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iraqi jews

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The Ancient Babylonian History of Haroset

By On April 6, 2017

The haroset most American Jews eat at the Passover seder to symbolize the mortar used by Hebrew slaves contains apples, walnuts and Manischewitz. But the delicious chunky mixture originated in ancient Babylonia,… Read More

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Remixing Iraqi Jewish Music

By On February 24, 2016

Not many people still collect mix tapes. Especially the kind that feature a hammered dulcimer, violins, and the strumming of an oud. Then again, not many people have the rare footage and… Read More

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Java’s Last Shul and the World’s Tallest Menorah

By On August 8, 2013

Until recently, the city of Surabaya, on the Indonesian island of Java, had one synagogue. But now it has none, and nobody’s quite sure why. Surabaya’s tiny Jewish population descends from Iraqi Jews, who… Read More

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A Modern Hebrew / Arabic Bard

By On July 8, 2013

When he begins writing poetry, Hezkel, one of the protagonists of Almog Behar’s novel Rachel and Ezekiel (2011), says to himself: “Perhaps if I add lines that I heard during prayers, and religious verse… Read More

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Jewish Spies and Arab Wives

By On October 19, 2012

In movies and TV, intelligence operations are often portrayed as glamorously dangerous human chess matches with a series of sexual entanglements and ingenious double crosses. The operatives are master manipulators, forming intimate relationships… Read More