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Intrigue and RevolutionChief Rabbis in Aleppo, Baghdad, and Damascus, 1774-1914$
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Yaron Harel

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781904113874

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: February 2021

DOI: 10.3828/liverpool/9781904113874.001.0001

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Hezekiah Shabetai’s Struggle against Deposition in Aleppo

Hezekiah Shabetai’s Struggle against Deposition in Aleppo

(p.272) Chapter Ten Hezekiah Shabetai’s Struggle against Deposition in Aleppo
Intrigue and Revolution

Yaron Harel

, Yehonatan Chipman
Liverpool University Press

This chapter describes the attempts of the Francos in Aleppo to reassert their separateness from the community in order to exert pressure for the removal of Rabbi Hezekiah Shabetai from his position as ḥakham bashi. Right from the time they began to settle in Aleppo, the Francos had firmly and consistently resisted any attempt to bring them under the authority of the local chief rabbi. In 1895, at the time of the controversy that led to the deposition of the ḥakham bashi Abraham Dweck Hakohen, the Francos declared that they did not belong to the community and did not have any part in its institutions or its leadership — and yet they openly supported the deposition of the rabbi and were involved in bringing it about. After this incident, the Francos became increasingly involved in the community's affairs and in its institutions — an involvement that over time would lead to the assimilation they had long resisted. The chapter then recounts the appointment of Rabbi Shabetai, replacing Rabbi Jacob Saul Dweck Hakohen, and his engagement in the struggle for Jewish legal rights and in the issue of taxation.

Keywords:   Francos, Aleppo, Aleppo Jewish community, Hezekiah Shabetai, ḥakham bashi, chief rabbi, Jacob Saul Dweck Hakohen, assimilation, Jewish legal rights, taxation

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