MembersThe Jews of Arabia and the Making of Islam, Part 3

Part III

By Yoni Israel | | Topics: Jews of Arabia
Photo: Yaakov Naumi/Flash90

Eitam

Reclining on gold-woven pillows in his beautiful tent, his side-locks softly swaying in the afternoon wind breezing through the oasis, 27-year-old Prince Eitam, son of Hai ben Ahituv, attends the family’s global business empire that controls the date and gold trade in the Fertile Crescent. As son of one of the leaders of the Banu Nadir tribe from southern Saudi Arabia and northern Yemen, he is one of the most sought after bachelors in the Arabian Peninsula.

“How are the Jews of Iraq doing?” he asks Salam, the man in charge over Mesopotamia. “There is no peace for the wicked, says my God,” replies Salam with a heavy Yemenite accent. He expects to see a smile on his master’s face.

The hostility between the Yemenite and Iraqi Jewish communities is at its highest point. Ezra cursed the Yemenite Jews with poverty and lack of solidarity. They in return cursed him with burial outside the Land of Israel. The source of the hostility is the refusal of the Yemenite Jewish community to...

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