Reviving an Ancient Tunisian Jewish Pilgrimage

Much like their ḥasidic coreligionists in Eastern Europe, many North African Jews developed a custom of making annual pilgrimages to sites associated with particular saints. In Tunisia, one such site is a synagogue on the island of Djerba, located—according to legend—where the house of a righteous woman named Ghriba, for whom the pilgrimage is named, once lived. The overwhelming majority of Tunisian Jews left the country in the 1950s and 60s, fleeing intensifying and often violent anti-Semitism, but many still return to Djerba for the annual pilgrimage. Daniel Lee writes:

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More about: Mizrahim, Muslim-Jewish relations, Pilgrimage, Tunisia

 

Israeli Sovereignty Would Free Residents of the West Bank from Ottoman Law

To its opponents, the change in the legal status of certain areas of Judea and Samaria is “annexation;” to its proponents, it is the “extension of sovereignty” or the “application of Israeli law.” Naomi Khan argues that the last term best captures the practical implications of the measures in question. Since the Six-Day War, the Jewish state has continued to uphold the Ottoman legal system in areas of the West Bank under its jurisdiction—despite the fact that the Ottoman empire ceased to exist in 1922; “annexation” would end this situation. Setting aside the usual questions of foreign policy, security, and the possibility of Palestinian statehood, Khan argues that this change would be the one most felt by those who live there:

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More about: Annexation, Israeli law, Ottoman Empire, Palestinian Authority, West Bank