The Jewish Population With A Fresh Eyes

955 Words Dec 7th, 2015 4 Pages
Deshen approaches the Jewish population with a fresh eyes. Compared to the other authors of the works we’ve read previously, he skillfully illuminates the past through both an anthropological and historical lens. His thorough examination of the mellah society, shows the uncanny threads of commonality the Jewish diaspora throughout that wind through the ages. With this work, the microcosm of Morocco was revealed with Deshen’s discussion of various aspects of life. Modern stereotypes of the Jewish masculinity, as well as how medieval Jews juggled the spiritual benefits of baraka with the economic drain of hosting a sage. Most importantly, he shows the enmeshment and entrenchment in of Jews in a majority Muslim society.
At first glance, the walls of mellah seem like an impermeable membrane between an insular Jewish community and the majority Muslim population. However, the mellah walls hide an interconnected society. Through making ties with government officials, Berber protectors in the countryside, and distant relatives, Moroccan Jewry effectively spanned across Morocco. The extensive self governing systems among the Jews each town allowed for Jews from other towns maintain connections with their local officials. Deshen mentions that even though calling on a governing body from another town, was largely ineffectual. But what’s impressive is the fact that it was even necessary at all. It also mentions that marriages were predominately arranged between men and women of the…
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