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The Chosen Few by Zvi Eckstein, Maristella Botticini

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CHAPTER 9

The Mongol Shock

CAN JUDAISM SURVIVE WHEN TRADE AND URBAN ECONOMIES COLLAPSE?

Do not ask . . . what happened to your servant at the time when he arrived in this country, after he had been in danger from the Tatars three times. The last was that they arrived on the morning of the Fast, when we were in al-’Imrāniyya. They remained outside the town killing everybody who was on his way to or from the town, while we stayed in the synagogue waiting for what the enemy would do from hour to hour. . . . Finally we went down finding the country full of dead.

—Correspondence between a Jew in Mesopotamiaand a Jew in Egypt, 1236

OUR HISTORICAL JOURNEY LEAVES MEDIEVAL EUROPE AND BRINGS US back to the Middle East and North Africa under Muslim rule ...

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