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בס"ד

Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine

By Rabbi Joseph Schwarz, 1850

History of Palestine: 1096-1520 C.E.

From The Reign Of The Europeans To Sultan Seliman.*

* I would merely remark, that I have taken the events of this period, for the most part, from an Eastern Hebrew work; should it, therefore, be found that there are some differences respecting the names and chronology, when compared with European histories, I would, nevertheless, give the preference to this work, which was composed on the spot where the events occurred, and appears on the whole to give an authentic and true account.

When the inhabitants of Europe learned, in 4856 (1096), how great the oppression and persecution were which their coreligionists had to endure in the Holy Land at the hands of the Mahomedans, they resolved to make a campaign thither by their united forces, in order to snatch the Holy Land from the power of the infidels. In consequence of this resolve there assembled an immense number of warlike pilgrims from Germany, France, Spain, Britain, and Italy, composing a mass of all sorts of men, who all hastened to the East in a pious and holy rage,--others, indeed, for the mere love of plunder,--to take part in the holy war; wherein, therefore, it was quite natural that the pious and holy priests should play a principal part. This, however, was a terrible and tragical period for all the Jews residing in the above-named countries; since these pious pilgrims had, at present, the best opportunity to give full vent to their hatred and fury against our poor and helpless people, and to enrich themselves at the same time with their wealth and possessions.

Especially in Germany an innumerable host of Jews, entire congregations, both little and great, both old and young, were butchered in cold blood, and their earthly possessions confiscated by the saints. Only those who would consent to join Christianity, the only saving church, could remain unmolested; but few, indeed, availed themselves of this dishonourable means of saving their lives! These are the persecutions of 4856, called among us גזרות תתנ״ו; but it is not my province to speak of them more circumstantially. A complete account of these dreadful events is found in the book of Chronicles of Rabbi Joseph, the priest, a native of Italy, known as דברי הימים לר׳ יוסף הכהן.

The number of these warlike pilgrims was about 600,000 men; they took their journey by seven different routes (Deut. 28:25). They were led by Godfrey of Lorraine, and many distinguished princes. They pursued their difficult and dangerous route through Constantinople, Anatolia, Antiochia, Trablus, Beirut, Zidon, Zur, and Akko. Their near approach produced a panic and frightful terror among the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The Egyptian Calif, who had but recently only taken it from the Tartars, commanded to place the city in a state of defence, to strengthen the wall of the city, and to supply it with brave troops, and with everything requisite, with arms no less than with an ample store of provisions.

In 4859 (1099), on the 7th of June (Tamuz), the pilgrims came at length before Jerusalem by way of Ramla. The large number of 600,000 had already melted down to 40,000, so that but 1 out of every 15 had remained alive and come before Jerusalem; the remainder had been carried off on the long journey by the plague and other diseases, hunger, want, and the sword of the enemy. But even among the 40,000 that remained, there were but 20,000 warriors who fought on foot, and 500 horsemen; whereas in Jerusalem there was a garrison of 40,000 brave soldiers. The city was now formally put in a state of siege, and the Mahomedans defended themselves bravely; but still Jerusalem was taken by assault on the 11th (19th?) of July אב  Godfrey and his brother Eustace (Iyostakea?) were the first to scale the wall, and descending therefrom into the city, forced the gates, when the whole army of the pilgrims poured in, and caused a terrible massacre, so that Arab historians write that the horses waded up to their bellies in human blood; and scarcely any one was spared and saved alive. Godfrey was thereupon acknowledged and crowned by the pilgrims as king of Jerusalem. They next gradually conquered all Palestine and Syria; but they had to carry on everywhere constant battles with the Califs of Egypt, in which they (the Crusaders) were nearly always victorious. In a battle between Godfrey and the Calif, which was fought in the vicinity of Ashkelon, it is said that 100,000 men of the Egyptian army were left dead on the field. The pilgrims made also some conquests on the east side of Jordan.

They had thus possession of nearly the whole country; they built cities, towns, villages, monuments, churches, and monasteries, and gave theirs arbitrarily biblical names, through which means, if one should regard these names as correct and authentic, the geography of Palestine would become entirely obscure and confused. Many of these names are even retained in the journal of the travels of the Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela. The great bridge over the Jordan, which is at present called Djisr abneh Jacub, was built by the Crusaders in the reign of Baldwin IV. The city wall of Jerusalem also was newly repaired by them, or rather nearly rebuilt; and they remained 88 years in complete possession of the land, as I shall relate farther.

When the people in Europe learned the conquest of Palestine, all were rejoiced, and every one wished to be himself able to participate in such holy expeditions, which caused five more to be undertaken.

In 4907 (1147), the second great expedition to Palestine took place, led by the Emperor Conrad III. of Germany, and Louis VII. of France.

In 4930 (1170), there reigned in Egypt King Saladdin (Salheddin Yuseph ben Ayoub), who united Palestine with his own government, and severed it from the Califate, and founded a separate kingdom, independent of that of the Califs, that of the Ayoubites, which lasted till 5010 (1250), when the kingdom of the Mamelukes commenced.

Saladdin, however, marched, in 4947 (1187 ),with a large army to Palestine, and made war against the then Christian King Guy (Guido), of Lusignan. A great battle was fought not far from the village of Chittin, near the mountain called Kurn Chittin, in Lower Galilee (for which see Chapter II); the Christians were defeated with a terrible slaughter, and King Guido was taken prisoner. Saladdin pushed on to Jerusalem, which he besieged, and soon began to batter and throw down its walls. The besieged, seeing that they had no prospect of a successful resistance, surrendered to him, paid him a contribution, and they were permitted to march out unmolested; whereupon many left Jerusalem with their families. Saladdin now put a garrison in the same, caused all steeples and bells to be destroyed, and the churches and monasteries, to spite the Christians, were converted into horse stables for his army; but he paid all possible respect and reverence to the buildings erected on the temple mount, for instance the Mosque Al Sachra, and other structures intended for the purpose of devotion. All the cities and towns of Palestine surrendered to him; so that he put an end to the Christian kingdom of Jerusalem.

The following are the kings who ruled in Palestine during the Christian period:

1, Godfrey of Boulogne (Bouillon), or of Lorraine; after his death there reigned, 2, his brother, Baldwin I.; after him, 3, Baldwin, called di Burgo; after him, 4, his son-in-law Fulgo; after him, 5, his son Baldwin III.; after him, 6, his son Almeric; after him, 7, his son Baldwin IV., who was afterwards afflicted with a terrible leprosy; so that even in his lifetime the government devolved, 8, on his nephew, his sister's son, Baldwin V., but who was yet a mere youth; after the death of both these, the government came into the hands of, 9, Guy of Lusignan; his queen was called Sybilla; she was a daughter of King Almeric, and was also the mother of Baldwin V.; Guy was defeated, as related above, by Saladdin, and thus lost his kingdom. The leaders of the Christian armies elected, nevertheless, after this from among themselves, as king, 10, Henry of Campania, who, however, soon afterwards fell out of a window in Ptolemais (Akko), and thus died.

Although the reign of the Europeans was thus dissolved in Palestine, several crusades were nevertheless undertaken in Europe, in the hope of recovering the lost dominion over the Holy Land, which was not accomplished, though several great victories were obtained here and there over the Mahomedans, and several towns were captured. But all this availed nothing to recover that power which they had formerly possessed.

In the year 4949 (1189), the third expedition was undertaken; the leaders in this were Frederick I. (Barbarossa), Emperor of Germany; Philip Augustus, of France; and Richard I. (Coeur de Lion), of England. They conquered Armenia and Syria; but the Emperor Frederick was drowned whilst bathing, and was buried in Antiochia. The Emperor Henry also undertook, in the mean time, an expedition with a very large army; but he lost his courage and his love for the Orient, and returned home without reaching Palestine. The other pilgrims moved on towards Akko (Acre), and besieged it. Saladdin came with an immense multitude of men, and attacked the Christians; but the siege and the war lasted a long time; victory, however, at length declared in favour of the pilgrims, and they conquered Akko and other cities, though they could not long maintain possession of them, as they were always again taken away from them; but during all this time Jerusalem remained in the hands of the Mahomedans.

In 4962 (1202), on the 30th of May (Sivan), there was a terrible earthquake, which has scarcely ever been equalled in the East; it lasted, without interruption, nearly three days, and destroyed the greater portion of Akko, the residence of the Christian kings, as also, almost totally, the towns of Tyre, Arkos (ערקי) Trablus (Tripoli); besides which destruction, a large number of human beings perished. This calamity was followed afterwards by an equally terrible famine; after this the land was visited by a fearful plague; by reason of all which the Christians could not sustain themselves in the country as an independent kingdom. (Jud. 5:20.)

In 4977 (1217), the fourth expedition was undertaken, not as before, by land, through Asia Minor, but by sea, under the guidance of Andrew II., King of Hungary.

In 4979 (1219), there reigned in the Holy Land, Melech al Madem, whose seat was at Damascus. He caused the city wall of Jerusalem to be demolished, sparing only the Kallai (fort), in order to afford to the Christians in future no central stronghold in Palestine.

In 4983 (1223), the fifth expedition, at the head of which was the Emperor Frederick II., was undertaken. Frederick took Palestine from Saladdin, and his son Kurdius, who resided in Jerusalem, had to seek safety in flight. The Emperor having thus conquered Jerusalem and several other towns, replaced King John, who had been chosen king after the death of Henry of Campania, and who had been driven from Jerusalem by the Mahomedans, into his royal dignity. King John gave thereupon his daughter Julia to Frederic for wife, and presented him in perpetuity with the kingdom of Jerusalem. The Emperor was accordingly crowned in the Holy City as King of Jerusalem; and it is upon this ground that all the Roman, or rather German emperors, have, since Frederick's time, borne the name of King of Jerusalem, and the House of Hapsburg bear it even now, though only as Emperors of Austria. It is well enough understood that this empty title confers no power whatever.

In 4999 (1239), the barons and knights then in Jerusalem commenced to restore and rebuild the destroyed city wall, and to repair in particular the fort Kallai. But the Amir Da-ud of Al Kerak, surprised the city, captured it, and slew a great many Christians; he also caused all that had been built to be again demolished.

In 5003 (1243), the Pisans (Italians), again undertook to restore the fort; but in the year following, 5004, the hordes of Karismians (Turks and Tartars), made a fourth irruption into Palestine under their king, Kasiumi; they took Jerusalem, caused a terrible slaughter among its inhabitants, and destroyed all that had been lately built up, together with the sepulchral church.

In 5008 (1248), the sixth and last crusade was undertaken; at its head was Louis of France. He took Egypt on his route, in order to defeat first its king. He found there that a conspiracy had broken out against the family of Saladdin, who had lost the government, which had devolved on the Mamelukes, who then began to rule, as I shall narrate somewhat more in detail hereafter.

In 5025 (1265), the Tartaric hordes made their fifth and last irruption, and killed a great many persons in Jerusalem.

In 5040 (1280), there ruled in Palestine the Sultan Seif Eddin, the Calif of Egypt.

In 5046 (1286), or rather, as appears to me more correctly, in 5051 (1291), there ruled here the Sultan Mahmud ibn Kialian, who caused several buildings to be erected in Jerusalem, and had constructed the northern pool without the city, as stated above when describing the pools, as appears from the inscription on the same, "SULTAN MAHMUD IBN KIALIAN SANE 693;" and as I have already noticed that the Chadjra commenced with 4479, and as 693 Mahomedan are only about 672 years, the date of the construction of the pool must be 5051 (1291).

In 5051, Asa Sultan Mameluki, King of Egypt, appeared with a large force before Akko and Trablus, and captured both, and killed a great many Christians, and destroyed entirely their dominion and power in Palestine, which has remained ever since, to our own times, in possession of the Mahomedans.

The proper duration of the Christian kingdom in Palestine was 88 years, as I have stated already; but their entire expulsion did not take place till 104 years later: consequently, the whole Christian period lasted 192 years.

Palestine was thus under the government of the Mamelukes, and continued so for 227 years, till it was conquered by the Ottomans.

I consider it proper to say something concerning the origin and descent of the latter. In the year 4970 (1210), when the terrible Gengis Khan, the king of the Tartars, conquered nearly the whole of Asia, and overcame all the kings and princes of that portion of the world, devastated their lands, and destroyed their cities, many of these princes saved themselves by flight, and settled in distant, uncultivated, and unpeopled districts, in steppes and deserts, in order to be safe against the all-destroying tyrant, Gengis Khan. Among these fugitives was a certain prince, the grandfather of the later named Osman or Ottman, whose descent some trace directly to Ishmael, son of Abraham, others to Japheth, son of Noah.

In the year 5060 (1300), when the Tartaric hordes, in one of their fearful inroads, robbing and murdering, caused destruction in every direction, Eladin, prince of Guna, (?) in Eastern Asia, fled before them, and left his country in the hands of a brave warrior who sojourned there, by name of Ottman or Osman, who was a grandson of the prince who had fled before Gengis Khan. The people of Guna elected Osman as their chief and king, in order to take the field against the marauding hordes. He was so fortunate in his campaigns that he overcame them; after which he gradually extended his conquests, penetrated to the West, defeated the Greeks, and conquered all Anatolia (Asia Minor). He took up his seat at Brusa, a city in the present province of Kodavenkiar, not far from Mount Olympus, in Asia Minor. His successors, the Ottoman rulers, constantly increased their dominions by conquest, till they acquired an immense extent, as I shall tell hereafter. This chief, then, is the ancestor of the celebrated imperial house which rules to this day [1850] in Constantinople, and hence the names of Ottoman Empire and Ottoman Emperors.

In 5162 (1402), Tamerlane (Timour Lenk), king of Samarkand (Samrchand), in Mongolia, conquered all Persia and Central Asia, and penetrated to the west as far as Anatolia, which he conquered, together with the whole of Syria and Palestine, and he destroyed and devastated everything wherever he appeared. Among others, the strong and celebrated city of Baal-bek, in Coelesyria, was destroyed by him, and it continues to this day in ruins. Bajazet (Biastus), of the family of the Ottomans, king of Anatolia, made war against him; but Timour defeated him, and, having made him prisoner, he enclosed him in an iron cage, and carried him about with him wherever he went, and he was compelled to eat under Timour's table what was thrown down to him. It was probably an old heathenish custom to treat conquered chiefs after this fashion. (See Judges 1:7.) After Timour's death, Mahmed Ismaeli I., the grandson of Bajazet, conquered all the countries and territories once possessed by Timour. Mahmed was a distinguished warrior, and very fortunate in his battles and conquests, by which he gave his dominions an immense extent, so that in 5175 (1415) he penetrated even as far as Salzburg in Tyrol. Palestine also reverted to the dominion of the Mameluke kings of Egypt.

In 5213 (1453), Sultan Mahmed II., the ninth in descent from Ottman, appeared before Constantinople with an immense army, and captured it by storm on the 29th of May, after a siege of fifty-four days. He caused a terrible slaughter among the Greeks, the inhabitants of the city, and made an end of the Greek part of the Roman Empire, which had been maintained there 1121 years, namely, from 4092 (332), when Constantine the Great rebuilt the city of Byzantium, and took up his residence there. Sultan Mahmed himself made Constantinople the capital of the Ottoman empire, and it has continued to be so to our own days. He also conquered nearly all Western Asia, and extended his power over a great portion of Europe, so that he conquered twelve kingdoms and more than a hundred large and fortified cities; and he was very fortunate in his wars. He attacked also the isle of Rhodes; but here his luck forsook him, and he was beaten back by the Greek inhabitants of that island, and he was not able to take it. Palestine also remained attached to the kingdom of the Mamelukes.

In 5278 (1518), Sultan Selim I., a grandson of Mahmed II., consequently the eleventh in descent from Ottman, made war against Sultan Kampison, king of Egypt. Near Aleppo, in Syria, a battle was at length fought between them. Kampison had a large army of Arabs and Mamelukes; but Selim conquered through means of his janissaries, and the Arabs and Mamelukes were put to flight, and Sultan Kampison, who was in his seventy-sixth year, and in the sixteenth of his reign, fell in this battle, the first and the last which he had ever fought. Palestine came, therefore, under the dominion of the Ottomans, and it has continued so ever since. Selim concluded a treaty of peace with the inhabitants of Trablus, Zidon, Beirut, Akko, and Damascus. He then moved on to Jerusalem, and ascended the Temple Mount, where he exhibited the reverence due to the sacred spot. Thence he took up his route to Egypt, and made war against Sultan Tumubera Diadoro, whom the Mamelukes had appointed as their king after Kampison's death, and defeated him, and had him hanged on a gallows. He also took the whole country of Egypt, and thus made an end of the Mameluke domination. Egypt came thus under the power of the Ottoman, as it has remained till the latest time, as I shall tell at the conclusion of this narrative. Selim conquered yet other kingdoms and provinces, and penetrated, in 5270 (1519), as far as Vienna, where, however, he met with a severe defeat. He died in 5250 (1520), and his son Seliman ascended the throne.

A SHORT REVIEW OF THIS PERIOD.

The following will prove that even at this early period German Jews must have lived in Jerusalem. The noble family of Dalberg in Worms is one of very ancient date, and has been in existence probably from eight to nine hundred years. It so happened that a son of this family had a great inclination to travel, in order to see the world and learn various languages, especially the Arabic; wherefore he resolved to visit the East, and came at length to Jerusalem. But, by reason of the long journey, the money with which he had provided himself became exhausted, and he was in the greatest distress, since he became sick, had neither money nor acquaintance, and knew not the language of the country, in order to make himself understood. He was lying despairing, dangerously sick and emaciated, in the open street of the city; but none of the passers-by took notice of him, either because they could not or would not understand him; till luckily a Jew came along, who had a knowledge of his language, and heard him say, "If people only knew who I am, and the character of my family and of my father, they would surely have compassion on me, for my father is able to repay manifold any kindness shown to me." The Jew, who was a German, had him immediately brought to his house, procured him medical assistance and good nursing, treated him as became his high station, and took such excellent care of him that he speedily recovered. He kept him also a long time after that in his house, and had him thoroughly instructed in the Arabic language. The young cavalier now reported to his father the whole occurrence, how a Jew had saved him almost from death, and become his benefactor, and that he had to thank him for his life and existence. The father was greatly rejoiced to hear from him, and sent out a large sum of money to enable him to return, and showed himself in an eminent degree grateful to the benefactor of his son, who thereupon returned happily to his native land. Soon after the father died, and left him great wealth. He wrote down this event in the family annals, and left a command to all his descendants for ever to do the Jews kindness, and made it a custom in Worms, that at each marriage or funeral procession among the Jews, two servants of the noble house of Dalberg should march before the same with silver-headed staffs in their hands, as a mark of honour and respect. This custom was observed several centuries in Worms.

When Jerusalem was taken by storm in 4859 (1099), by the pilgrims, there was among the generals one of the house of Dalberg, and he recollected the command of his ancestor, to show the Jews kindness, and especially that it was to a Jew of this place that he and his whole family owed their existence. He therefore endeavoured, so far as possible, and with all his power, to save the Jews from the fury of the conquerors; he took many under his protection, and sent them away to his own home, to Germany, and gave them possessions, houses, and fields, where they could live quietly and in peace. He also caused the Jews who fell in the conquest of Jerusalem, to be interred under the protection of his division of the army.

Some years before I left my native land there appeared a little work, written by one Dalberg, which spoke extremely kindly and sympathizingly for the Jews; the author partly referred to the above event, and said plainly that it is his duty by inheritance to speak only well of Israel, and to render them all possible service. "Send thy bread on the face of the waters, for in the multitude of days thou wilt find it again." (Eccles. 11:1.)

In the year 4930 (1170), R. Benjamin of Tudela, travelled through the Holy Land, and I extract from his journal merely the number of Jewish inhabitants whom he found in the following places, which will give us some means of judging of their extension and condition. In Antiochia there were about 10 Jewish families, whose business was the manufacture of glassware; in Ludkia were 200; in Gebal, the modern Djebl and ancient Biblus, 150; in Beirut, 50; in Zidon, 20; in Zor (Tyre), 400, who had several ships navigating the sea; in Akko, 200; in Caesarea (Kisrin), 10 Jewish and 200 Cuthean; in Lod, but 1, who was a dyer; in Nablus, 200 Cuthean; in Beth-Gubrin, 3; in Nob, 2, dyers; in Ramlah, 30; in Jaffa, 1; in Ashkelon, 200 Jewish and 300 Cuthean; in Jezreel, 1, a dyer; in Shunem, which is Turun, דליש גברא לריש * 300; in Tiberias, 50; in Gush-Chalab, 30; in Damascus, 3000; in Jerusalem, 200, who dwell near the Tower of David מגדל דוד; altogether, 4,858 Jewish, and 700 Cuthean families, which would give us about 30,000 individuals; whereas, at present there are scarcely half as many in the country. R. Benjamin's mentioning neither Zafed nor Hebron, should lead us to the conclusion that at his visit no Jews lived in these places.

* This name is incomprehensible to me; wherefore I believe it to be an incorrect reading, and that it should be "de les chevaux legers," as perhaps a troop of light-armed horsemen were stationed there. Perhaps he alludes by Turun, to Turanus, which is 10 English miles from Tyre, in the direction towards Banias, which was built by the Christians; or perhaps the modern village Turan, near Chittin (which see); but neither can be identical with Shunem, as must appear evident from its position.

The celebrated Nachmanides רמב״ן, who travelled in 5027 (1267) to Jerusalem, wrote to his son in Spain† among other things as follows: "Jerusalem has about 2000 inhabitants, among whom are 300 Christians, who have escaped the sword of the Sultan; but there is scarcely a Jew among the whole; for when the Tartars captured the city in 5025 (1265), many of the Israelites lost their lives, and the remainder fled to Shechem. I only met two brothers, who have farmed the dyeing business from the commander of the city; and there are scarcely ten persons who meet at the house of the dyers to hold divine service. I have urged them to found a general Synagogue of their own; for as the city is, so to say, without owners, and there is no priority right of possession, whoever takes possession of any house, dwelling, or court, (to be sure they are all in ruins,) it becomes and remains his property. We afterwards found a very handsome ruinous building, with marble columns and an elegant cupola; we instituted a collection to restore it to answer as a Synagogue; we then commenced the rebuilding, and sent for the ספרי תורה books of the Law to Shechem, whither they had been conveyed for safety; and now we have a handsome regular Synagogue, where public divine service is held; for there are constantly arriving here brothers and sisters in the faith from Damascus, Aleppo, and the whole surrounding country, in order to see the ruined temple, and to weep and mourn over it."

† This letter is appended to the celebrated תורת האדם (The Law of Man) at the end of שער הגמול "The Division on Recompense," also a work of the learned Ramban. At the conclusion to his commentary to the Pentateuch, he gives a touching picture of the situation of Jerusalem as he found it.

At that time there lived here the learned Rabbi Mosheh de Leon, who found the manuscript of the Zohar, composed by R. Simeon Ben Yochai, which was concealed in a cave not far from Miron.

In 5082 (1322), there was here the celebrated Astori Hapharchi איש תמרי הפרחי, the author of Caphtore Vapherach כפתר ופרח, a description of his seven years' travels and investigations in Palestine. At his time there was already a large Jewish population in Jerusalem, Beth-Sheän, and in Eglon, at the east of the Jordan.

In 5171 (1411), a large Jewish pilgrim society was formed, of distinguished, pious, and learned men in France and England (?), consisting of more than 300 persons, in order to travel to Jerusalem. The king then reigning there showed them every honour and respect, and permitted them to build themselves Synagogues and colleges. The celebrated scholar, Rabbi Jonathan Hakkohen,* was likewise one of this society of pilgrims. (See end of the book שבט יהודה)

* It appears that there is an error as to the time stated by the Shebet Yehudah in which this society should have been formed, since Rabbi Jonathan Hakkohen could not possibly have travelled to Palestine in 5071, as he lived more than two hundred years before that date. I would, therefore, correct קע״א 171, i. e. 5171, with תתקע״א, which error occurred by dropping the two ת; this would give us the date 971, i. e. 4971 (1211); and in truth Rabbi Jonathan lived about that time. [This solution of the question will also remove the question of Jews being in England at the time of the pilgrimage, which may have been in 1211, but not in 1411.-TRANSLATOR.]

Concerning The General Condition Of The Jews During This Period.

When the Christians conquered Jerusalem and Palestine, the situation of the Jews became extremely miserable, and many thousands were butchered by the holy and pious pilgrims. But after awhile, when these same Christians were attacked and persecuted in their turn by Saladdin, they were not able to be any longer persecutors of the Jews; these then extended themselves gradually over the country, and lived happily and contentedly under the protection of the Egyptian rulers, as will appear from the number of souls in the year 4930; and, as a general rule, the statement which I have made above will be found confirmed, that the Mahomedans of that time cannot be regarded as enemies and persecutors of the Jews. Under Sultan Saladdin they had great privileges and liberties; for he was a particular friend to our people, and he caused it to be made known throughout his dominions, that every Jew should have the liberty to settle unmolested in Jerusalem, and should enjoy all the rights of freemen. Jerusalem accordingly received a large Jewish population; but when the Tartars, particular enemies to the Jews, at a later period, made an inroad into the city, the Jews had to endure many persecutions. The later Ottomans also were no persecutors of the Jews. Selim had, as his physician and confidant, Rabbi Joseph Hamon; and was likewise a friend and benefactor to the Jews.

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