5 thoughts on “Jews of Arab Lands: A History and Source Book

  1. The book I purchased was a used book in very good condition at a very reasonable price. It was shipped quickly and received by me in a timely and good condition. I would recommend this seller very highly. I will be using this book in a course I am taking.
    Rating: 5 / 5

  2. This is one of the most important books, for it is both history and documentary, of the Jews of Arab lands in modern times. The first hundred pages are a history of Jews in the Arab world. It begins in the 7th century with the conquests of Islam and then describes the ascendancy, decline and persecutions that followed. It tells of the Sephardim and also of the persecutions by the Almohads which destroyed, albeit temporarily, North African Jewry.

    The documentary history forms more then two thirds of the book and is what makes this a virtual museum to the history of these Jewish communities. It begins with the time of Mohammed and the first Jewish converts and persecutions of Jews in Arabia. Documetns show how Jiyza, the special discrimination tax that Jews were forced to pay for their `protection’ to Muslim leaders. Other documents show how the Caliphs intervened in the appointment of Jewish leaders or arbitrated in disputes between karaites and Rabbinical Jews. One document from 1198 tells the story of the forced conversion of the Jews of Aden by the Muslim rulers. One document from Egypt deals with whether a Jewish female prostitute may donate money to buy a Torah scroll. The last documents are the most harrowing and deal with the coming of Europeans and Blood Libels in the late 19th century. An amazing source book and a must have for anyone interested in the true history of the Middle East, one that also deals with minorities like Jews who once were an important part of the fabric of that part of the world.

    Seth J.Frantzman

    Rating: 5 / 5

  3. Stillman has written a fine introduction to the situation of the Jews living in Arab Muslim lands from the era of Muhammad to the cusp of modern times. A particular highlight of his book is the comparison of the situation in different lands at the same time. The treatment of Jews by Muslims was not homogeneous. There were regional and dynastic variations and nuances to Jewry policy.

    The translated primary sources that make up most of the book are useful for writing papers and homework assignments.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  4. Stillman gives a concise, yet thorough history of the Jews in Arab Lands. While he covers over eleven (11) century’s of Jewish History, he touches on the important events and figures that shaped attitudes to the Jewish populations from Spain to Iran. The second half of the book is dedicated to the sources which he draws from to paint the picture of Jewish life throughout those lands.

    If you are looking for a general overview, I would recommend his work. While his writing is clear, at times the sources are not translated well enough for a fluid read.
    Rating: 4 / 5

  5. Of all the great Jewish minds of the last millenium, few have paralled that of Moses Maimonides. Until the present generation of scholars, however, little research has been done to delve into the world of Sephardi and Eastern Jewry which gave rise to such a brilliant intellect.

    Professor Stillman has translated and presented precious resources from the Cairo Genizah, the most significant find in the history of Medieval Jewish History, to give modern scholars the clearest picture possible of Jewish life in medieval and early modern Arab society.
    Rating: 4 / 5

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