Hasidic-Muslim Relations in Ottoman Palestine (Yitzhak Melamed)


Super interesting piece by Yitzhak Melamed with texts on the history of Hasidic-Muslim relations in Ottoman Palestine.

The first Hasidic masters settled in Palestine in the eighteenth century, even before the movement developed a consciousness of itself as a new life-form of Jewish piety. R. Avraham Gershon of Kitov (d. 1761) — the brother in law of the founder of Hasidism, R. Israel Baal Shem Tov (ca. 1700-1760)— settled in Hebron in 1747, and by the early 1750s he moved to Jerusalem.

In 1781, a group of three hundred Hasidim led by R. Menahem Mendel of Vitebsk (1730-1788) and R. Avrahm of Kalisk (1741-1810) established a community in Tiberias (after a failed attempt to settle in Safed).[1] In Palestine, the Hasidim met not only the local Sefaradi Kabbalists[2] but also the local, non-Jewish residents. This latter encounter is particularly intriguing, but a full account of this would take a monograph.

Here I would like to examine two especially striking episodes from this encounter; the first highlights the relationship between Jews and Muslims in the land during this period, while the second shows  how a Hasidic master in Europe viewed the non-Jewish natives of Ottoman Palestine.[3]

It would make for a terrific monograph. You can read the whole thing here.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
This entry was posted in uncategorized and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Hasidic-Muslim Relations in Ottoman Palestine (Yitzhak Melamed)

Leave a Reply