Syrian Jews More Tied To Biblical Ancestry Than Israelis?


Most Jews now living in the Arab world belong to communities dating back to Biblical times or originating as colonies of refugees fleeing the Spanish Inquisition. In Syria, Jews of both origins, numbering altogether fewer than 3,000 in 1987, are found. After a mass-emigration in 1992, today fewer than 200 Jews live in Syria, mostly in the capital. Syrian Jews are Arabic-speaking and barely distinguishable from the Arabs around them. In Syria, as elsewhere, the degree to which Jews submit to the disciplines of their religion varies.