Chouraqui, who was a personal adviser of Prime Minister Ben Gurion on the question of integration, offers a keen analysis of the problems facing Jews of North Africa in Israel.

The book is clearly written and amply documented. It contains numerous statistical tables, legal texts, bibliographies, and indexes.

Between East and West is a valuable contribution to our understanding of “the forgotten million” that once comprised the great Jewish communities of North Africa.

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