The Handbook of Palestine/2

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§ I. Race and Language.[edit]

Palestine, the land which has given to the world Judaism and Christianity and has played an important part in the early development of Islam, is now inhabited by representatives of many races. The largest element of the population is composed of Arabs and Syrians,[1] both separately and in every degree of combination. The language of this element is Arabic ; its religions are Islam and Christianity. Next in numerical strength are the Jews, whose languages will be referred to below. Immigration in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries has contributed the bulk of the present Jewish population of Palestine ; the sole representatives of ancient Israel continuously inhabiting the country are to be found in the small remnant of the Samaritans {cf. infra). Other races are only represented on a small scale, and will be referred to below under their religious classifications.

§ 2. Population.[edit]

No census has been taken in Palestine since the country has come under British administration, and it is therefore impossible to give in this edition of the Handbook anything more than approximate estimates of the population.

The population of Palestine (exclusive of Trans-jordania and exclusive of the British garrison) is estimated as follows (1922) :

Moslems - - - - 583,188

Christians - - - - 84,559

Jews ----- 79,293

Druses ----- 7,034

Metawileh - - - - 160

Baha'is _ . - - 158

Samaritans - - - - 157

Total, - 754.549

The Moslem total includes not only Arabs and Syrians, but a number of Circassian, Magharbeh (North African) and Bosnian immigrants and a few Turkoman nomads.

The Christian total includes adherents of the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Greek Uniate (Melchite), Anglican, Armenian (Gregorian), Armenian Uniate, Jacobite, Jacobite Uniate (Syrian), Coptic, Abyssinian, Abyssinian Uniate, Maronite, Chaldaean (Nestorian Uniate), Lutheran and other Churches.

The British population (exclusive of the garrison) is estimated at 1,100 souls.

The density of the population is about 80 to the square mile.

Principal Towns. — The following towns have a population of 10,000 and over (the figures are approximate) :


Jerusalem - - - - 64,000

Jaffa- - - - - 45,100

Haifa - - - - 39,000

Nablus - -• - - 20,600

Hebron _ _ - - 16,300

Gaza - - - - 15,000

Safed - - . - - 12,500

Ramleh - - - - 1 0,000

§ 3. Arabs and Syrians.[edit]

The Arab population falls naturally into two categories, the nomads {bedawi), and the settled Arabs {hadari). The former are the purer in blood, being the direct descendants of the half-savage nomadic tribes who from time immemorial have inhabited the Arabian peninsula, and who to this day dwell in portable tents of black goats' hair (' the tents of Kedar '). The camps of the different tribes vary in form : some, such as those of the Ta'amireh, are as a rule rect- angular, others are circular, others oval. Small in numbers, the tribes generally avoid open places for their camps, not only for shelter but in order not to be conspicuous ; for similar reasons they pitch their camps at some distance from their watering places. Natural caves in the wadis are preferred by some families [e.g. at Mar Saba), as they afford better shelter and protection. There is little or no cohesion between the various tribes. Their watering places are springs, standing pools of rain water, and cisterns roughly cut in the rock in the valley bottoms. On the border between ' the desert and the sown ' the people tend to change their mode of life ; the nomads become partly or wholly sedentary, the sedentary become semi-nomadic. Thus the people on the western edge of the Judaean Desert, as, for example, the Ta'amireh, who were ovigimWy fellahin, take their cattle out into the desert and live a nomadic life ; on the other hand, genuine Beduin in the desert regions, such as the Rasha'iden of 'Ain Jidi, remain so long in certain places as to become almost sedentary.

The Beduin are for the most part Moslems, but are on the whole less devout than the settled Arabs. Some of the Beduin, especially around Salt and Madaba in Trans- jordania, still retain the Christianity which they adopted in the early centuries of the Christian era.

A negroid element is found among the inhabitants of the tropical Ghor region in the lower Jordan Valley and around the Dead Sea. The presence of these people is attributed by some to a settlement from the Sudan, by others to the introduction of negro slaves purchased at Mecca by pilgrims and retailed at Ma'an.

The settled Arabs are of more mixed descent than the Beduin, and form the link between these and the Syrians, by whom we understand the descendants of all those peoples, other than the Jews, who spoke Aramaic at the beginning of the Christian era. Some of these have retained their Christianity, but the majority have in the course of ages embraced Islam. The Aramaic language, after holding its ground for a considerable time in Palestine and Syria, ultimately gave place to Arabic (though surviving among the Samaritans and, as regards Syrians, in three villages north-east of Damascus), and this process was facilitated by the continuous replenishment of Palestine and Syria from the tribes of the Arabian Desert. This Arab infiltration has created and maintains the specific racial character of the population. The distinction between the Arabs and the Syrians is now not so much racial as cultural. The Syrians are agriculturists and dwellers in towns, civilized, industrial, and of peaceful inclinations ; the Arabs are a pastoral people organized in tribes and with a natural tendency towards inter- tribal warfare. Palestine and Syria offer, on their eastern border, examples of every stage of transition from the nomad Beduin to the settled fellahin ; the Arab conquest of the eighth century was only the flood-tide of a continuous overflow from the desert into the cultivated land of the West.

§ 4. Circassians, Bosnians and Magharbeh.[edit]

Circassians. — The Russian conquest of the Caucasus in the sixties of the last century caused many Moslem tribes- men of the Caucasus range and adjacent provinces, unwilling to live under Christian rule, to seek refuge in a Moslem land. The Treaty of Berlin in 1878 gave an added impetus to this movement, and 'Abdu'l Hamid cleverly made use of the circumstances to plant colonies of these virile and truculent fighting races on the desert fringes and marches of his empire. He established a number of colonies of these people, generically termed Circassians, but including besides Circassians proper members of several other tribes, on the eastern border of Syria and Palestine and in what is now termed Trans-jordania. There are at present about 900 Circassians in Palestine, and a number have latterly been enrolled in the Gendarmerie.

Bosnians. — Similarly, upon the occupation of Bosnia and Hercegovina by Austria in 1878, a number of Moslem Bosnians (who are Islamized Serbs), elected to emigrate into Turkish territory. The Turkish authorities granted facilities to them, and established some families within the ruined city of Caesarea, where the community, now numbering 331 souls, continues to cultivate its lands.

Magharbeji. — The influx of Moslems from North Africa into Syria and Palestine began in the early years of the eighteenth century, when the mercenary infantry of the pashas was composed in part of these people. Some had, indeed, been established in Jerusalem from religious motives from a yet earlier period ; while others followed in the nineteenth century in consequence of the French conquest of Algeria. There is a large and ancient settlement of Magharbeh in the low-lying part of the old city of Jeru- salem, situated between the Wailing Wall of the Jews and the Dung Gate, also called the ' Gate of the Magharbeh ' ; its inhabitants were established there by the charity of the Abu Madian waqf. In Galilee the number of Magharbeh is estimated at 1,900.

§ 5. Islam in Palestine.[edit]

With the exception of small Shiah colonies (see below

under ' Metawileh ' ) the Moslems' of Palestine are Sunnis

(Traditionists) , divided among the four rites {mazhah)

approximately in the following proportions :

Shafi - - - - 70%

Hanbali - - - 19%

Hanafi _ _ _ 10%

Maliki , , , lO/^

Under the Ottoman Government the Hanafi was the estabhshed rite, it being to this school that the majority of Turks belong.

Jerusalem, chronologically the first qibleh (point of adoration) of Islam, is almost as sacred in the eyes of Moslems as are Mecca and Medina ; and from the early ages of Islam Quds al-Sherif, to give the city its Moslem name, has been a place of pilgrimage for the entire Mohammedan world . According to Moslem belief it is from Jerusalem that Mohammed was translated to heaven. There are in Jeru- salem old-established tekyes (convents) set apart for North African, Indian, Afghan, Bokharan, Sudanese and other Moslem pilgrims.

Shrines. — There are three Moslem shrines of the first importance, beside many lesser ones, in Palestine, namely the Dome of the Rock and the Mosque al-Aqsa in the Haram al-Sherif in Jerusalem, and the Mosque of Abraham, which encloses and surmounts the Cave of Machpelah at Hebron. These monuments will be farther described in Part III.

Sharia Council and Courts. — Arising out of a series of conferences of Moslem 'Ulema and notables there was established, by the High Commissioner's Order of the 20th December, 192 1, a Supreme Moslem Sharia Council, to have authority over all Moslem waqfs and Sharia Courts in Palestine. The Council consists of a President, known as the Rais al-'Ulema (Haj Emin al-Huseini, elected in 1922), and four members, of whom two represent the District of Jerusalem, one Nablus, and one Acre. The Rais al-'Ulema is permanent President of the Council, the four members being elected by an electoral college for a period of four years. Embodied in the High Commissioner's Order are the regulations, drawn up by a Moslem Committee, laying down the functions and powers of the Council.

For details of the Sharia Courts see Part Y.,A dministration of Justice.

Waqfs. — Moslem religious endowments {waqfs), that is, property appropriated or dedicated (by a document called a waqfiah) to charitable uses and the service of God, are divided as regards their administration into two categories, those formerly administered or supervised by the Ottoman Ministry of Evqaf, and those which are independent of Government control. Of the endowments formerly under the control of the Ministry there are two classes :

(i) Mazhuta waqfs, or waqfs administered and controlled

directly by officials of the Ministry of Evqaf ;

(ii) Mulhaqa waqfs, or waqfs which were under the general

supervision of the Ministry, but were not under their direct administration. This class of foundation is a family settle- ment corresponding in general with an English trust.

Under the Turkish regime the administration of the waqfs of the Sanjaq of Jerusalem (the Qazas of Jerusalem, Jaffa, Gaza and Beersheba) was in charge of a Mudir (Director) posted in Jerusalem ; in the Sanjaqs of Nablus (the Qazas of Nablus, Jenin and Beisan) and Acre (Haifa, Acre, Nazareth, Tiberias and Safed) it was under a Mudir at Beirut, with Mamurs (assistants) stationed at Acre and Nablus. On the occupation of Southern Palestine by the British troops a Waqf Committee was formed in Jerusalem, and was afterwards made the directing authority for all Waqfs in Palestine and styled ' The General Waqf Com- mittee.' The Committee was charged with the administra- tion of and the preparation of the estimates for all Mazbuta waqfs ; and with the supervision of Mulhaqa waqfs. The estimates were approved by the Chief Administrator, and the accounts subjected to Government audit.

By the High Commissioner's Order of the 20th December, 1 92 1, referred to above, all waqfs are placed under the control of the Supreme Moslem Sharia Council, which has autono- mous powers conferred upon it. The estimates and accounts are forwarded to the Government for its information only.

The chief source of revenue of Moslem endowments is the tithe. Tithe was dedicated as waqf hy the Sultans or, with their permission, by feudal chiefs, from the earliest times of the Islamic conquests. It forms 55 per cent, of the revenue of the Moslem religious endowments in Palestine, and the waqf tithe is approximately 12.75 per cent.

of the total tithe revenue of the country. The revenue department collects the waqf share of the dedicated tithes, handing over the proceeds to the Supreme Moslem Council. For the financial year ended 31st March, 192 1, the collections on behalf of Moslem endowments amounted to LE.27,649 ; and for the financial year 1921-22 have considerably exceeded this sum owing to the restitu- tion of the Khasqi Sultan Waqf by the Government to the Waqf authorities. This famous waqf, which was founded by the mother of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent in 1547, was seized by Ibrahim Pasha when he occupied Palestine and Syria in 1831 (see Part I., § 6) and was retained by the Ottoman Government when it resumed control of the country in 1841. The return of its revenue, which amounts to c. LE. 10,400 per annum, to the objects of dedication has demonstrated the impartiality of the present Administration, and has favourably influenced Moslem opinion throughout Palestine.

One of the oldest Mulhaqa waqfs in Palestine is the Tamimi waqf at Hebron. This waqf, it is claimed, was dedicated to the Tamimi family by the Prophet Mohammed himself. Another important (tithe) waqf, also connected with Hebron, is one attached to the Mosque of Abraham mentioned above. Its average annual revenue amounts to LE. 15,000.

The waqf receipts for the financial year 1921-22 are estimated at LE.43,297, the expenditure being fixed at the same sum. The tithes of Mulhaqa waqfs are excluded from the above calculations, the Mutawalis (Trustees) undertak- ing their direct collection. They amount approximately to LE.8,ooo.

§ 6. The Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem.[edit]

History. — The Bishopric of Jerusalem, out of which the Patriarchate subsequently arose, counted its bishops from S. James the Less, the ' Brother of the Lord,' and was in Apostolic times the centre of the Jewish Christian community. When, after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., Caesarea became the civil capital of Palestine, the Church followed the Government, and the Bishop of ^Elia Capitolina became only a local bishop under the Metropoli- tan of Caesarea. Nevertheless, his peculiar position as bishop of the most sacred city of Christendom was recognized by the Council of Nicaea with the grant of ' the succession of honour ' ; and at the Council of Chalcedon in 451 the see was raised to the dignity of a Patriarchate, the other Patriarchates being Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria and Antioch. At the conquest of Jerusalem in 637 by the Khalif 'Omar, Sophronius was Patriarch. Sophronius begged to be allowed to surrender the city to the Khalif in person. 'Omar agreed, travelled with one single attendant to Jerusalem, promised the Christians the possession of their churches and freedom of worship on the usual condition a poll-tax — and then entered the city side by side with the Patriarch, discussing its antiquities.'[2]

On the division between East and West the Patriarch of Jerusalem, as one of the four remaining Patriarchs, became one of the four Heads of the Holy Orthodox Eastern Church. The Crusades caused the Orthodox Church to give way before the Latin, and for many centuries thereafter the Patriarchs were content to reside in Constantinople, whence they only returned to Jerusalem in 1867 .under Cyril H. In 1672, however, was held the important Synod of Jerusalem, which made the last notable official pronounce- ment of the Orthodox Church in matters of faith.

Present condition. — The British civil administration of Palestine found, on its assumption of office, the Patriarchate of Jerusalem in a state of tribulation, partly owing to financial difficulties caused by the cessation of financial supplies from Russia, partly owing to a deadlock which had arisen between the Patriarch Damianos and his Synod. The Government accordingly appointed a Commission, consisting of Sir Anton Bertram, Chief Justice of Ceylon, and Mr. H. C. Luke, Assistant Governor of Jerusalem, to inquire into and if possible find a solution for these diffi- culties. The Commissioners, whose report was published by the Oxford University Press in 1921, found in favour of the Patriarch on the constitutional issue.

The Patriarch, whose jurisdiction is practically co- extensive with Palestine and Trans-jordania, and whose flock consists of 40,000 to 80,000 Orthodox, almost wholly Arabic-speaking, is assisted in his duties by a number of titular bishops, who bear the title of Metropolitan or Archbishop. These prelates have no real diocesan juris- diction, their function being either to represent the Patriarch in the Districts or to assist in the ecclesiastical ceremonies in Jerusalem. The titular sees thus held at present (1922) are the following : — Metropolitans : Ptolemais, Nazareth ; Archbishops : Lydda, Mount Tabor, Gaza, Kyriacoupolis, Philadelphia, Neapolis, the Jordan, Sebasteia, Tiberias, Diocaesarea, Hierapolis, Madaba, Pella, Eleutheropolis.

The Patriarchs since the beginning of the last century have been : Anthimos, 1788- 1807 ; Polycarp, 1808- 1827 ; Athanasios IV., 1827-1845 ; Cyril II., 1845-1872 ; Pro- copios, 1872-1877 ; Hierotheos, 1879-1882 ; Nikodemos, 1882-1889 ; Gerasimos, 1890-1897 ; Damianos, 1897-.

For the history of this Patriarchate, see the Report of Bertram and Luke above referred to ; Fortescue's Orthodox Church ; Archdeacon Dowling, The Patriarchate of Jeru- salem, London, 1908; and Papadopoulos, 'lo-ro/aia t?]^ 'EKKA?^trtas 'le/jocroAv/xwi', Jerusalem, 1910.

§ 7. The Latin Church in Palestine.[edit]

Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem. — The Roman Catholic Church was officially established in Palestine on the capture of Jerusalem in 1099 during the First Crusade, the first Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem being Daimbert, Archbishop of Pisa. For the ensuing two centuries the history of the Patriarchate is largely that of the Latin Kingdom of Jeru- salem ; on the capture of the city by Saladin in 1187 the Patriarchs established themselves in Acre ; and, when that fortress fell in 1291, the Patriarchate ceased effectively to exist, although ten more de jure occupants of the see, including one Englishman, Antony Beake, Bishop of Durham (Patriarch, 1305-1311), were appointed. The dignity of Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem then became a purely titular one, accorded to prelates of the Roman Curia, and so remained until the de facto revival of the see in 1847.

Custodia of Terra Santa. — During the five and a half centuries in which the Patriarchate was in abeyance the Latin Holy Places in Palestine were in the charge of the Franciscan Order under the ' Most Reverend Father Custodian of Terra Santa,' who was and is the Superior of the Franciscan establishments in Palestine, Syria, Egypt, and Cyprus. The Father Custodian during this period had quasi-episcopal jurisdiction, could administer confirmation and the minor Orders, conferred the Latin Order of the Holy Sepulchre on behalf of its Grand Master, the Pope, and had the right to maintain a merchant marine flying the flag of Terra Santa (argent a cross potent between four crosses crosslet gules).

Revival of the Patriarchate. — In 1847 Pope Pius IX. re-established the Patriarchate as a resident see, and the Patriarchs resumed these special rights from the Custodia. The Latin Patriarchs of Jerusalem are now Lieutenants of the Grand Master of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre, in whose name they are entitled to bestow the Order.

The Patriarchs since 1847 have been : Giuseppe Valerga, 1847-1872 ; Vincenzo Bracco, 1873-1889 ; Ludovico Piavi, 1889-1905 ; Filippo Camassei, K.B.E. (afterwards Cardinal), 1906-1919 ; Luigi Barlassina, 1920-.

The Custodia To-day. — The Fathers Custodians are appointed for a period of six years by the General of the Franciscan Order and are always of Italian nationality. They are assisted by a French Vicar, a Spanish Procurator, and a Council of Four composed of an Englishman, a Frenchman, an Italian and a Spaniard. Much valuable historical material in the possession of the Custodia has been since 1906 in course of publication by Fr. G. Golubovich, O.F.M., under the title of Biblioteca Bio-Bibliografica della Terra Santa e dell' Oriente Franciscano.

Beligious Orders. — In addition to the Franciscans, many Roman Catholic religious Orders are represented in Palestine. Among these are the Discalced Carmelites, who take their name from the parent house on Mt. Carmel ; the Dominicans, with their admirable library and Biblical School in the Convent of S. Stephen, Jerusalem ; the Benedictines, Salesians, White Fathers, Lazarists, Passion- ists and Assumptionists. Among the Orders for women are the Franciscans, Benedictines, Carmelites, Clarisses, Dames de Sion, Sceurs Reparatrices, Soeurs de S. Vincent de Paul, and others.

§ 8. The Uniate Churches.[edit]

The Uniate Churches (Eastern Churches acknowledging the general supremacy of the Pope, but preserving in a greater or lesser degree their own liturgies and customs) represented in Palestine are the following : Melchites, Maronites, Armenian Uniates, Nestorian Uniates or Chal- daeans, Jacobite Uniates or Syrians and Abyssinian Uniates. These churches are represented in Palestine by very small flocks, principally resident in Jerusalem.

The most considerable of these communities as regards Palestine is that of the Melchites, who have a seminary connected with the Church of S. Anne in Jerusalem, governed since 1878 by the White Fathers. The Melchite Patriarch of Antioch, Alexandria and Jerusalem (Mgr. Kadi) generally lives in Damascus ; a Melchite Archbishop of Galilee resides at Haifa.

The Armenian Uniates possess a handsome cathedral in Jerusalem (Our Lady of the Spasm), and are under a Vicar- General ; from 1855 to 1867 there was an Armenian Uniate Archbishop of Jerusalem.

§ 9. The Armenian Patriarchate of Jerusalem.[edit]

From early times there has been a Bishop of the Armenian (Gregorian) Church in Jerusalem, where the Armenians have a community of some hundreds and enjoy the ownership or part-ownership of several of the Holy Places. Their Cathedral of S. James the Less, together with a vast Patri- archate, schools, chapels, and gardens, occupies most of the south-west corner of the old city. In the seventh century, according to some authorities, the Armenian Bishops of Jerusalem obtained the title of Patriarch ; and there is record of the Patriarch Zacharias being taken prisoner by Chosroes. In 1006 the Patriarch was Arsen ; in 131 1, Sarkis (Sergius). The jurisdiction of the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem extends over the Gregorian Armenians in Pales- tine, Cyprus, and parts of Syria. In September, 1921, His Beatitude Yeghiche Turian, ex-Patriarch of Constantinople, was elected Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem, after the throne had been vacant for eleven years, and was enthroned on the 7th November following after receiving the formal approval of the King to his appointment. This was the first occasion on which a British Sovereign officially approved the election of an Eastern Patriarch.

§ 10. Jacobites, Copts and Ahyssinians.[edit]

The Jacobite Bishopric of Jerusalem. — The Jacobites take their name from Jacob Baradai, who built up a Mono- physite Church in Syria in the sixth century. They are in communion with the Copts. Their rite is a Syriac form of the ancient rite of Antioch, with the liturgy attributed to S. James the Less. We first hear of a Jacobite Bishop of Jerusalem at the end of the sixth century (Severus), and from 11 40 onwards the succession is regularly maintained. For centuries the office of Bishop of Jerusalem was combined with that of ' Mafrian,' .who was the principal auxiliary of the Jacobite Patriarch of Antioch. The present Jacobite


Bishop of Jerusalem is the Right Rev. Awanis Ehas, con- secrated in 1896. He is assisted by a Suffragan, and his residence is the convent built around the traditional house of S. Mark in Jerusalem.

The Copts. — The first Coptic Metropolitan of Jerusalem was appointed in the middle of the thirteenth century, since when there has been a regular succession, although at present the Metropolitan spends most of his time in Egypt, being represented in Palestine during his absences by a Vicar-General. The episcopal residence adjoins the eastern end of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and there is a large Coptic Convent at Jaffa, principally intended for the accommodation of Coptic pilgrims from Egypt.

The Abyssinians. — The Abyssinians have preserved, in the heart of Africa and surrounded by Moslem and pagan peoples, the Christianity, to which they were converted in the fourth century. They are Monophysites and in com- munion with the Copts, from whom they receive their chief Bishop {Abuna). The Abyssinians, in common with the other Christian episcopal churches, are represented in Jerusalem, where they have several convents, including one situated on the roof of S. Helena's Chapel in the Holy Sepulchre.

§ 11. The Anglican Diocese of Jerusalem.[edit]

The History of the Bishopric. — The Jerusalem Bishopric is the oldest of the twenty-one dioceses throughout the world which do not come within any ecclesiastical province, but are directly under the metropolitical jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Indeed, the ' Jerusalem Bishopric Act,' passed in 1841 to sanction the consecration (in England) of Bishops for places outside the British Dominions, was used not only for the first consecration of an Anglican Bishop in Jerusalem, but under its provisions all other such Bishops have since been consecrated, the King giving his Mandate to the Archbishop of Canterbury in each case, the aims and procedure of the founders of the original Bishopric in 1841 are not without interest.

The failure of several attempts on the part of Lutheran Germany to secure episcopal orders through Rome led King Frederick William IV. of Prussia to approach England with the purpose of founding a Bishopric in Jerusalem in the hope of attaining that object, and in 184 1 it was founded. Its income was provided by ;^6oo a year, the interest of an endowment fund raised in England, and a further ;^6oo, the interest of a capital sum set aside from the privy purse of the King of Prussia. The nomination to the See thus provided for was alternately with England and Prussia ; the Archbishop of Canterbury nominating for England to the Crown, and having the right of veto on the Prussian nomination.

The Bishopric, as then founded, was unpopular with many churchmen on account of its connexion with a non-episcopal communion, and from their failure to appreciate the dif- ference between episcopal jurisdiction as exercised in the West, where it is territorial, and in the East, where several Bishops rule in the same area, each over members of their own communion. This led to the unfounded fear that there was an intrusion on the rights of the Orthodox Patriarch as Bishop of Jerusalem.

A further failure to obtain episcopal orders for the Lutherans resulted in the withdrawal of Prussia from the contract (together with the portion of income guaranteed by the King) on the death of Bishop Barclay | in 1 88 1, when the Bishopric fell into abeyance for nearly six years.

After considerable inquiry and much careful thought Archbishop Benson revived the See as an Anglican Bishopric ; and Dr. Blyth, then Archdeacon of Rangoon, was consecrated Bishop of the Church of England in Jeru- salem on the 25th March, 1887, the Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem having said that it was ' necessary that a Bishop of the Church of England . . . should be placed in this Holy City.' Ever since that date the Anglican Bishopric has


been growing more and more part of the religious life of the city, until it now holds a position which is unique in oppor- tunity for promoting a good understanding among its many Churches.

The Aims of the Bishopric. — The aims of the Bishopric may be summed up as follows :

"To represent the Anglican Church as worthily as possible amongst the other Churches represented in the Holy City ; to cultivate relations of friendship and sympathy with the ancient Churches of the East, always remembering the Redeemer's prayer, ' that they all may be one ' ; to provide churches and chaplains for Anglican communities within the diocese ; and to present the Christian Faith in its fulness to non-Christians and to commend the Faith by two special means, the training and education of the young and the healing of the sick."

The Bishop's Mission, known as the 'Jerusalem and the East Mission,' is taking a prominent part in the education of young Palestinians, both by means of its own schools and by joint action with other societies in carrying on the English College for young men and the British High School for Girls in Jerusalem.

Jurisdiction of the Bishopric. — The Bishop's jurisdiction extends over the congregations and interests of the Anglican Church in Palestine and Syria, in part of Asia Minor and in the Island of Cyprus. Until the end of 1920 it also included Egypt and the Sudan, but those countries were then formed into a separate, independent diocese under the Bishop of Khartum. In addition to the Cathedral Church of S. George the Martyr in Jerusalem, built by the late Bishop Blyth, there are other churches and British or Palestinian clergy and congregations in Jerusalem, Gaza, Jaffa, Ramleh, Bethlehem, al-Salt (Trans-jordania), Ramallah, Nablus, Haifa and Nazareth, besides various other places in the country districts and also in Cyprus and Syria. Much of the work is carried on by the Church Missionary Society and the London Society for Promoting Christianity amongst the Jews.


List of the Anglican Bishops. — Michael Solomon Alex- ander, 1841-1845 ; Samuel Gobat, 1846-1879 ; Joseph Barclay, 1 879-1 881 ; George Francis Popham Blyth, 1887- 1914 ; Rennie Maclnnes, 1914-.

The English Order of S. John of Jerusalem — This Order is represented in Palestine by an admirable ophthalmic hospital overlooking the Valley of Hinnom in Jerusalem. The Order has fitted up the Chapel of S. John of Jerusalem in S. George's Cathedral, in Jerusalem, and enjoys, through the courtesy of the Orthodox Patriarch, the privilege of celebrating services in the crypt of the Orthodox Church of S. John the Baptist in the old city.

§ 12. The ' American Colony.'[edit]

A characteristic community of Jerusalem is that known as the ' American Colony.* This community was estab- lished in Jerusalem in 1881 by a lawyer of Chicago, Horatio Spafford, and his wife, and at that time consisted of 14 adults. Its membership is now 90, drawn from 10 different nationalities, among which citizens of the United States and Swedes preponderate. The aims of the colony are religious, and are based on non-dogmatic Christianity. The colony, which is financially self-supporting, performs useful charitable and educational work by maintaining an orphan- age and an industrial school.

§ 13. The German Templar Community.[edit]

The name of this community, which has no connexion «  with the Knights Templar, is derived from Ephesians ii., 21. The Templars originated in the middle of the nineteenth century in the Kingdom of WUrttemberg under the leader- ship of the brothers William and Christopher Hoffman. The Templars considered their task to be, in the first place, to erect the ideal Christian community in the ' land of promise,' and thence to regenerate the social and religious


life of Europe. They reject the ordinary dogmas of Chris- tianity and base their rehgious theories largely on Old Testament prophecies. Their first colony was founded at Haifa in 1868, the second immediately afterwards in Jaffa; and they also have colonies in Jerusalem, Sarona and Wilhelma (near Jaffa), and Beit-Lahm, near Nazareth. They are excellent agriculturists.

§ 14. The Jews.[edit]

Judaism in Palestine after 70 a.d. — The destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple at the hands of the Romans in 70 A.D. marked the material ruin of the Jewish nation in Palestine. But it survived spiritually. The Jews no longer had a national territory to govern ; nevertheless they still had a great national literature to preserve, to expound and to propagate. Rabbi Johannan ben Zakkai founded at Jabneh a new Jewish centre where the hakhamim (the ' learned ') toiled to collect their spiritual possessions, to tabulate and correlate the religious Law {Tor ah), both that which was written and that which was traditional. These hakhamim organized themselves into what was an academic imitation of the Sanhedrin, but they naturally had no power beyond that with which the piety of their co- religionists chose to invest them.

The collapse of the rebellion under Bar Cochba (135 a.d.) and the persecuting edicts of Septimus Severus caused the remnant of the Jews in Judaea to seek a fresh home. A large proportion settled in Galilee, and there, for some two centuries, the rabbinic Sanhedrin under its Nasi (' Prince ') and Ah beth din {' Father of the Law Court ') carried out its functions. Its home changed from*time to time : we hear of it first at Usha, then at Sepphoris, and finally at Tiberias. Its labours are preserved to us in the Mishna (a codifica- tion, roughly according to subject-matter, of the legal prescriptions of the Pentateuch, together with much discussion over debatable points, interpretations and corollaries), the Palestinian Talmud (an explanation of the

L.P. D


Mishna and a mass of more or less relevant additional™! matter), and kindred literary output. The compilers of the earlier period are known as the Tannaim ; those of the later, Amor aim.

With the Christianization of the Roman Empire and the increase in numbers and power of the Christians in Palestine after Constantine the Great (312-337 a.d.), Palestinian Judaism weakened and almost disappeared, and its spiritual centre shifted to Babylonia, where it long continued to flourish. Theodosius abolished the ' Sanhedrin ' (425 a.d.), and Palestine became a Christian country. Tiberias, how- ever, still continued for some centuries to be a centre of Hebrew learning, and it was here, in the ninth century, that the system of vocalization now in use in Hebrew Bibles received its final shape.

Throughout the Middle Ages the Jewish population in Palestine remained a negligible quantity. Benjamin of Tudela visited the country in 11 70-1 and found only about 1440 Jews. Moses ben Nahman Girondi in 1267 reports the existence of only two Jewish families in Jerusalem, engaged as dyers ; as a result of Moses ben Nahman's efforts one of the old synagogues in Jerusalem was rebuilt, more families settled in the town, a Rabbinical College was set up and Jewish students began to resort to Jerusalem from neighbouring countries. Apart from Jerusalem, Jewish centres developed in Safed, Acre, Ramleh and Sarafend.

During the following century the condition of the Jews greatly improved, both numerically and economically, and at the beginning of the fifteenth century the immigration of Jews from Germany is first reported ; these founded a settlement in JerusaleA, which was afterwards destroyed by the native Jews.

It was the expulsion of the Jews from Spain (^492) and Portugal (1495) which first created a ' ^Return ' on a con- siderable and effective scale. Many of the refugees were men of wealth, and more were men of learning. Little more than a generation saw the Jewish community in Palestine


some ten thousand in number, with the influence and leadership in the hands of Sephardim, as the Jews from Spain were called. A strong rival to Jerusalem quickly grew up in the north Galilean town of Safed. The Jews of Spain had brought with them that mystical method of thought and Biblical interpretation known as Kabhdld, and in Safed Kabbalistic literature was studied and its professors acquired fame throughout the whole of Jewry. It may be noted that it was here, in 1563, that the first printing press was set up in Palestine, by the brothers Abraham and Isaac Ashkenazi.

With the addition of Palestine to the Turkish Empire by Selim I., in 15 17, the Holy Land became more accessible to all the Jews of the East, and large numbers of other Sephar- dim, who had previously found a refuge in North Africa and Egypt, settled in Jerusalem. Throughout the subsequent half century the conditions remained good, with occasional changes for the worse consequent on the whims of individual governors.

The Kabbalistic movement at Safed was closely wrapped up with the idea of the speedy coming of Messiah and the redemption of the Jewish race. The latter half of the sixteenth century saw the development of 'Ascetic Kabbala' (Kabbdld ma'asith), the adaptation of ideas derived from the earlier ' Speculative Kabbala ' {Kabbdld 'lyyunith) to a rigorous life of penitential discipline : the more intense the asceticism, the sooner would come the Redeemer. The leader of this movement was Isaac Luria, and the publishing of his teachings by his pupil Hayyim Vital gave them a widespread influence throughout the entire Diaspora and created the atmosphere favourable to the False Messiahs who, from time to time, appeared during the following century, culminating in the sensational career of Shabbatai Zevi (Jerusalem, 1663 a.d.).

One other event, only, need be recorded as of paramount importance in the Jewish life of Palestine. Consequent on earthquakes, famines and persecutions, the economic position of the Jews in the Holy Land had become pre-


carious. Thereupon, in 1601, the leaders of the Jewish congregations in Venice came to their aid with ' A Fund for the Support of the Inhabitants of the Holy Land.' The same course was followed by the Jews in Poland, Bohemia and Germany. This was the origin of the Halukka system, which only in the last few years has ceased to be a prime factor in the economic life of the Palestinian Jews. This Halukka {' division,' ' dole ') was a scanty financial subsidy distributed amongst the Jews of the Holy Land to support them while they led a life of study and prayer on behalf of ._ their fellow- Jews of the Dispersion. ll

Recent Jewish Immigration. — In 1839 the Jews of Palestine were reported to number about 12,000. In 1880 they were estimated at 35,000, in 1900 at 70,000 ; and at the outbreak of the war at about 85,000. It was about 1880 that Jewish immigration was resumed on an appreci-J able scale, and since this period most of the Jewish! immigrants have been Ashkenazim from Central and| Eastern Europe. The Balfour Declaration has, of course, given a considerable impetus to further Jewish immigration from all parts of the Jewish Diaspora.

In addition to the Ashkenazim and Sephardim there are in Palestine, and particularly in Jerusalem, other Jewish communities, attracted to the country by its sacred associations. One of the most interesting of these is the colony of so-called Bokhara Jews in Jerusalem, consisting of picturesquely clad Jews from the Khanates of Bokhara and Khiva, and from Samarkand in Russian Turkestan. These people speak Hebrew or Persian Yiddish, and write in a peculiar and handsome variety of Hebrew cursive' script ; they claim to be the descendants of Jews who emigrated from Babylon to Persia and thence to Central Asia, where they have been established since the time of Timur-lenk.

Another element deserving of mention is the colony of Yemenite Jews, who speak both Hebrew and Arabic, and have been cut off from the rest of the world since the rise of Islam in the seventh century of our era. They are a remnant of those large Jewish nomadic or semi-nomadic communities, many of them autonomous, which existed throughout Arabia in the time of Mohammed. They have maintained themselves absolutely distinct and orthodox in religion in the Yemen for many centuries, and have acted as metal workers, craftsmen and carpenters for their Arab rulers. In the course of the last twenty years or so a number of these people have been returning to Palestine, which now numbers about 4,000 Yemenite Jews.

In the village of al-Bukeia (Pekiin) in the sub-district of Acre is a small community of Arabized Jews, indistinguish- able from their Arab neighbours except by their religion, and claiming a continuous history of many centuries in that place.

The survival in Jerusalem should be chronicled of an infinitesimal number of Qaraites, whose headquarters at present are in the Crimea. The Qaraites separated from the main body of Jews in the eighth century a.d., and re- ject the Talmud. The small mediaeval semi-underground synagogue of the Qaraites in the old city of Jerusalem is not without interest.

Languages. — While the usual language of the Ashkenazim is Yiddish or ' jargon ' (a foundation of Middle High German, to which are added a few common Hebrew words, and then a multitude of foreign words according to the taste and linguistic surroundings of the speaker), and that of the Sephardim either Arabic or, more usually, that mixture of fifteenth century Castilian and Hebrew known as Judaeo- Spanish or Ladino, the use of Hebrew as a spoken and written secular language has made enormous strides in recent years, largely owing to the impetus which the Zionist movement has given to its revival. ' The Hebrew Language,' to quote the High Commissioner's Interim Report on Palestine for 1920-21, ' which, except for pur- poses of ritual, had been dead for many centuries, was revived as a vernacular. A new vocabulary to meet the needs of modern life was welded into it. Hebrew is now the language spoken by almost all the younger generation


of Jews in Palestine and by a large proportion of their elders. The Jewish newspapers are published in it. It is the language of instruction in the schools and colleges, the language used for sermons in the synagogues, for political speeches and for scientific lectures.'

Organization. — When the British civil administration was set up in Palestine, the Jewish community in the country possessed no recognized ecclesiastical organization. In 1 92 1, on the invitation of the Government, the Jews of Palestine established an elective Rabbinical Council, which embodies a lay element and is under the presidency of two joint Chief Rabbis (Abraham ha-Kohen Kuk and Jacob Meir), the one representing the Ashkenazim, the other the Sephardim.

The Jewish community of Palestine is organized for lay purposes both centrally and locally. There is a represen- tative Jewish Council {Va'ad L'ummi, National Council) which is elected by adult Jews of all communities throughout the country. The method of election is by adult suffrage, but women have not the right to be elected as members of the Council. The original assembly was elected in the autumn of 1920 and appointed an executive committee, which deals with the Government, in respect of internal matters of the Jewish community.

In each principal town where there is a considerable Jewish population there is a committee {Va'ad ha-'Ir), which represents the local community before the local Government authorities, and which is recognized as the representative body in matters concerning the Jewish population. The Va'ad ha'-Ir is elected, usually by male suffrage. Committees of this kind exist in Jerusalem, Jaffa, Haifa, Tiberias, Safed and Hebron. They have been given the right to impose a fee on the unleavened bread, which is baked for the Passover Feast ; and a scheme is being prepared by which they will obtain the right to charge other fees for services affecting the Jewish popula- tion. In all Jewish villages there is a committee {Va'ad ha-Mcshabhah), which is elected, usually by adult suffrage.


and which is concerned with the general management of the colony, and with the provision of common services, such as water and lighting, the school and the synagogue, the reading room and the club.

§ 15, The Jewish Colonies.[edit]

The Jewish agricultural colonies have grown up in the course of the last forty years and show a level of agri- cultural and scientific development far in advance of any- thing else of the kind in Palestine. They established themselves in many cases on uncultivated and unpromising land and have transformed it into extensively cultivated and remunerative plantations. They drained swamps, planted eucalyptus and pines, cultivated the vine, and greatly developed the orange trade of Jaffa.

There are at present 61 of these colonies, large and small, with a population of about 17,000. The colonies are grouped in four districts as follows : —

In Judaea there are 21, viz. Mikveh-Israel, Rishon le Zion, Ber-Jacob, Ness-Zionah, Rehoboth, Ekron, Gederah, Ber-Tobia, Ruhama, Petach-Tikvah, Ain-Ganim, Kfar- Mlal (ain-Hai), Kfar-Saba, Ben-Shemen, Hulda, Kfar Urieh, Artuf, Mozah, Kiryath Anavim (Dilb), Kalandiah and Nahlath-Yehudah. In Samaria there are lo, viz. Hederah, Hefzi-bah, Kerkur, Gan-Shmuel, Zicron-Yacob, Marah, Shveyah, Bath-Shlomon, Giveath-Binyamin (Shuni) and Athlit. In Lower Galilee there are 20, viz. Nahalul, M rhaviah, Balfouria, Ein-Harod, Giveath-Yeheskiel, Tel Yossef, Sedshera, Kfar-Tabor (McvSha), Yabneel (Yemma), Beth-Gan, Rama (Sarona), Poriah, Mizpah, Kinereth, Daganiah, Hittin, Migdal, Tel-Adas, Bethaniah and Mena- hamiah. In Upper Galilee there are 10, viz. Rosh-Pinah, Pekiin, Ayeleth-Hashachar, Mahnaim, Mishmar-Hayarden, Yessod Hamaalah, Ein-Zeitim, Kfar-Gileady, Tel-Hai and Metullah. Most of the colonies are provided with schools, synagogue, library, town hall, hospital, pharmacy and public baths. Of the above-mentioned the following settlements belong to the Jewish National Fund, which was established by the Zionist Organization for the purpose of acquiring lands to remain the national property of the Jewish people : Ben-Shemen, Hulda, Kfar-Mlal, Kiryath, Anavim (Dilb), Nahlath- Yehuda, Nahalul, Merhaviah, Ein-Harod, Giveath Yeheskiel, Tel-Yossef, Kinereth, Dagania and Hittin. The Palestine Land Development Company, a Society similarly organized by the Zionist Organization, possesses the lands of Tel Adas, Kalandiah, some lands on the Carmel, at Jaffa, Jerusalem, etc. The other colonies were mostly founded by Baron Edmond de Rothschild and by the Jewish Colonization Association. This Association administers all the properties of Baron de Rothschild. The total area of the Jewish settlements is 590,020 donums or about 147,505 acres. There are 35,481 donums (about 8,870 acres) of plantations, and among them : 14,777 donums (about 3,695 acres) vineyards, 33,825 donums (about 8,456 acres) almond groves, 13,322 donums (about 3,330 acres) olive plantations, 12,456 donums (about 3,114 acres) orange groves, and 4,566 donums (about 1,141 acres) eucalyptus plantations. There are two agricultural schools, at Mikweh-Israel and Petach-Tikvah respectively. The Zionist Organization hopes soon to resume the work at the Jewish Agricultural Experiment Stations at Athlit and Zichron Jacob, which has been suspended since 1918.[3]

§ 16. The Samaritans.[edit]

The Samaritans are one of the most interesting religious and racial survivals in the world. They are the only distinct representatives of ancient Israel in Palestine, and they still cling in Nablus, although reduced to a very small community, to their ancient beliefs and practices and to their sacrifices on Mount Gerizim. Of the Old Testament they accept only the Pentateuch, which they preserve in an ancient Aramaic version [Tar gum). They keep the Sabbath very strictly, but do not use phylacteries, fringes, or the written ' inscriptions on the lintel ' [mezuzoth) . Their language is a dialect of Palestinian. Aramaic, and their writing is an archaic alphabet derived from the Old Hebrew. For the ordinary purposes of everyday life, however, they use the Arabic language. Their present High Priest is Isaac the son of Amram, who succeeded his cousin Jacob in 1914. The Samaritan community consisted in 1922 of 132 persons in Nablus, J3 in Tulkeram, and 12 in Jaffa. The distinctive feature of the Samaritan dress is a red silk turban wound round the fez.

For general information on the Samaritans, see J. A. Montgomery, The Samaritans, Philadelphia, 1907. For their Liturgy, see A. E. Cowley, The Samaritan Liturgy, Oxford, 1909.

§ 17. Druses and Metawileh.[edit]

The Druses. — The Druses, of whom 7,000 inhabit Palestine, principally Galilee and Phoenicia, are both a race and a religion. Their original home is the Lebanon, over which, for centuries, they disputed authority with the Maronites. After the events of i860, however, the Druses migrated in large numbers to the Jebel Hauran, which now contains a greater Druse population than the Lebanon itself.

The Druse faith is secret not only to the world at large, but to the majority of the Druse themselves, who are divided into initiated {'uqal, ' intelligent ') and uninitiated [juhal, ' ignorant '). It is a chaotic mixture of Islam, Christianity, and yet older elements, and it regards both the Gospel and the Quran as inspired books, although it gives to them a peculiar interpretation. The word ' Druse ' is commonly derived from one Isma'il Darazi, the first missionary to the Druses ; though others derive it from the Arabic darasa (those who read the book), or darisa (those in possession of Truth) or durs (the clever or initiated). The Druses believe in the divinity of the mad Fatimite Khalif Hakim (996-1020), whose apostle was the above-mentioned Darazi. Their meeting-place is known as the khahveh.

The Metawileh. — The name ' Metawileh ' is believed to mean ' Friends,' i.e. Fjriends of 'Ali. The community traces its origin to a Companion of the Prophet, Abu Darr Ghifari, who is supposed to have first taught his doctrines in the villages of Sarafend and Meis. Others regard the Meta- wileh as immigrants from Persia who entered Syria and Palestine during one of the Persian invasions. Their religion is a form of the Shiah division of Islam, and they still maintain contact with the shrine of Kerbela. Most of the Metawileh dwell in Syria, where, in the eighteenth century, they were a powerful political force ; there are only about 160 in Palestine, partly in Galilee, partly in Acre.

§ 18. The B aha' is.[edit]

In 1844 a Persian, Mirza 'Ali Mohammed, proclaimed himself in Tabriz as the 'Bab,' or Gate, whereby communica- tion was to be re-established with the ' hidden ' or Twelfth Im&m, or Mahdi, whose return to earth is awaited by a large number of Shiah Moslems. Later he stated that he himself was the expected Imam, but his ministry was cut short by martyrdom in Tabriz in 1850. Before his death he appointed as his successor a lad named Mirza Yahya, called Suhh-i-Ezel (' the Dawn of Eternity '), who, with his half-brother Mirza Husein 'Ali, afterwards better known as Baha'u'llah, and other Babi leaders, took refuge in Baghdad in consequence of the persecution to which the sect was subjected by the Shah. After they had spent twelve years in Baghdad the Persian Government persuaded the Porte to have them removed, and they were taken to Adrianople, where they remained from 1864 to 1868. In a.h. 1283 (a.d. 1866-67) occurred an event which rent the sect in twain. Baha'u'llah, who was of more assertive character than the retiring Subh-i-Ezel, suddenly announced that he himself was the expected Im§,m, and that the ' Bab ' had been no more than his fore-runner ; and he called upon all Babis, including Suhh-i-Ezel, to acknowledge him. This the latter refused to do, and Babis were now divided between Ezelis, who acknowledged the original Bab and his suc- cessor Subh-i-Ezel, and Baha'is. or followers of Baha'u'Uah. Meanwhile both sections were again deported by the Turks, Suhh-i-Ezel and his family to Famagusta in Cyprus, Baha- 'u'Uah and his followers to Acre. From Acre the Baha'i faith has spread over Asia and America and into Europe, and counts two millions of adherents ; the Ezelis have dwindled to a handful.

Baha'u'Uah died on the i6th May, 1892, leaving, among other children, two sons, 'Abbas Effendi and Mirza Moham- med 'Ali, who for a while disputed the succession. Ultimately there prevailed the claims of the elder, 'Abbas Effendi, who took the spiritual title of 'Abdu'l Baha, meaning ' The Servant of the Glorious.' 'Abdu'l Baha was born in Teheran on the 23rd May, 1844, the day of the Declaration of the Bab, and died at Acre on the 27th November, 1921. His successor is his grandson, Shawki Effendi, who is Life- President of the Council of Nine, which regulates the affairs of the community. The number of Baha'is in Palestine is 158. Sir 'Abbas Effendi 'Abdu'l Baha had travelled extensively in Europe and America to expound his doctrines, and on the 4th December, 1919, was created by King George V. a K.B.E. for valuable services rendered to the British Government in the early days of the Occupa- tion. For farther information on Babism and Baha'ism the reader is referred to the works of Professor E.G. Browne, published by the Cambridge University Press.

  1. For the definition of the wider sense in which the term " Syrian " is used here, see below, § 3.
  2. Fortescue, The Orthodox Eastern Church.
  3. See A. M. Hyamson, Palestine: The Rebirth of an Ancient People, London, 1917.