domenica 2 marzo 2008

Medieval Jews : Overview: The Story, 622-1666

Medieval Jews lived from Spain to the Sahara, from Baghdad to Britain, generally under the rule of either Muslims or Christians. (From the destruction of the Second Temple in 70AD until the founding of Israel in 1948, there was no autonomous Jewish state.) While some commonality of experience existed for Jews living in the domain of the crescent, where there was no separation of church and state; life for Jews under the cross varied, as the separation of church and state, coupled with the absence of unified religious law regarding Jews, led to arbitrary application of policy and punishment.
Under Islam, Jews were governed by the Pact of Omar. This contract, established in the seventh century, required non-Muslims living under Muslim rule to abide by a host of discriminatory regulations, such as rising in the presence of a Muslim, dressing in distinctive garb, and (re) building synagogues only when absolutely necessary, and then constructing humble structures.

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