Tuesday, October 31, 2023
12:00 - 1:00 p.m.
Webinar - Registration Required
About the Event
This lecture seeks to understand the ways in which Jewish communities commented on the politics, histories, and religions of the Ottoman Empire. Baskin looks at Jewish communities in the Arab provinces of the Ottoman Empire, where many Jews, she argues, not only favored Ottoman and autonomous and semi-autonomous Arab rule, for geopolitical reasons but also perceived Muslim military victories as components of a Jewish Divine plan. During the 16th and 17th centuries, some Ottoman Jews identified their enemies with the enemies of the Ottoman Empire. They rejoiced at Ottoman political and military victories over the Safavid Shiite Empire, given the latter’s harsh implementation of the dhimma laws in Iran. They celebrated Ottoman victories over Christian empires, in particular Spain, given the mass expulsions of Jews from Spain and Portugal during the 1490s. They likewise believed that centralization in various Arab provinces would protect them from local actors and power players who might persecute the community. In the 17th and 18th centuries, as Jewish communities became more localized in the Arab provinces, they became closer to local rulers, whom, they felt, protected the Jewish people and contributed to their safety and prosperity.