To Come to the Land makes available in English a vast body of research,previously available only in Hebrew, on the early history of the land nowknown as Israel.Abraham David here focuses on the Spanish and Portuguese Jews who fledthe Iberian Peninsula during the 16th century, tracing ... the beginnings ofSephardic influence in the land of Israel.After the Ottoman Turks conquered Syria, Palestine, and Egypt in 1516,the Ottoman regime, unlike their Mamluk predecessors, encouraged economicdevelopment and settlement throughout the region. This openness to immigrationoffered a solution to the crisis Iberian Jews were undergoing as a resultof their expulsion from Spain and the forced conversions in Portugal. Withina few years of the Ottoman conquest, Jews of Spanish extraction, many ofthem clustered in urban areas, dominated the Jewish communities of Eretz-Israel.In this carefully researched study, David examines the lasting impressionmade by these enterprising Jewish settlers on the commercial, social, andintellectual life of the area under early Ottoman rule. Of particular interestis his examination of the cities of Jerusalem and Safed and David's succinctbiographies of leading Jewish personalities throughout the region.This first English translation of a ground-breaking Hebrew work providesa comprehensive overview of a significant chapter in the history of Israeland explores some of the factors that brought to it the best minds of theage. Essential for scholars of late Medieval Jewish history, To Come tothe Land will also be an important resource for scholars of intellectualhistory, as it provides background crucial to an understanding of the intellectualflourishing of the period.
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