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The Jews in Palestine, 1800-1882 (Royal Historical Society Studies in History)

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ISBN-13: 978-0861932092
ISBN-10: 0861932099
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Product Details

  • Series: Royal Historical Society Studies in History (Book 52)
  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Royal Historical Society (December 10, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0861932099
  • ISBN-13: 978-0861932092
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 5.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.7 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,472,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Alyssa A. Lappen VINE VOICE on May 15, 2005
Format: Hardcover
The Jewish people of 19th century Palestine had grave objections to being counted.

On the one hand, in biblical times, great pestilence fell upon the people after King David had counted them. This experience was repeated in 1849, as recorded by British Counsel James Finn (1806-1872); after Sir Moses Montefiore attempted a census, a plague did indeed fall upon the land, and lasted three months.

On the second hand, being counted usually meant oncoming hardship-conscription or, worse, having to pay the annual head tax. So it was the natural inclination of the Jewish people to prefer being under counted, if they were counted at all. A census of the whole people under an oriental government, noted W. Gibson in 1857, was a thing unknown.

Nevertheless, taking many reliable sources, Parfitt pieces together here as well-founded an estimate of the Jewish population of Palestine, year by year, as can be obtained anywhere.

Take Jerusalem. In 1823, 10,000 Jews lived in in the Holy City, or half the population. By 1847, the number was estimated at 7,000 to 10,000, although the population overall had shrunk to 18,000. In 1867, the population was down again, to 15,000, with Jews again making up roughly half the people. Likewise in 1882, the Jewish people of Jerusalem constituted half the people.

Similar accountings are to be found here for the other centers of Jewish life--Hebron, Safed and Tiberias--as well as the population of all of Eretz Yisrael--and often as not the Jewish populations were also half the local totals in other cities. This in itself is quite a revelation, since other dhimmi populations had dwindled to much lower percentages of the total in their homelands by the 19th century.
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