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Novosti News

8.11.2019. 17:14
EJC Newsletter 04-08 November 2019


Bosnian Jews and Muslims recall lesson in tolerance

Bosnia’s Jews and Muslims marked the bicentenary of the rescue of a dozen Jews from an Ottoman-era governor’s jail, saying their liberation by Sarajevo Muslims is a great example of co-existence at a time of rising global sectarian hatred.

The event was marked by a joint exhibition and conference depicting the events and celebrating nearly 500 years of peaceful coexistence between Jews and their Muslim neighbours, as well as between Jews and Orthodox Serbs and Catholic Croats.

Bosanski Židovi daju "lekciju iz tolerancije

Bosanski Židovi i Muslimani se sjećaju da je  prije dva  stoljeća  spašeni desetak Židova  iz zatvora (u doba Otomanskoga vladanja)uz  pomoć sarajevskih Muslimana. To je veliki primjer koegzistencije u vrijeme kada raste mržnja. 

Za sjećanje na taj događaj je postavljena zajednička izložba koja prikazuje  te  događaje i slavi gotovo 500 godina miroljubive koegzistencije između Židova i njihovih muslimanskih susjeda, kao i između Židova i pravoslavnih Srba i katoličkih Hrvata.

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The 1819 rescue, which happened during a Muslim uprising, and consequent removal of corrupt Turkish governor Mehmed Ruzdi Pasha is a holiday for Sarajevo’s Jews, known as Purim di Saray. The governor had sought a huge ransom to spare the Jews’ lives....

The Muslim rebellion was recorded by renowned Sarajevo Jewish historian Mose Rafael Attias, also known as Zeki Effendi, in his book Sarajevo Megillah. 
His tombstone, which has epitaphs in Bosnian, Hebrew and Turkish, the latter inscribed in Arabic script , has been renovated at the town’s Jewish cemetery as part of the Purim bicentenary.

Jews have played a significant role in Sarajevo’s cultural and economic life for 450 years. Expelled after the Christian re-conquest of the Iberian peninsula, they found sanctuary in the city, then part of the Ottoman Empire.  At the height of the city’s influence, Sarajevo had eight synagogues serving some 12,000 Jews. But most of them were killed during World War Two, when the city was occupied by Nazi Germany. Fewer than 1,250 remained. Before the Bosnian 1992-95 war, Sarajevo was a multi-ethnic melting pot – mosques, churches and synagogues standing virtually side by side. It afterwards become predominantly Muslim, but some 800 Jews living in the city remain an important part of its multi-ethnic identity.