History of the Jews in Iraq

Iraqi JewsIraqiIraqi JewishBabylonianIraqIraqi-JewishBabyloniaBabylonian JewsJewsBabylonian Jewish
The history of the Jews in Iraq (, ', Yehudim Bavlim, اليهود العراقيون '), is documented from the time of the Babylonian captivity c.wikipedia
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Operation Ezra and Nehemiah

evacuatedEzra and Nehemiahemigrated in 1951–52
Between 1950–52, 120,000–130,000 of the Iraqi Jewish community (around 75%) reached Israel in Operation Ezra and Nehemiah.
From 1951 to 1952, Operation Ezra and Nehemiah airlifted between 120,000 and 130,000 Iraqi Jews to Israel via Iran and Cyprus.

Babylonian captivity

Babylonian exileexileexile in Babylon
The history of the Jews in Iraq (, ', Yehudim Bavlim, اليهود العراقيون '), is documented from the time of the Babylonian captivity c. 586 BC. Iraqi Jews constitute one of the world's oldest and most historically significant Jewish communities.
The return of the exiles was a gradual process rather than a single event, and many of the deportees or their descendants did not return, becoming the ancestors of the Iraqi Jews.

Baghdadi Jews

Baghdadi JewishBaghdadiBaghdad
Driven by persecution, which saw many of the leading Jewish families of Baghdad flee for the Indian subcontinent, and expanding trade with British colonies the Jews of Iraq established a trading diaspora in Asia known as the Baghdadi Jews.
Distinct from Calcutta, whose settlement was principally Iraqi Jews and Syrian Jews, the Baghdadi Jewish community in Bombay drew significant Jewish immigration from Persian-speaking communities in Afghanistan, Bukhara and Iran as well Jewish families from Yemen.

Nehardea

How free a hand the Parthians permitted the Jews is perhaps best illustrated by the rise of the little Jewish robber-state in Nehardea (see Anilai and Asinai). The coexistence for many decades of these two colleges of equal rank, even after the school at Nehardea was moved to Pumbedita (now Fallujah), produced for the first time in Babylonia the phenomenon of dual leadership that, with some slight interruptions, became a permanent fixture and a weighty factor in the development of the Jewish faith as we know it today. Leaving an existing Babylonian academy at Nehardea for his colleague Samuel, Rab founded a new academy at Sura, where he and his family already owned property, and which was known as a Jewish city.
Nehardea or Nehardeah (נהרדעא "river of knowledge") was a city of Babylonia, situated at or near the junction of the Euphrates with the Nahr Malka (also known as Nâr Sharri, Ar-Malcha, Nahr el-Malik, and King's Canal), one of the earliest centers of Babylonian Judaism.

Rav Ashi

AshiR' Ashi
The key work of these semi-competing academies was the compilation of the Babylonian Talmud (the discussions from these two cities), completed by Rav Ashi and Ravina, two successive leaders of the Babylonian Jewish community, around the year 520, though rougher copies had already been circulated to the Jews of the Byzantine Empire.
Rav Ashi ("Rabbi Ashi") (352–427) was a Babylonian Amoraic Talmid Chacham, who reestablished the Academy at Sura and was first editor of the Babylonian Talmud.

Fallujah

Al FallujahAl-FallujahFallujah, Iraq
The coexistence for many decades of these two colleges of equal rank, even after the school at Nehardea was moved to Pumbedita (now Fallujah), produced for the first time in Babylonia the phenomenon of dual leadership that, with some slight interruptions, became a permanent fixture and a weighty factor in the development of the Jewish faith as we know it today.
The town at this site in Jewish sources was known as Nehardea and was the primary center of Babylonian Jewry until its destruction by the Palmyran ruler Odenathus in 259.

Iraq

🇮🇶IraqiRepublic of Iraq
The history of the Jews in Iraq (, ', Yehudim Bavlim, اليهود العراقيون '), is documented from the time of the Babylonian captivity c. 586 BC. Iraqi Jews constitute one of the world's oldest and most historically significant Jewish communities.
A report published by the European Parliamentary Research Service suggests that in 2015 there was 24 million Arabs (15 million Shia and 9 million Sunni); 4 million Sunni Kurds (plus 500,000 Shia Faili Kurds and 200,000 Kaka'i); 3 million Iraqi Turkmen/Turkoman; 1 million Black Iraqis; 500,000 Christians (including Assyrians and Armenians); 500,000 Yazidis; 250,000 Shabaks; 50,000 Roma; 3,000 Sabean-Mandaeans; 2,000 Circassians; 1,000 Baha'i; and a few dozen Jews.

Shavuot

Feast of WeeksPentecostShavuos
Not long after this, the Partho-Babylonian country was trodden by the army of a Jewish prince; the Syrian king, Antiochus VII Sidetes, marched, in company with Hyrcanus I, against the Parthians; and when the allied armies defeated the Parthians (129 BC) at the Great Zab (Lycus), the king ordered a halt of two days on account of the Jewish Sabbath and Feast of Weeks.
Dairy foods such as cheesecake, cheese blintzes, and cheese kreplach among Ashkenazi Jews; cheese sambusak, kelsonnes (cheese ravioli), and atayef (a cheese-filled pancake) among Syrian Jews; kahee (a dough that is buttered and sugared) among Iraqi Jews; and a seven-layer cake called siete cielos (seven heavens) among Tunisian and Moroccan Jews are traditionally consumed on the Shavuot holiday.

Ka’b al-Ahbar

Ka ‘b al AkhbarKaabKaabul Ahbar
The first caliph, Abu Bakr, sent the famous warrior Khalid bin Al-Waleed against Iraq; and a Jew, by name Ka'ab al-Aḥbar, is said to have fortified the general with prophecies of success.
Aḥbār is the plural of ḥibr/ḥabr, from the Hebrew ḥābir, a scholarly title referring to a rank immediately below rabbi as used by Babylonian Jews.

Samuel of Nehardea

SamuelShmuelMar Samuel
Leaving an existing Babylonian academy at Nehardea for his colleague Samuel, Rab founded a new academy at Sura, where he and his family already owned property, and which was known as a Jewish city.
Rab at Sura and Mar Samuel at Nehardea established the intellectual independence of Babylonian Jewry.

David Sassoon

David Solomon SassoonSassoonDavid
One of the foremost leaders of the community, David Sassoon, was forced to flee first to Busher and then to India.
The family were Iraqi Jews.

Anbar (town)

Anbaral-AnbarPirisabora
The capture by Ali of Firuz Shabur, where 90,000 Jews are said to have dwelt, is mentioned by the Jewish chroniclers.
Anbar was adjacent or identical to the Babylonian Jewish center of Nehardea, and lies a short distance from the present-day town of Fallujah, formerly the Babylonian Jewish center of Pumbedita .

Abdallah Somekh

Abdola (Abdallah)
Religious scholarship flourished in Baghdad, which produced great rabbis, such as Joseph Hayyim ben Eliahu Mazal-Tov, known as the Ben Ish Chai (1834–1909) or Rabbi Abdallah Somekh (1813-1889).
Abdallah (Ovadia) Somekh (1813–September 13, 1889) was an Iraqi Jewish hakham, rosh yeshiva and posek.

Hyrcanus II

Hyrcanusa civil warcivil war
In 40 BC. the Jewish puppet-king, Hyrcanus II, fell into the hands of the Parthians, who, according to their custom, cut off his ears in order to render him unfit for rulership.
Then Hyrcanus was taken to captivity in Babylonia by the Parthians, where for four years he lived amid the Babylonian Jews, who paid him every mark of respect.

Solomon Ma'tuk

Solomon Ma’tuk
Jewish culture revived, with communal leaders as Solomon Ma’tuk being renown for his work as an astronomer, library and piyyutim.
In Baghdad the 18th and 19th century the family gained considerable renown and importance amongst Iraqi Jews.

Farhud

Baghdad pogromIraqi pogrom against Jewsmassacres
Following the collapse of Rashid Ali's pro-Axis coup, the Farhud ("violent dispossession") pogrom of June 1 and 2, 1941, broke out in Baghdad in which approximately 200 Jews were murdered (some sources put the number higher ), and up to 2,000 injured—damages to property were estimated at $3 million (US$ 0 million in 2019).
There were many instances of violence against Jews during their long history in Iraq, as well as numerous enacted decrees ordering the destruction of synagogues in Iraq, and some forced conversion to Islam.

Iraqi Jews in Israel

IraqIraqi JewsIraqi-Jewish background
Iraqi Jews in Israel
Iraqi Jews in Israel, also known as the Bavlim, are immigrants and descendants of the immigrants of the Iraqi Jewish communities, who now reside within the state of Israel.

Iraqi Jewish Archive

Iraqi Jewish Archive
The Iraqi Jewish Archive is a collection of 2,700 books and tens of thousands of historical documents from Iraq's Jewish community found by the United States Army in the basement of Saddam Hussein's intelligence headquarters during the US invasion of Iraq in 2003.

1969 Baghdad hangings

Iraq publicly executed 9 Iraqi Jews1969 public hangingare executed
In late 1968, scores of Jews were jailed on charges of spying for Israel, culminating in the 1969 public hanging of 14 men, 9 of them Jews, who were falsely accused of spying for Israel.
By 1969, Iraq's Jewish community had shrunk from more than 130,000 in 1948 to less than 3,000 due to mass emigration caused the establishment of the State of Israel, the subsequent Arab-Israeli wars, and anti-Jewish persecution.

History of the Jews in Kuwait

Jewish community of KuwaitJews
History of the Jews in Kuwait
The history of the Jews in Kuwait is connected to the history of the Jews in Iraq.

Asōristān

AssyrianAsorestanAsoristan
Under the Sassanids, Babylonia became the province of Asuristan, with its main city, Ctesiphon, becoming the capital of the Sassanid Empire.
Babylonia remained the center of Judaism in the world.

Mordechai Ben-Porat

The affair has also been the subject of a libel lawsuit by Mordechai Ben Porat, which was settled in an out-of-court compromise with an apology of the journalist who described the charges as true.
He helped organise the mass immigration of Iraqi Jews between 1949 and 1951, during which he was arrested four times by the Iraqi authorities.

Mizrahi Jews

MizrahiMizrahimMizrachi
They include descendants of Babylonian Jews from modern Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan, Syrian Jews, Yemenite Jews, Georgian Jews, Mountain Jews from Dagestan and Azerbaijan, Persian Jews from Iran, Bukharan Jews from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

Judeo-Iraqi Arabic

Judeo-Iraqiyhd
Judeo-Iraqi Arabic
Judeo-Iraqi Arabic, also known as Iraqi Judeo-Arabic and Yahudic, is a variety of Arabic spoken by Iraqi Jews currently or formerly living in Iraq.

Persian Jews

JewsJewishPersian
Persian Jews lived in the ancient (and until the mid-20th century still extant) communities not only of Iran, but also the Armenian, Georgian, Iraqi, Bukharan, and Mountain Jewish communities.