jewish quarters


Kapetanissa Sarika (Sara Yeshua), partisan leader of the women’s platoon of the Greek People’s Liberation Army’s 7th division, posing with fellow EAM fighters and a revolver, October 1944.

Born in the Jewish quarter of Chalkida in 1927, Sara Yeshua belongs to the emblematic figures of the resistance. Before she turned 15, Sara assisted the wounded at the city’s military hospital as a volunteer nurse. From the beginning of the German occupation (October 1943), she got involved with Greece’s National Liberation Front, took her mother and left Chalkida for Steni.

To guard against German incursions against the Jews who had fled to the mountains, the resistance dispersed the Jews in various villages (Paliouras, Theologos, Stropones, Vasiliko) and later organised an escape network by boat to Turkey from Tsakei beach. Sara was well regarded by her fellow resistance fighters as a passionate speaker advocating for armed struggle against the occupation forces, particularly among young women. At 17, after the horrific murder of her cousin, Mendi Moschovitz, by the Security Battalions in Stropones (4 March 1944) and the burning of Kourkouloi, she formed an independent female resistance group that fought and gathered intelligence. Armed with Molotov cocktails, they attacked outlying sites to draw the Germans away from the main target, and aided in the capture of collaborators.  By the end of the war, she was legendary among the partisans of Evia, Greece, as “Kapetanissa Sarika” (Partisan Leader Sara). 


The jewish quarter of Segovia, Spain

This week I visited Segovia , specifically the Jewish quarter, it was a visit full of mixed emotions. On one hand the emotion that fills my soul every time I reach the places that were once inhabited by my ancestors, but on the other hand the sadness of knowing that in those streets passed the hardships before the expulsion. As you walk through the streets of Segovia you can hear the echo of history and when you reach the street where the Church of Corpus Christi is located a stab can be felt near the heart when reading on the plate “old Mayor Synagogue of Segovia"

The ancient synagogue of Segovia was transformed into a Church (later built the monastery) in the XIV century after a “mysterious legend” full of false accusations: The Jewish population was accused of stealing a consecrated communion wafer from a church and attempting to boil it in the synagogue to desecrate the body of Christ.
These events reached the ears of Queen Catherine of Aragon and Castile who decided, after hearing these accusations to remove the property of the synagogue and offer it to the bishop of Tordecillas. Thus the Kal became a market, then a Convent until a fire in 1899, when it was rebuilt and converted into the present Corpus Christi Church.

When passing near the Jewish Cemetery , there is the Fonsario del Pinarillo, a place where there are caves in which some Jews hid to not be converted, they  took refuge in the hope of escaping during the night, but some were captured and their destinies were death or conversion.

I also visited the educational center of the Jewry, Abraham Seneor’s former home, he was one of the most outstanding figures of the Castilian Jewish community during the Middle Ages and, undoubtedly, the most relevant in the history of the Hebrew Aljama of Segovia. He was one of the great offices of the Kingdom of Castile (Almojarife), besides Rabino, he was representative of the Jewish Community and Banker, since the family Seneor were part of an important financial group that even was lender of the Crown of Castile.

The Jewish community of Segovia was prosperous and some of its members had an important place within the Segovian community.
Until their expulsion in the year 1492 the jewish people were recognized by their work in the fields of medicine and architecture. After this year the destiny of the converts was always bound to trials and a life full of secrets, a sentence unjustly imposed by its own non-Jewish neighbors who acted as constant guards against a possible return to their non-Catholic customs.
The expelled went away without any property since the Clergy stayed with everything that could have financial value. The departure was painful, the choice to remain faithful to their identity was paid with the price of the departure towards an uncertain road full of sacrifices .

Wadi Abu Jamil - Beirut, Lebanon

Used to be known as ‘Wadi al-Yahoud’ (Valley of the Jews) as Beirut’s former thriving Jewish community used to live in this neighbourhood; most left during the Lebanese Civil War (1975-1990)

Remember that before the Holocaust, there were 18 million Jews in the world. They killed a third of us.

Remember that pre-war Eastern Europe was the center of world Jewry, and it had a thriving Jewish society with Yiddish theater, poetry, literature, art, and political activism. An entire society was destroyed.

Remember that before the war, a third of Warsaw’s population was Jewish. The vast majority of those Jewish residents were murdered.

Remember that Salonika (Thessaloniki) was a city in Greece that had a Jewish majority for hundreds of years. It used to be known as Sabatopolis – the Shabbat city – because before electric light, ships going by on Friday night would see a dark shoreline because the residents could not light lights. In the 16th century, it was known as the “mother of Israel” and was a center of Jewish life where Eastern European Jews would come to visit and study. Fewer than 1800 Jews from Salonika survived the Holocaust.

Remember that in Krakow, what used to be the Jewish quarter is now a tourist trap for the groups who come to look at what once was. The Jewish community owns several beautiful synagogues but only regularly uses one because there are so few Jews left. Without the tour groups who regularly pray with them, they would have trouble getting a quorum of ten men by the beginning of the Shabbat service. The other synagogues are museums now.

Remember what we lost.

noasaurus  asked:

Hey just in case you're curious what an actual Jewish person thinks; Muslims and Jews aren't natural enemies. The actions of a tiny fraction of Muslims don't represent core concepts of Islam any more than the actions of some Christians represent core concepts of Christianity. Is there antisemitism in the Muslim community and on the Left in general? Certainly, but that doesn't represent the views of every single Muslim. I'm tired of gentiles using us as a means to attack vulnerable people

I’m tired of apologists like yourself using “not all Muslims” to excuse a hugely disproportionate problem with Islam. You act as if it’s only a tiny percentage of Muslims who hold these views yet you ignore the fact the top 16 countries with the highest rates of antisemitic views are all Muslim countries, you ignore Muslims are more than twice as likely to harbor antisemitic views than any other religion, you ignore the fact 16 Muslim countries strictly forbid Jews from entering, you completely ignore the fact more Muslims than any other religion deny and mock the Holocaust, you ignore the fact that violent crimes against Jews across Europe are mostly committed by young Muslims

You ignore the fact more than a thousand Jews were killed in anti-Jewish rioting in Muslim countries which has led to mass exodus of almost a million Jews from Arab countries, you completely ignore research has found that 47 percent of Muslims in the UK stated that they hold “unfavorable” views of Jews compared with 7 percent of the population as a whole; that 28 per cent of Muslims in France hold unfavorable views of Jews compared with 13 per cent of the population generally; and that 44 percent of Muslims in Germany hold such views compared with 20 percent of the population generally, you completely ignore the fact antisemitism is spread all over Arabic news and media, it’s being taught all throughout mosques and it’s ingrained in Muslim families and history, you completely ignore the fact that right now every single neighbor of Israel is a Muslim country who are all hellbent on destroying Israel and killing every last Jew. These are entire nations, not just a small minority ffs.

You may have a case by saying a fraction of Muslims are actually butchering and hunting Jews but how the fuck can you sit there and say that only a tiny fraction of Muslims hold these views so we should never talk about it and if we do, then it’s an attack on “vulnerable people”. Are you kidding me? The evidence is right there, what the fuck is wrong with you? You do realize there’s more Muslims in the world than just the ones who go to your university and who tells you how awesome Islam is, right? Muslims and Jews aren’t natural enemies? Have you ever read a history book? What kind of Jew are you? You don’t even know your own history? You don’t even know what’s happening in Israel? Or are you just choosing to ignore it along with everything else because it shows Islam isn’t quite as peaceful as your Muslim friend tells you? Well, it seems like somebody needs a history lesson. 

Muhammad traveled to Medina in 622 to attract followers to his new faith. When the Jews of Medina refused to convert and rejected Muhammad, two of the major Jewish tribes were expelled and in 627, Muhammad’s followers killed between 600 and 900 of the men, and divided the surviving Jewish women and children amongst themselves. The Muslim attitude toward Jews is reflected in various verses throughout the Quran. "They [the Children of Israel] were consigned to humiliation and wretchedness. They brought the wrath of God upon themselves, and this because they used to deny God’s signs and kill His Prophets unjustly and because they disobeyed and were transgressors" (Sura 2:61). According to the Quran, the Jews try to introduce corruption (5:64), have always been disobedient (5:78), and are enemies of Allah, the Prophet and the angels (2:97­98).

The traditional concept “dhimma” (“writ of protection”) was extended by Muslim conquerors to Christians and Jews in exchange for submission to the Muslims. People subjected to Muslim rule usually had a choice between death and conversion, but Jews and Christians who adhered to the Scriptures were allowed as dhimmis (protected persons). This “protection” did little to insure that Jews and Christians were treated well by the Muslims. On the contrary, an integral aspect of the dhimma was that, being an infidel, he had to openly acknowledge the superiority of the true believer the Muslim and pay Muslims “tributes” (jizya), as a yearly tax, symbolized the inferiority of the Jews and Christians. Muslims also forced Jews to wear yellow badges, setting a precedent that would be followed centuries later in Nazi Germany.

Later the inferior status of Jews and Christians was further reinforced through a series of regulations that governed the behavior of the Jews and Christians. They were forbidden to criticize the Quran, Islam or Muhammad, to proselytize among Muslims or to touch a Muslim woman (the scary part is they still practice this today.) Jews and Christians were excluded from public office and armed service and were forbidden to bear arms. They were not allowed to ride horses or camels, to build synagogues or churches taller than mosques, to construct houses higher than those of Muslims or to drink wine in public. They were not allowed to pray or mourn in loud voices as that might offend the Muslims. Jews and Christians were not allowed to give evidence in court against a Muslim and his oath was unacceptable in an Islamic court. To defend himself, Jews and Christians would have to purchase Muslim witnesses at great expense. This left them with little to no legal recourse when harmed and attacked by a Muslim.

When Jews were perceived as having achieved too comfortable a position in Islamic society, antisemitism would surface with often devastating results: In 1066, Joseph HaNagid, the Jewish vizier of Granada was crucified by an Arab mob that proceeded to raze the Jewish quarter of the city and slaughter its 5000 inhabitants. The riot was incited by Muslim preachers who had angrily objected to what they saw as inordinate Jewish political power. Similarly, in 1465, Arab mobs in Fez slaughtered thousands of Jews leaving only 11 alive, after a Jewish deputy vizier treated a Muslim woman in “an offensive manner.” Other mass murders of Jews in Arab lands occurred in Morocco in the 8th century, where whole communities were wiped out by Muslim ruler Idris I, North Africa in the 12th century, where the Almohads either forcibly converted or decimated several communities, Libya in 1785, where Ali Burzi Pasha murdered hundreds of Jews, Algiers, where Jews were massacred in 1805, 1815 and 1830 and Marrakesh, where more than 300 hundred Jews were murdered between 1864 and 1880. And most recently in the 1940s where more than a thousand Jews were killed in anti-Jewish rioting in Muslim countries which has led to mass exodus of almost a million Jews.

Decrees ordering the destruction of Jewish synagogues were enacted in Egypt and Syria (1014, 1293-4, 1301-2), Iraq (854-859, 1344) and Yemen (1676). Jews were forced to convert to Islam or face death in Yemen (1165 and 1678), Morocco (1275, 1465 and 1790-92) and Baghdad (1333 and 1344). Jews during the 19th century in Muslim countries of North Africa were forced to live in ghettos and Muslim children participated in the degradation of Jews, throwing stones at them and harassing them and Jews were only allowed to work as shoe shiners. The frequency of anti-Jewish violence increased and many Jews were executed on charges of apostasy. Ritual murder accusations against the Jews became commonplace in the Ottoman Empire. The attitude of the Muslims toward the Christians and the Jews is that of a master towards slaves, who he treats with a certain lordly tolerance so long as they keep their place. Any sign of pretension to equality is promptly repressed. 

This is still happening right now. It’s not only history but it’s still very real and very current and people wonder why Islam gets called the primitive religion. Their hatred of Jews, gays and women is brushed off as “not real Muslims” when it’s impossible to make it any clearer that this is real Islam, as it always has been. Sure, many Muslims have been Westernized enough to adopt our laws and values but you’re completely failing to understand these Muslims do not make up the majority. You look at countries such as Lebanon, Egypt and Jordan and almost 100% of their Muslims admit they don’t like Jews. But sure, tell me again there’s no natural tension between Jews and Muslims, keep telling me what a tiny minority antisemitic Muslims are. You’re a fucking disgrace.


Córdoba Synagogue is a historic edifice in the Jewish Quarter of Córdoba, Spain, built in 1315. The synagogues small size points to it having possibly been the private synagogue of a wealthy man. It is also possible that Córdoba’s complex of buildings was a yeshivah, kollel, or study hall. Another possibility is that this was the synagogue of a trade guild, which converted a residence or one of the work rooms into the synagogue. The synagogue was decorated according to the best Mudejar tradition.


Jewish quater of Albarracín , Spain

The Jewish minority of Aragon was predominantly urban, devoted to all kinds of occupations, specially standing out in medicine, administration, taxation and finance. Jewish people were considered Crown property under the King’s protection in exchange for special higher contributions. They had restricted their freedom of movement, need permission to move out of town and endorsements to travel out of the Kingdom. They did not have the same political rights as other Aragonese. Over time their residence was segregated, to isolate them from the Christians and also to protect them during Holy week and other Catholic festivities during which they could be attacked.

The above picure is from the Church of San Juan built in the 17TH century, it is believed that it could be raised on the site once occupied by the Synagogue, since the temple is in what once was the Jewish quarter of Albarracín, of which only its know through documentations.

Very few remains as testimony to the passage of the Jewish people in Albarracín.
Starting from the year 1485 the Inquisition was in charge of ordering trials against those accused of heresy. The Jewish population was seen as the main threat to Catholicism.

With the order of expulsion in 1492 signed by the Catholic kings the options of the jewish population remaining was to convert to Christianity or be expelled in both cases the assets of Jewish families were taken by the clergy.

By then just few houses of Jewish families are still standing, all trace is fading and this days the only knowledge of the existense of Jews is found in some documentation usually written by those who were forcibly converted to Catholicism and some archaeological remains.
In 1493 it started the financial decline of the city of Albarracín because those who were once the mainstay of the community were now gone.