The Mellah of Marrakesh, Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City (review)

The Mellah of Marrakesh, Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City (review) were directed mainly to imparting elementary synagogue skills, but not toward broadening Jewish historical and cultural knowledge. Jewish Baghdadi identity was maintained through the medium of family loyalty, practiced in home and synagogue festivities. Though Judaeo-Arabic speech was soon lost, much of Jewish traditional practice was retained until the dispersion of the community in 1942. Most Jewish shops remained closed on Sabbaths and festivals. People endowed the synagogue with an incredible number of Torah scrolls in memory of deceased relatives (no less than 126, according to the author!). The book has vivid accounts of the warmth of Jewish Baghdadi family life in Rangoon, followed, not inconsistently, by a chapter on the harsh segregation practiced vis-à-vis the Bene Israel. But the community never recuperated from the ordeal of the 1942 flight to India, though the Calcutta Baghdadis received the refugees warmly. After the war, the majority of the Rangoon people dispersed, and in the process lost much of their remaining tradition. The author has done a service to Jewish studies by this engagingly written book, documenting a community that has largely disappeared. She has also done a service to the descendants of the people described, who are enabled through http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies Purdue University Press

The Mellah of Marrakesh, Jewish and Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City (review)

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Publisher
Purdue University Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Purdue University
ISSN
1534-5165
Publisher site
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Abstract

were directed mainly to imparting elementary synagogue skills, but not toward broadening Jewish historical and cultural knowledge. Jewish Baghdadi identity was maintained through the medium of family loyalty, practiced in home and synagogue festivities. Though Judaeo-Arabic speech was soon lost, much of Jewish traditional practice was retained until the dispersion of the community in 1942. Most Jewish shops remained closed on Sabbaths and festivals. People endowed the synagogue with an incredible number of Torah scrolls in memory of deceased relatives (no less than 126, according to the author!). The book has vivid accounts of the warmth of Jewish Baghdadi family life in Rangoon, followed, not inconsistently, by a chapter on the harsh segregation practiced vis-à-vis the Bene Israel. But the community never recuperated from the ordeal of the 1942 flight to India, though the Calcutta Baghdadis received the refugees warmly. After the war, the majority of the Rangoon people dispersed, and in the process lost much of their remaining tradition. The author has done a service to Jewish studies by this engagingly written book, documenting a community that has largely disappeared. She has also done a service to the descendants of the people described, who are enabled through

Journal

Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish StudiesPurdue University Press

Published: Feb 14, 2009

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