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A population that has always lived in the Middle East, to the point of becoming, until the birth of Israel, one of the most wealthy and powerful Jewish groups ever. The mizrahim are certainly the best way to tell how the contrast with the Arabs has only recent roots, linked above all to other Jewish components.
Mizrahim, the oldest Jews
The first communities of Mizrahi Jews arose even around the 7th and 6th centuries BC. following the Babylonian exile by Nebuchadnezzar II. In fact, not all the deportees returned home, forming the
Finally, the community expanded with the Spanish Reconquista of 1492 which led the Sephardic Jews to migrate within the Islamic world, often joining with the mizrahim, the most similar to them in rites and traditions.
Between Arabs and Sephardim
Although very close to those of Iberian origin, the Mizrahi communities never fully joined them, maintaining a certain autonomy both cultural and ritual, also thanks to the social status acquired over the centuries in the Middle East and their linguistic-cultural fragmentation
The Islamic empires had always shown themselves to be very tolerant and benevolent towards their Jewish relatives, so much so that there were communities in every corner of the Islamic world, with deeply different languages and cultures. In addition to the Kurdish and
The loss of status
The birth of this state had a deeply different historical and cultural background from that of the Mizrahi Jews and this will bring them many problems in the future, also due to the speed with which they were forced to revolutionize their lifestyle. In
This led to enormous mass displacements that spilled mostly into the ma’abarot, the sort of refugee camps created on Israeli soil to house the exiles. Even once the initial problem was solved, however, the Mizrahim suffered particularly from living in a state shaped according to Ashkenazi needs, decidedly different from them in history and culture. The latter, in fact, were largely peasants or in any case linked to work in the fields, something almost unthinkable for the former, linked above all to trade and craftsmanship. The loss of the past status will lead to an ever clearer division between the two groups, so much so that even today the issue is not only not resolved, but more and more mizrahim speak and are linked to the Arab world, much closer to their history than the European one of the Ashkenazis.
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