Sunday, May 12, 2013

The Lost World of Iraqi Jewry | Israel News and Ways to Support Israel - United with Israel

Jews praying at Ezekiel's Tomb, 1930's

The Iraqi Jewish community possesses ancient roots, dating back to 722 BCE, and has a proud history. Between 500 and 700 CE, Iraqi Jewry produced the Babylonian Talmud, which is utilized by Jews around the world to date. Great Judaic scholars such as Hillel were Iraqi. In essence, Judaism as we know it today was born in Iraq. But aside from being rich regarding Jewish learning, Iraqi Jews had vastly contributed towards Iraqi society. They introduced the olive tree into Iraq and helped to develop Iraq’s postal and judicial systems. Iraq’s first Finance Minister, Yehezkel Sasson, was Jewish.

However, starting in the early 1940’s, the Iraqi Jewish community would suffer waves of persecution. In 1941, a group of pro-Nazis Iraqi military officers, inspired by the Palestinian Grand Mufti Haj Amin Al Husseini, staged a coup d’├ętat and then proceeded to unleash a two-day Kristallnacht style pogrom against the Baghdad Jewish community during the Shavuot holiday. Almost 200 Jews were slaughtered; over 2,000 were wounded, around 1,000 Jewish shops and homes were torched, and a synagogue with its Torah scrolls was burnt. This massacre is known today as the Farhud, which means the violent dispossession.

FULL ARTICLE: The Lost World of Iraqi Jewry | Israel News and Ways to Support Israel - United with Israel

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