Page 32 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 19

Basic HTML Version

2 6
J
e w i s h
B
o o k
A
n n u a l
tischen Juden (“Ethnology of Yemenite Jews,” Heidelberg, C.
Winters, Universitatsbuchhandlung, 1934), which gives many
aspects of their folk-life. A shorter account is presented in Y.
Rassabi’s Yahadut Teman (“Yemenite Jew ry ,” Tel-Aviv, Israel
Army, 1958). Of special ethnological interest is S. D. Go iten ’s
“Portra it of a Yemenite Weavers’ Village.”1 He also edited From
the Land of Sheba: Tales of the Jews of Yemen (New York,
Schocken, 1947).
Iraqi Jew ry has also been the subject of much interest. A His­
tory of the Jews in Baghdad by David Solomon Sassoon (Letch-
worth, A lcu in Press, 1949) contains much interesting material
on the customs, usages, superstitions and proverbs of Baghdad
Jewry. A more recent addition is A. N. Poliak ’s admirable
Yahadut Babel (“Babylonian Jew ry”), which delineates a com­
prehensive picture of Iraq ’s Jew ry from earliest times up to
the present. This study has been published by the Central Edu­
cational and Cu ltura l Office of the Israel Army (1959). Much of
the same areas is treated in Abraham Ben-Yaakov’s Toldot
Yehude Babel (“History of Babylonian Jew ry ,” Jerusalem, Ben-
Zvi Institute for Research on Jewish Communities in the M iddle
East, 1961). It starts, however, at the end of the Gaonic period
(1038 C.E.) and portrays a fu ll picture of the material, social
and cultural life, as well as customs and rites of the Jews of Iraq.
As for the Jews of Iran, Hanina Mizrahi, in a valuab le work
entitled Yehude Paras (“Persian Jew ry ,” Tel-Aviv, Dvir, 1959),
has presented a thorough panorama of the folk-life and culture
of this Jewish community. Of particular interest are the chapters
dealing with Persian Jew ry ’s festivals, domestic and family life,
birth, marriage and death customs, material culture, supersti­
tions and the holy places and shrines in Persia. A special chapter
is devoted to Persian Jew ry ’s folk-humor. W a lte r J. Fischel’s
important study, “Israel in Iran ,”2 gives a comprehensive survey
of Judeo-Persian folk-literature.
The best and most thorough ethnological monograph ever
w ritten on a Jewish community is Yehude Kurdistan (“Kurdistan
Jew ry ,” Jerusalem, Palestine Institute of Folklore and Ethnology,
1947), by Dr. Erich Brauer. The author treats all the aspects of
this community’s folk-life, devoting chapters to the ethnological
research of Kurdistan Jews conducted by scholars who preceded
him. Special sections deal with the history of this community.
A l l facets of daily life are presented: dress and costume, food,
birth and death practices, marriage customs, the domestic life
of the housewife, agriculture, commerce, trades, education, as
1 Jewish Social Studies, XVII (1955) , pp. 3-26.
2 Finkelstein, Louis, The Jews, Philadelphia, Jewish Publication Society,
1949, pp. 817-858.
7