Friday, October 14, 2011

Rabbi and Radio

Today's picture was taken in Jerusalem in about 1935. The man in the picture is a Yemenite Rabbi. I am not sure what the significance of being "Yemenite" is . . . not sure if it indicates his particular type of Jewish faith, or if it is a cultural or racial term. Anyway, I find the picture intriguing.

I have very much enjoyed Radio Week, and hope you have to. Thank you for all the interesting comments.


  1. My assumption would be that since Yemen is a country, the gentleman is a rabbi from Yemen as opposed to being a member of some sect of Judaism. I am neither Jewish or from the middle east, so I could be wrong about that. YMMV etc


  2. Yemenite is citizen from Yemen. Being Jew is a religion. He was a rabbi who was born and raised in yemen.

  3. @Anon 7:00
    Most one also be raised in Yemen?
    Just asking.

  4. The purpose for the distinction is to show their country of origin (most Yemenite Jews have emigrated to Israel to escape persecution). There are subtle differences in the religion and their version of Hebrew as well. Ethiopian Jews would be another example of a similar situation.


  5. Here is a rarity. I know nothing about being Jewish or being from Yemen. So no comment today.

  6. Yemenite Jews have inhabited this land for centuries, and have been brutally persecuted virtually since the rise of Islam.

    The rise of the Shi'ite sect of Islam began along with "profound anti-Jewish motif occurring after the events recorded in the hadith and sira, put forth in early Muslim historiography (for example, by Tabari), is most assuredly a part of “the birth pangs” of Islam: the story of Abd Allah b. Saba, an alleged renegade Yemenite Jew, and founder of the heterodox Shi’ite sect. He is held responsible—identified as a Jew—for promoting the Shi’ite heresy and fomenting the rebellion and internal strife associated with this primary breach in Islam’s “political innocence”, culminating in the assassination of the third Rightly Guided Caliph Uthman, and the bitter, lasting legacy of Sunni-Shi’ite sectarian strife."

    (from Andrew G. Bostom. The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism, Amherst, N.Y., 2008, p. 48)

    Quite apart from the founding of an internal Islamic historical dispute, they are persecuted because they are Jews, and experience this to this day.

  7. Dear PJM,

    Sorry for the off-topic but as I know you like railways' old pics, a friend of mine told me that the Brazilian National Library made public a book from 1881 (when Brazil was still an Empire - the Republic came in 1889) with very rare pics taken of the first Brazilian railways that connected the (at that moment) capital Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo and Minas Gerais State. A "must see" that you can access in the link below:

    Best regards from Brazil!

  8. I enjoy the fact that the radio is perched atop a treadle sewing machine.