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Yitzhari, Zadok (Ṣāliḥ al-Ẓāhirī)

(389 words)

Author(s): Mark Wagner
Zadok Yitzhari (Ṣāliḥ al-Ẓāhirī) was a prominent member of the Yemeni Jewish community both in Yemen and in Israel. Born in Radāʿ, Yemen, in 1901, he studied with Rabbi Yiḥye Qāfiḥ and Rabbi Yaḥyā Isḥāq in Sanʿa. In addition, he attained a remarkable understanding of Islamic law and often represented both Jews and Muslims in legal proceedings. Yitzhari had close ties with Imām Yaḥyā, the country’s ruler, and with tribal leaders from his home region. Occasionally entrusted with administrative tas…

Sālim Manṣūra (Shalom Mantzura)

(370 words)

Author(s): Mark Wagner
Sālim Manṣūra (1916–2007) was born in Sanʿa in Yemen and entered his father Yaʿīsh’s alcohol and rosewater business, an enterprise that was lucrative but dangerous because of the severe punishment for selling alcohol to Muslims (in fact, Yaʿīsh Manṣūra’s home was once demolished on the orders of Imām Yaḥyā Ḥamīd al-Dīn). Through his trade in luxury goods and alcohol, Sālim Manṣūra developed close ties with the imām’s family and especially his son and heir, Imām Aḥmad (d. 1962).Due to his unusual familiarity with the inner workings of the Muslim courts, Manṣūra often acte…

Shalom Gamliel (Salīm Saʿīd al-Jamal)

(332 words)

Author(s): Mark Wagner
Shalom Gamliel (Salīm Saʿīd al-Jamal) was born in the city of Sanʿa in Yemen in 1907. By profession he was a merchant selling luxury goods, including perfume and alcohol, to the city’s Muslim elite, but his close ties with Yemen’s ruling family, the house of Ḥamīd al-Dīn, combined with his knowledge of formal Arabic and Yemen’s Islamic legal system, enabled him to act as a mediator in disputes involving Jews and Muslims. In effect, if not in intent, Gamliel was a Jewish lawyer working within the shariʿ a system. Like *Sālim Manṣūra (Shalom Mantzura) and Ṣāliḥ *al-Ẓāhirī (Zadok Yit…