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was in those parts from an. 1663 to 1665; that is, some years before the time of the Jeiuijb massacre, that, upon his coming thither, they enjoyed full liberty of conscience; since he adds, that the Persians thought it strange, that one Batemad Doulet stiould have taken it into his head some time be* fore to oblige them to turn Mohammedans.
The tribe of Levi pretend to have maintained them- _ ., selves in Shiras, where the Persians have a famed academy ;'/* [ °f and we are told, that there are a greater number of Jews in shiras it than in Ispahan; but how the Levitical tribe, whether it be the descendants of those that staid in Babylon, or of those that returned with Ezra +, should have maintained itself there, and ingrofled the wine and glass trade (for that is what they are chiefly employed in) is not easy to guess*. . They are still more numerous at Lar, the metropolis of one Jews mt of those provinces; and have a quarter peculiar to them at Lar,&c. j the foot of the mountain between the town and the castle 1; and extend themselves into the country, on the fide of Ormus and Bender Abajfi, in order to get some part of the Indian. trade into their hands, which was once carried on by their brethren, who were formerly very numerous in those parts (M). But to return to Persia, and the provinces depending on it.
t Dehis vid. Anc Hist. vol. x. p. 181, & feq. ^thevewot, voyag. Engl. part ii. lib. iii. c. 4. p. p. 131.
(M) There was a manifest inquisition took such care to supdifference made there between press them, that they were all those who were born Indians, forced either to flee or to turn and had embraced 'Judaism; Christians (31), in those eailern and those that were descended parts that were under him. from Abraham. And the king They were moreover accused of Portugal, who had banished there of sacrificing, like the Inthem out of his kingdom, suf- dians, to the devil, to prevent sered them to live at Qoa, and his hurting them -, but, though other places, where they were that accusation may be false, allowed the exercise of their re- they have learned from them the ligion (30). But, at length, an doctrine of transmigration, and impostor having appeared there, set up for great foretellers of an. 1639, wno was believed by things to come; which they prethem to be the Meffiah; and tend to do by their cabbahstical whose same had reached even to art, and by the motions of the PertugaJ,«hae someof thejeiv- planets, which the Indians ar« ijh converts betrayed their old highly pleased with, leaven, on the hopes of him, the
(30) Mmiirftt't Viyaff inf. India, lib, ii, p. lyi. (31) JSjsnag. ubi sup. c. if.
a^ Bag- BAGHDAD, once the residence of the princes of the
dad; captivity, is so gradually dwindled, since its being taken by Amurat IV. an. 1638, that it hath not above 15,000 inhabitants; and among them a good number of Jews, who have their synagogue in it, and increase yearly by the concourse of pilgrims, who visit the tomb of Ezekiel formerly mentioned; but still they are hated by the Persians, and kept very poor, though they enjoy the free exercise of their religion. They in Arme- are said to live more peaceably in Armenia r, though their 011» own writers own no such thing; but tell us, that those of
Mafia having accused them of having killed a Christian, because he was seen to go into a Jewi/b house, and not to come out of it again, an information was immediately lodged persecuted, against them; and the murder being confessed by the accused, they crucified some, and burnt others, not even sparing Abiob, a celebrated physician, whom they cast into the flames. Three days after the Christian appeared, the accusation was found to have been laid out of hatred to them, and the confession to have been extorted by torture. Complaint being made of it to Soliman II. the Armenian magistrates were forbidden, from thenceforth, to take cognisance of such criminal cases, and ordered to bring them before the Sultan. This story, if true, which is taken from an anonymous writer who lived in Egypt, and is intituled, The Sitsserings of the Jews, shews plainly, that, if they live quietly among the Armenians, it is rather owing to the protection of the Porte, than to any good liking or conformity between them, hinted at by the author last quoted. Tbeirnum- They are still numerous in Media, whither they had been her in Me- transplanted by Sennacherib f; but whether they kept footing ***» there ever-smee, as they pretend, is hard to guess (N). How
's- Vid. z Kings, c. xix. &seq. * Herbert'sVoy. into Persia, an. 1677.
(N) Whether Tauris be the an- talents (32). It is still a rich, cient Ecbatane, or rather a new trading place, and advantageone near it, here is a considera- ously situate to link the comble commerce carried on by the merce between Hircania, Iberia, Jews. The same may be said and Media, with the other parts of Cbajhbin, which some geo- of the empire. Insomuch, that graphers believe to be the an- it was made thecapital oi Persia, cient Ragejh of Media, where and the royal residence for the the Jews had been transported, winter, by Thahamasp, and conand where Gabael lived, whom tinued so till Abbas I. removed Tobit had intrusted with his ten it to Ispahan *.
(32) T4it ir. 20. de hoc, md.sup. W. \\.p, 373.
ever, they are said to have one hundred families against forty of Christians. They are not suffered to settle at Scamachia, a trading city on the Caspian Sea; but the Tartars, who bring thither boys, girls, and horses, to fell, are obliged to tolerate, and intermix with them for the fake of that commerce. They spread themselves a9 far as the foot of mount Caucasus; and we are told, that the prince of Mingrelia, as well as that of hniretta, pretend to be descended from king David. The ancient monarchs of Georgia boasted the lame in Georextract; and the Cham of that country, among his other ti- g'»» **• ties, takes that of a descendant from that Jewish king by his son Solomon '. They give indeed no solid proof of it, tho' there is a great mixture of Judaism among them; and there is the small city situate at the foot of Caucasus called Alakzike, in which they had formerly a synagogue built by the Georgians; but which the Turks have since taken from themr. This is the state of the Jews in Persia, Media, Armenia, and other provinces of this large part of the East. They <sreu/^ have their synagogues, and are very numerous, since they are found in all the trading cities from Bassora and the Indies, quite to Mingrelia, Georgia, &c. But their tribes have longsince been so confounded and blended, that they are no longer distinguished. What is still worse, they are very poor and Poverty, ignorant; and, for the most part, get a miserable living by the lowest and meanest services in life; they have neither commerce nor correspondence with their brethren in the West, and hardly know any thing of them. But it is now time to fee how they fare in other provinces of the East.
And here one would naturally expect, that Judea, their Whyfi once delightful country, should have a greater number of/«w«aJathem than either Syria, Egypt, £jc.; but, as all its noble <*ea. streams of milk and honey have been long-since dried up, their love for it hath cooled in proportion. It is indeed frequently visited by their devotees, who go thither in pilgrimage, as well as the Christians; but few of either sort care to settle in it, since they find it so difficult not only to grow rich, but even to get a tolerablo subsistence in it.
S A P HET A, or, as the Jews commonly call it, Sephet, The acts or rather Tzepheth, a city in Galilee, is the most populous and "V "/$**. the most noted that the Jews have in this province. It en- Pnea" joys several advantages above the rest (O); and they are used
"with « Ch Ardin's Voyage into Persia, p. 107, & seq. 'Ibid. p. 168.
(O) It is situate in the tribe from Bethsaidah, and built 6a Of Nafhthali, about nine miles a mountain with three heads,
with greater mildness than in any other part of the Ottoman empire u. A traveller of the last century affirms, that none but Jews were in it; but he was misinformed, having only rode by the foot of it "; for it hath about one-third Mohammedans, and the rest all Jews. It hath an academy which is still famous, and much resorted to, and hath had some learned professors in it; and, though thejewi/b nation have for a good while lost their relish for learning, yet they fend their children to be instructed in the Hebrew tongue; for it is their notion, that it can be no-where taught in its purity so well as there; and Sapheta is now become what Tiberias was once. The reader may fee in the margin an account of Rabbies, their most celebrated rabbies and professors (P). All that we
B Fuller's Pifgah fight, p. III. the Levant, p. 342.
w Stochove's Voy. of
and difficult of access; and con-
(P) It is plain, from Benja-
cludes the four different fenses of the Old Testament; the P is the literal, R the mystical, D the enigmatical, and S the hidden or concealed (34).
The next was Dominie of Jerusalem, who taught some time, and had been dubbed Ra-u, or doctor, in it after he had finished his studies and lectures on the thalmud. But he was still more famed for his (kill in physic; for which he was sent for to Constantinople, and became the Sultans physician. He lived till the beginning of the last century; and, having embraced Christianity, translated the New Testament into Hebrew, and answered some objections which the Jeiuijb rabbies made against the martyrdom of St. Stephen. Mursius seems to mention two of the fame name, both Jews by birth, both physicians to the Sultan, and both new converts to Christianity; but, in all
need add, is, that there is not a city in Palestine, where they have subsisted so long, and even to this day, and with so much credit and safety. They had likewise set up here a printing-house for Hebrew books, as they had likewise at
likelihood, they have bein split into two without any reason
But those who have done
moil credit to this academy, were the learned Moses Irani and Joseph Kara, who presided in it about the middle of the 16th century. The former was a native of Irani, a city in Puglia, and taught here with such success, that he was stiled, The Light of Israel, the Sinaite os Mount Sinai, and the Rooter up os Mountains; because he takes off all the difficulties that occur in the law. His work is not a set of sermon-, as Buxtorf hath imagined; for the title of it ihews it to be a body of Jewish laws, wherein that author goes back to their fountainhead, and distinguishes between those penned -by Moses, those which have been transmitted by oral tradition, and those which are only founded on the decisions of their Jewish doctors (35). Joseph Karo was a native of Spain, whence he retired into Galilee, where he died, an. 1C75. He wrote so well on the rights of the Jewish nation, that he was called, 7be Prodig y os she World'(37).
Besides those doctors which were strangers, Sapheta was not .without some others that were bred up in her bosom. Moses Aljlnh was a native of it, and
distinguished himself in the seventeenth century, not only by his eloquent sermons, but by his learned commentaries upon some part of the law. All the titles of his works are metaphorical. One is called, The Eye of Moses j another, 7he Rose os Sharon; a 3d, The Lily of the Valley, 4th, Good Words; 5 th, Comforting Words 5 6 th, The Portion of the Lawgiver; 7th, Hundred Gates; 8 th, Moses'x Burden; 9th, The Warrior s Looking glass; I oth, The Voice of the Weepers; Uth, The Law of Moses; and some others cf the like nature. He is much admired for aiming still at something new in his expositions cf Scripture, and for his fondness for ancient writers above the moderns; and fairly relates their sentiments, even when they favour the Christians. He doth not, for instance, disguise that the Messiah was to be a man of sorrows, cifV. (38). On the contrary, he proves it, by the threefold distinction which the ancients have made of those afflictions, -viz. 1 Of those which related to the patriarchs: 2. Those that related to the people of God: and 3. Those that related to the Messiah. But he is not so exact and unisorm in the application of these prophecies; seeing some of them, he absurdly res;rs back quite