Page 34 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 19

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e w i s h
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Jews of North Africa
There appeared in 1959, on the tenth anniversary of the
arriva l of T ripo litan ian Jews in Israel, a magnificent volume
entitled Yahadut Luv (“L ibya’s Jew ry ,” Tel-Aviv, Vaad Keh illo t
Luv Be-Israel, 1960). It contains not only information on the
history of the various Jewish communities in T ripo litan ia , but
also a detailed account of the folk-culture, customs and traditions
of T ripo litan ian Jewry. The work is a collective one, compiled
by numerous authors, mainly T ripo litan ian Jews living in Israel.
Very rich is the recent literature relating to the ethnology of
the Jews of North Africa. Apa rt from Nahum Slouschz’s classic
work Travels in North A frica (Philadelphia, Jewish Publication
Society, 1927), more recent studies include Slouschz’s Nefozot
Israel be-Africa ha-Zefonit (“Jewish Communities in North
A frica ,” Jerusalem, Youth Department of the Zionist Organiza­
tion, 1946), and his excellent monograph on the Jews of the Isle
of Djerba, Ha-I ha-Peli (“The W onderfu l Island,” Tel-Aviv,
Dvir, 1957). This is a brillian t description of the folk-life of this
strange Jewish community, as well as a comprehensive account
of the legendary lore of Djerba Jewry.
Rich in ethnological material is Haim Zeev Hishberg’s pro­
fusely illustrated Me-Eretz Mevo ha-Shemesh (“From the Land
of Sunrise,” Jerusalem, Youth Department of the Zionist O r­
ganization, 1957). The author gives a detailed account of his
recent visits to the numerous Jewish communities in Morocco,
Algiers and Tunis, and describes their customs and habits, their
life and culture. The same au thor’s Toldot Yahadut Zefon
A frica (“History of North A frican Jew ry ,” Tel-Aviv, Zahal,
1958) is likewise of much interest. Other significant studies
include A. Chouraqui’s Les Ju ifs d’A frique du Nord (Paris,
1959), N. Slouchz’s “The History of Fez and Its Chroniclers, the
Ibn Danan Family,”4 E. Malka et L. B runot’s Textes Judeo-
Arabe de Fez (Rabat, Publications de Institute des Hautes Etudes
Marocaines, vol. 33, 1939), E. Malka’s Essai d’ethnographie tra-
ditionelle des Mellahs ou croyances, rites de passage et vieilles
pratiques de Israelites marocains (Rabat, 1946), and the same
au thor’s Essai de Folklore de Mellahs (Rabat, 1954) containing
considerable data on Moroccan Jew ry ’s customs and habits.
Of particular interest is A. Weingrod ’s recent essay, “Change
and Continuity in a Moroccan Immigrant V illage in Israel,”5
and M ilton Jacobs’ scholarly epitome of a dissertation, A Study
of Culture Stability and Change: The Moroccan Jewess (Wash­
ington, D. C., Catholic University of America, 1956). Substantial
information is provided in L. Vo inot’s scholarly work, Pelerinages
4 Sura: Israeli-American Annual, vol. I l l (1957-58), pp. 165-191.
5 The Middle East Journal, vol. XIV (1960) , pp. 277-291.