Book

Emissaries from the Holy Land

Matthias B. Lehmann

Published by Stanford University Press

Published in print October 2014 | ISBN: 9780804789653
Published online May 2015 | e-ISBN: 9780804792462 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.11126/stanford/9780804789653.001.0001
Emissaries from the Holy Land

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Emissaries from the Holy Land tells the story of a philanthropic network that was overseen by the Jewish community leadership in the Ottoman capital city of Istanbul between the 1720s and the 1820s in support of the impoverished Jews of Palestine. Putting the notion of Jewish solidarity, Jewish unity, and the enduring centrality of the Holy Land for the Jewish world to the test, the community leadership in Palestine and their allies in Istanbul dispatched rabbinic emissaries on fundraising missions everywhere from the shores of the Mediterranean to the port cities of the Atlantic seaboard, from the Caribbean to India. This book explores how this eighteenth-century philanthropic network was organized and how relations of trust and solidarity were built across vast geographic differences. It looks at how the emissaries and their supporters understood the relationship between the Jewish diaspora and the Land of Israel, and it shows how cross-cultural encounters and competing claims for financial support involving Sephardic, Ashkenazi, and North African emissaries and communities contributed to the transformation of Jewish identity in the eighteenth century.

Keywords: early modern Jews; Palestine; Jerusalem; Jewish diaspora; Jewish philanthropy; Jewish solidarity; Jewish identity; emissaries; Sephardic Jews; Ashkenazi Jews

Book.  352 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cultural Studies

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Emissaries from the Holy Land

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End of an Era in Emissaries from the Holy Land

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Epilogue in Emissaries from the Holy Land

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