Aliyah up to the Arab Conquest

During the time of the Second Temple, there were many immigrants to Eretz Yisrael. Aliyah, mainly of scholars from Babylon, did not cease after the destruction of the Second Temple (70 C.E.). This flow of aliyah ended in 520 when Mar Zutra, descendant of the exilarch in Babylon, settled in Tiberias and was appointed head of the Academy.

From the Arab Conquest to the Ottoman Conquest

There is little information on aliyah in the next few centuries, the period of the Muslim Conquest (636 - 638). In the 11th century, important arrivals included Solomon ben Judah, from Morocco, head of the Academy in Jerusalem and Ramleh; and the Nasi Daniel beb. Azariah, a scion of the exilarchs of Babylon. In the late 12th century, more Jews from North Africa arrived as a result of the persecutions there.

Persecutions of Jews in Europe also contributed to aliyah. The most important immigration of this wave was that of the "300 French and English rabbis" (On this aliyah, see also: Dispersion and the Longing for Zion, 1240-1840) who went to Eretz Yisrael in 1210-1211. In about 1260, there were more olim from these countries. The most important aliyah in this century was that of Nahmanides in 1267. Since his arrival, settlement is said to have been continuous in Jerusalem.

In the late 13th century, aliyah ceased as a result of the fierce battles between the Crusaders and the Muslims. In the 14th century Jews came from Spain and Germany. A number of Italian Jews arrived in Eretz Yisrael in the 15th century and made their mark on the Jewish community. Immigrants from Mesopotamia, Persia, India, China, Yemen, and North Africa are also mentioned in this century.

From the Ottoman (Turkish) Conquest to Hibbat Zion

The Turkish conquest in 1516 was followed by aliyah of many Jews from the Orient, Sicily, Italy, France and Germany -- as well as refugees from the Spanish and Portuguese expulsions. Some of them settled in Jerusalem, but most of them settled in Safed. A great role in aliyah was played by the immigrants from North Africa.

The flourishing of the Kabbalah in Safed attracted additional aliyah, which continued throughout the 16th century -- from France, Germany, Italy and other European countries, as well as from North Africa and the Orient. In 1700, a group of 1,500 Jews from Europe, headed by Rabbi Judah Hasid, settled in Jerusalem. By the mid-17th century there was an important aliyah of Turkish Jews.

The end of the 18th century marks the beginning of the aliyah of Hassidim, who made it a principle of their teachings. The first organized aliyah of hassidim, led by the disciples of the Ba'al Shem Tov, took place in 1764. This aliyah was followed by more Hassidic aliyot in subsequent generations. In 1808, the Perushim, the disciples of Elijah, The Gaon of Vilna, also organized an aliyah, establishing a community in Jerusalem.

In 1830, aliyah from Germany began and a sizable aliyah came from Holland. There was also a sizable aliyah from Hungary. During the 19th century, sizable aliyot took place from the Oriental countries as well, including Turkey, North Africa, Iraq, Persia, Bukhara, Kurdistan, Afghanistan, the Caucasus and Yemen.

(On aliyot between 1240 and 1849 see also: Dispersion and the Longing for Zion, 1240-1840)



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13 Nov 2014 / 20 Heshvan 5775 0