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Dct stanford-03 may2012

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Support de ma conférence donnée le 3 mai 2012 au Stanford Humanities Center

Support de ma conférence donnée le 3 mai 2012 au Stanford Humanities Center

Published in: Spiritual, Education
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  • 1. The Cohen-Tanoudji family A Historical Itinerary Through North African Jewry Denis Cohen-Tannoudji Stanford Humanities Center May 3rd, 2012
  • 2. ObjectiveDevelop a new look of the History ofNorth African Jewry in using a family history
  • 3. RationaleNorth African Jewry history : a low historical consciousness – In particular among Jews from North Africa, among the Cohen-TanoudjiNorth African Jewry history : an under developed topic – Few historians developed it compared to Ashkenazi or Western Sefaradic Jewry History50 years after the exodus of the Sefaradic Jews from Muslim world – Why did the Jews leave ? – Was the creation of the State of Israel the only reason ? – The last Cohen-Tanoudji who was still living in North Africa died in 2003The difficulty to understand the “new antisemitism” in France since 2000 – Was it only due to the importation in France of the third “Intifada” ?
  • 4. A unique approachA unique family nameA genealogical continuity through centuriesused as an historical markerAt each generation, one or several familymembers left some written sources
  • 5. MethodologyYosef Hayim Yerushalmi (1932-2009) Columbia University
  • 6. MethodologyThe Bible was the canon of The Historical BookHowever, after the destruction of the Second Temple, the Jewishleadership did not consider post-biblical History as a priorityInstead, studying Torah, Midrash, Mishnah, Guemarah and Kabbalah,developing rabbinical laws, were judged much more important to preparethe venue of the MashiachWith the Haskala, when Judaism met the Enlightment, some Jewishscholars started establishing the History of the Jewish PeopleThose historians used actually a numerous rabbinical literature whichwas originally not developed for such purpose
  • 7. Gheniza were the largest sources of archives
  • 8. Family history was not transmitted but indirectlydiscovered thanks to numerous written sources
  • 9. A new look at North African Jewry History• The origins of North African Jewry and the Sefaradic civilization• The rise and the fall of the Spanish Golden Age(s)• The light and the darkness of the Ottoman Empire• From the Spanish repulsion to the French attraction• “Neither colonized, nor colonizers”• Dragged in the Second World War• The Exodus of the Jews from Muslim world
  • 10. The origins of North African Jewry and the Sefaradic civilizationJews are already in North Africa during the Roman & Byzantine Empires – Carthage archeology – Early Christian literature (Tertullian, Saint Augustine)Berber population could have been partly judaized, but certainly not morethan elsewhereFirst North African Jews were instead Judean population beingberberized – Cohen-Tanoudji (Priest from Tangier), a Judean name with a Berber touchThe Kahina Queen was certainly not Jewish but Christian
  • 11. The origins of North African Jewry and the Sefaradic civilizationA wave of Jewish settlements from MiddleEast with the rise of the CaliphateSome Babylonian scholars settled there,between Kairouan and CordobaTalmud Babili and Al-dhimma muslimlaws shaped the Sefaradic civilizationNorth Africa and Andalusia were united – For the Muslims, it was Maghreb, for the Jews, it was Sefarad – Tangier, a city at the junctionYitshaq Al-Fassi (1013-1103), born inQalad Hammad, studied in Kairouan, Fesand Lucena is the symbol of the NorthAfrican-Andalusia emancipation fromBabylon
  • 12. The rise and the fall of the Spanish Golden Age(s) 1492, as the End of the Spanish Jewish Golden Age, is a well known event among collective memories It is however more complicated… there were two Spanish Golden Ages, one under Omayyad rules, another, later, under Christian rules The Almoravides (1054), the Beni Hilâl (1060) and then the Almohades (1147) forced all the non-muslim communities of North Africa and Andalusia to convert to Islam, to leave or die North African Christians disappeared, Andalusia Jews left for Castilla and Aragon, Maghrebi Jews converted to Islam or left for Egypt and Sicily – A Cohen family from Tangiers fled from Morocco to Sicily where the family name is noticed in 1354 in Palermo among North African Jews established there Sefaradic civilization moved from Kairouan and Cordoba to Toledo and Cairo
  • 13. The rise and the fall of the Spanish Golden Age(s)
  • 14. The rise and the fall of the Spanish Golden Age(s)
  • 15. The rise and the fall of the Spanish Golden Age(s) After the 1391 pogrom, Jews fled from Spain to North Africa, which is no longer under Almohades rules, revitalizing local Judaism (Duran family) In 1492, Isabella the Catholic did not expel the Jews from Granada, as there were no more Jews since 1147… – Expelled Jews from Castilla and Aragon – The Alhambra Palace is the symbol of a Golden Age which did not take place there As Sicily was Aragon, then Spanish, the Jews were expelled from the Island in 1493 – As the Cohen-Tanoudji family, which came back to North Africa, in Tunis in particular In 1535, Charles V invaded Tunis and most of the Jewish Scholars took refuge in Egypt, in the Levant and the Balkan – Yishmael ha-Cohen Tanoudji became Chief Rabbi of Egypt around 1540
  • 16. The light and the darkness of the Ottoman EmpireA new Jewish Golden Age under the reign of Suleiman and Selim II – A haven for Spanish and Portuguese Jewish refugees – A political, intellectual and religious renewal, in particular in Galilee • Gracia and Yosef ha-Nassi political involvements, or the premices of Zionism • Yosef Caro unifying the Jewish Law with its rabbinical codification • Yitzhaq Luria Ashkenazi, inspiring a new messianic message, the Tikkun OlamRabbi Yishmael ha-Cohen Tanoudji participated to this renewal – His “Book of Memory”, published in 1555 in Ferrara (Italy), is indeed not about history but a rabbinical guide for Jewish life – Solicited in 1570 by Yosef ha-Nassi about Herem of his physicianBut after Selim II death, the start of a long decline for the OttomanCaliphate and a period of hardness for its Jews – Al-Dhimma became stricter for non-muslim minorities – No more immigration of Marrano Jews from Spain and Portugal who preferred to settle in Amsterdam, Leghorn and Bordeaux
  • 17. The light and the darkness of the Ottoman EmpireDespite those tough times, Erets Yisrael remains a unification factoramong Jews, especially among Western and Eastern Sefaradic Jews – Shabbatai Zvi, the fake Mashiach in 1666The Emissaries of the Palestinian Yeshivot financially supported by thewealthy Jewish Communities of Amsterdam and Leghorn – Ya’acov Vega from Leghorn – Ya’acov Pereira from AmsterdamThe Cohen-Tanoudji as actors of this phenomenon – Shalom Cohen-Tanoudji, emissary of Jerusalem, settled in Tunis in 1680 – His brother or cousin, Shmuel Cohen-Tanoudji, emissary of Jerusalem in North Africa, Rishon le-Tsion in 1700 – His son, Yehuda ha-Cohen Tanoudji, emissary of Jerusalem, signed in 1708 the Herem against Nehemiah Hayoun, a disciple of Shabbatai Zvi,
  • 18. The Regency of Tunis in the 18th century, an unknown Golden AgeA stable political power with some independence from the Sublime GateThe Al-Dhimma laws not too severely applied to Jews compared to otherOttoman provincesA significant Sefaradic immigration from Leghorn started around 1650Tunis has then the largest urban Jewish population of North AfricaThe largest trade center between North Africa and EuropeThe most numerous Jewish literature of North Africa, with Hebraic bookspublished generally in Leghorn
  • 19. The Cohen-Tanoudji family symbolizes this Jewish Golden Age in TunisiaCaid of the Bey of Tunis, all along the 18thcentury – Started with the emissary Shalom Cohen Tanoudji from Jerusalem – Minister of Finance, collecting the Al-Dhimma taxes called Djezia – Involved in Diplomacy – Head of the Jewish communityTradesmen between Tunis and Leghorn andbetween Tunis and ConstantineRabbinical scholars and authorsPublishers : – Support book publishing in Leghorn – Fist Hebraic book ever published in Tunis, 1768
  • 20. From the Spanish repulsion to the French attractionSpanish and Portuguese failed invasions of North Africa were celebratedby Jews as “Small Purim”Sefaradic emancipation and the French Enlightment started to diffuseamong North African Jewish elites before 1830 French invasion of Algeria – Leghorn Jews and the ones from Amsterdam are the first emancipated Jews of Europe, much before the French Revolution – Trade with France and French Italy exposes Jews of Tunis and Algiers to the Enlightment – Joseph Coen Tanugi from Leghorn, the first member of the family to become French citizen in 1798, much before his cousins settled in 1780 in Constantine, Algeria, conquered by France in 1837In parallel, the situation of the Jews of the Ottoman Caliphate deteriorated – Pogroms of Algiers in 1805 and of Tetouan in 1860 – The Damas Affair in 1840French colonialism brought at least one positive element, it liberated theJews from the Al-Dhimma servitude
  • 21. “Neither colonized, nor colonizers”North African Jews become French subjects: 1830 in Algeria, 1881in Tunisia, 1912 in MoroccoIn 1870, Jews from Algeria received the French citizenship withoutasking for it – 1865 Law already enabled Jews and Muslims to become French citizen, but only few hundreds committedTradition, Emancipation, Self-Emancipation – Mass schooling with Alliance and French Schools – Plural political views: Traditionalist, Socialist, Zionist, Nationalist – Renewal of rabbinical literature, new cultural and intellectual fields
  • 22. “Neither colonized, nor colonizers”
  • 23. “Neither colonized, nor colonizers”Antisemitism from the Colonial sector,especially in Algeria around 1895-1905Some antisemitism remained fromportions of the Muslim population – Al-Dhimma reminiscence, social and political resentment – Pogroms of Fes in 1912, of Tunis in 1917, of Constantine in 1934The end of the Dreyfus Affair, theengagement of the Algerian Jews in theFirst World War, a dialog with Muslimleaders, reduced the colonial and muslimantisemitism
  • 24. Dragged in the Second World WarNorth Africa under Vichy rules as of July 1940 – Social, economical and political exclusion of the Jews – Algerian Jews lost their French citizenship, with the Crémieux Decree abolishedRevival of antisemitism from colonial and muslim sectorsWansee Conference outcome included North African Jewry as part as FrenchJewry to be annihilated – Thousands of Jews, from North Africa, living in France are deported in death campsAnglo-American invasion of Algeria and Morocco in November 1942 saved theNorth African Jews from their annihilation fateTunisia, as Libya, under Nazi occupation until May 1943 – Thousands of Jews deported in war camps, a dozen deported in AuschwitzIn parallel, Giraud takes the lead of the Free North Africa, while still banning Jewsfrom political rights – Second abrogation of Crémieux Decree, Jewish soldiers still in war campsIt is only when Tunisia is finally liberated, and when De Gaulle replaced Giraud, thatNorth African Jews take fully back their political rights
  • 25. Dragged in the Second World War
  • 26. The Exodus of the Jews from Muslim worldIf the decolonization and the rebirth of Israel weaken the situation of theMillion of Jews from Muslim world……many other reasons however forced this Sefaradic population to leavetheir countries – Against periodic pogroms, they were somehow protected by the colonial powers, France and Great Britain – They generally had political rights compared to the colonized population – They did not want to go back to the Al-Dhimma framework, or being marginalized by the arabization or islamization of their countries – Part of the population, either Religious or secular Zionists, were positively attracted by Israel – Some new Arab regimes such as Egypt, Iraq and Libya, had explicit antisemitic policies, forcing their Jews to leave – Jews massively left Algeria, together with the French populationIsrael became the refuge for 600 000 Jews from Muslim countries – France was the sanctuary for 300 000, especially for the Cohen-Tanoudji
  • 27. The Exodus of the Jews from Muslim world
  • 28. Where and who are they today ?Most of the Sefaradic communities who took refuge in Israel wereamputated of their elites who fled to France, Canada, Argentina, UK andthe US – Mostly observant Jews and Arab speakers – Installation in refugee camps (Ma’abarot) at the periphery of the country – Social and cultural marginalization by the secular Ashkenazi pioneers of the young State of Israel, – It took decades to reduce the social and economical gap for those who represent now a small majority of the Jewish population of IsraelSefaradic population who emigrated to France succeeded its social andeconomical integration – Most of them were already French speakers, a majority, French citizens – Could benefit from the 1945-1975 French economical boom, even if a significant portion still faces social difficulties in French suburbs – Participated fully to French scientific, artistic and intellectual creativity • Its symbolic example, the Nobel Prize for Claude Cohen-Tannoudji in 1997
  • 29. Key learningsEven with few thousands Jews in Morocco, Iran and Turkey, and hundreds inTunisia today, the Jewish presence in Muslim lands in overArab nationalism has succeeded where the Almohades failed, emptying NorthAfrica of its JewsFrench Jews with North African roots are not French “Pieds noirs”, their culturaland historical identities are much more complexIn France suburbs, young authors of antisemitic acts are not only social victims,they regenerate old hate mechanisms which pre-existed in North AfricaDeveloping historical knowledge is the proper way to deconstruct solid myths,while avoiding reconstructing new ones – Jewish-Muslim “Golden Ages” did exist – But it appeared only during some limited periods of the History, when Al-Dhimma laws were permissively relaxed – Jewish condition were comparatively better in Muslim world than in Christian environment (Mark Cohen, Under Crescent and Cross, Princeton)
  • 30. Thank You Very Much

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