IMC 2007: Sessions

Session 1323: Jewish Cities, Jewish Quarters: Multicultural Urbanism Remembered

Wednesday 11 July 2007, 16.30-18.00

Organiser:Eva Frojmovic, Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Leeds
Moderator/Chair:Eva Frojmovic, Centre for Jewish Studies, University of Leeds
Paper 1323-a'Ten Things were Said Concerning Jerusalem' (BT, Bava kama 82b)
(Language: English)
Tziona Grossmark, Faculty of Humanities & Social Studies, Tel Hai Academic College, Upper Galilee
Index terms: Daily Life, Hebrew and Jewish Studies, Law
Paper 1323-cSacred But Destroyed: The Destruction of Ancient Tiberias after the 1948 War
(Language: English)
Mustafa Abbasi, Department of Multi-Disciplinary Studies, Tel Hai Academic College, Upper Galilee
Index terms: Islamic and Arabic Studies, Local History, Military History, Social History

Paper a: An urban legislation that dealt with the problems and difficulties of the communal living in a town is well-documented in the Roman and Byzantine world. The towns of Roman and Byzantine Palestine were no exception. Urban laws are mentioned in Talmudic sources.
A famous baraita Ten things were said concerning Jerusalem was identified by few scholars as a list of urban laws or regulations of the town of Jerusalem. While this baraita is the main issue of our lecture, we will show that these laws existed also in other Palestinian towns.
Paper c: According to Jewish tradition, Tiberias is listed among the four sacred cities in the country, and is ranked after Jerusalem and Tiberias for its holiness. The new city of Tiberias that had begun to rise from its ruins since the beginning of the 18th century, had a mixed population of Arabs and Jews, but in the course of time and especially towards the end of the 19th century, it had a Jewish majority with Jewish immigrants coming to this holy city in order to spend the rest of their lives in it.
During the Mandate period, the Jews became a prominent majority in the city, and the control over it was in their hands.
It should be noted that the city of Tiberias was characterized by a degree of co-existence that was exceptional among other cities of the country, and in spite of the tension that was typical of the relations of Arab Palestinians with the Jews and the Zionist Movement, the two communities lived quietly side by side in mutual tolerance throughout the Mandate period.
During the war, the Jews had the upper hand, and although there were no significant battles in the city, the Arab inhabitants who lived in the more ancient part of Tiberias were evacuated under pressure by the forces of the Haganah and Palmach.
This historical part of the city that was typically Middle Eastern in character was inhabited by both Jews and Arabs. The ancient Jewish quarter was large and contained a considerable number of sacred buildings and Jewish public institutions. However, nothwithstanding this and the swift victory that was relatively so easy to achieve as testified by the Haganah commanders, the authorities decided to raze the ancient city of Tiberias to its foundations in spite of protests by the Jewish inhabitants in the city.