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600-1000: The Arab Conquest

600-1000: The Arab Conquest

| September 26, 2019

Caliph Umar (Omar) conquered the Land of Israel in 638 and the Dome of the Rock was constructed on the Temple Mount in approximately 685. In the first century after the Arab conquest, the community in the land was primarily Jewish and Christian. In 995, a Jewish governor was appointed to rule over Damascus, Aleppo, […]

1800-1900: The Awakening of Zionism

1800-1900: The Awakening of Zionism

| September 26, 2019

The 19th century saw the awakening of political Zionism. The Dreyfus Affair galvanized Theodore Herzl to demand a homeland for the Jewish people. He published his seminal work, Der Judenstaat (The Jewish State) and met with Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany in an attempt to get him on board with Zionism. He predicted that there […]

1700-1800: Muslim Oppression

1700-1800: Muslim Oppression

| September 25, 2019

The Jewish population of the Land of Israel grew to approximately 20,000 in the middle of the 18th century. The first construction of the Hurva Synagogue began in 1701, but the synagogue was destroyed by the Muslims in 1721, when the Jews were unable to pay the exorbitant taxes which were demanded of them. Other […]

1600-1700: Destruction of Tiberias

1600-1700: Destruction of Tiberias

| September 25, 2019

Jews continued to immigrate to the Land of Israel in the 17th century. Rabbi Avraham Azulai moved from Morocco to Hebron in 1600. Jews fleeing persecution in Spain, Germany and Italy found their way to Palestine. In 1658, Rabbi Israel Yaakov Hagiz arrived from Morocco and established the Beit Yaakov Yeshiva in Jerusalem. This century […]

1500-1600: Mysticism in Safed

1500-1600: Mysticism in Safed

| September 25, 2019

The Jewish community of Safed grew exponentially in the 16th century. Rabbi Yosef Caro, author of the Shulchan Aruch, a codification of Jewish law, was a resident of the city. Mystic scholar Rabbi Shlomo Alkabets wrote the famous Lecha Dodi song in Safed in 1524. Rabbi Moshe Kordovo developed Jewish mysticism into a new system […]

1400-1500: Expulsion from Spain

1400-1500: Expulsion from Spain

| September 23, 2019

On May 1, 1492, King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella signed the edict ordering all Jews to convert to Christianity or be expelled from Spain within three months. About 200,000 Jews left Spain as a result. Some of these Jews found their way to the Land of Israel and settled there. 1421 Pilgrims, Visitors, and Immigrant […]

1300-1400: Pilgrimages

1300-1400: Pilgrimages

| September 23, 2019

The Christian monk Jacques of Verona visited the Land of Israel in 1322 and wrote about the importance of hiring local Jewish guides to locate ancient forts and towns. The Jewish pilgrim Isaac ben Joseph ibn Chelo reported that the Jews of Jerusalem were numerous and expressed his disappointment in not being allowed to visit […]

1200-1300: Mamluks and Synagogues

1200-1300: Mamluks and Synagogues

| September 23, 2019

In the 13th century, the Land of Israel was ruled by the Mamluks. The pagan Mongols overran large parts of the Muslim and Christian worlds and the ancient Muslim system of the rule of soldier castes, consisting of imported slaves, reached its zenith in the domination of Egypt, Palestine and Syria by the Mamluks (1250–1517). […]

1100-1200: Records of Travelers

1100-1200: Records of Travelers

| September 23, 2019

A small Jewish community lived in the Land of Israel during the 12th century. Records of travelers to the Holy Land attest to its existence. On May 14th 114, the famous scholar and poet Judah HaLevi sailed from Alexandria to Israel. Tragically, he died soon afterwards in Crusader Jerusalem. Maimonides, a commentator, philosopher, physician and […]

1000-1100: The Crusades

1000-1100: The Crusades

| September 19, 2019

The Jewish presence in the Land of Israel continued into the 11th century. An eleventh-century document from the Cairo Genizah describes the Jewish ritual of visiting the Temple Mount and reciting specific prayers at each of its gates. In 1039, Jews gathered at the Mount of Olives for Hoshanah Rabbah prayers. A synagogue on the […]