The Sultan’s Jew: Morocco and the Sephardi World Daniel Schroeter

ISBN: 9780804737777

Published: July 23rd 2002

Hardcover

264 pages


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The Sultan’s Jew: Morocco and the Sephardi World  by  Daniel Schroeter

The Sultan’s Jew: Morocco and the Sephardi World by Daniel Schroeter
July 23rd 2002 | Hardcover | PDF, EPUB, FB2, DjVu, AUDIO, mp3, ZIP | 264 pages | ISBN: 9780804737777 | 9.70 Mb

This pathbreaking study uses the extraordinary life of Meir Macnin, a prosperous Jewish merchant, as a lens for examining the Jewish community of Morocco and its relationship to the Sephardi world in the late eighteenth and early nineteenthMoreThis pathbreaking study uses the extraordinary life of Meir Macnin, a prosperous Jewish merchant, as a lens for examining the Jewish community of Morocco and its relationship to the Sephardi world in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries.

Macnin, a member of one of the most prominent Jewish families in Marrakesh, became the most important merchant for the sultans who ruled Morocco, and was their chief intermediary between Morocco and Europe. He lived in London for about twenty years, and then shuttled between Morocco and England for fifteen years until his death in 1835.This book challenges accepted views of Muslim-Jewish relations by emphasizing the ambivalence in the relationship.

It shows how elite Jews maneuvered themselves into important positions in the Moroccan state by linking themselves to politically powerful Muslims and by establishing key positions in networks of trade. The elite Jews of Morocco were also part of a wider Sephardi world that transcended national boundaries. However, Macnin remained more connected to Morocco, where Jews were, according to Islamic law, protégés of the ruler and still subject to specific legal disabilities.

The early-nineteenth-century sultan Mawlay Sulayman confined Jews in a number of Moroccan cities to newly created Jewish quarters as part of a policy of defining boundaries between Muslims and Jews. Yet Macnin remained closely tied to royal power, and in 1822 he became the principal intermediary between Morocco and the European powers for Mawlay Sulayman’s successor, Mawlay ‘Abd al-Rahman.At the beginning of the period covered in this book, Meir Macnin belonged to a wide, transnational Sephardi world, and moved easily between Morocco and Europe.

By the end of his life, however, this Sephardi diaspora had virtually come to an end. Emancipation in Western Europe and the growing identification of European Jews with the nations in which they lived meant that their affinity to their Sephardi heritage no longer transcended their national attachments.

The gap between Moroccan and European Jewry grew, and a new kind of division—between “Western” and “Oriental” Jews—now existed within the Jewish world.



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