DUMUH


DUMUH, village near Cairo, thought to be on the site of the ancient Memphis. In the Middle Ages there was an ancient synagogue called Kanīsat Mūsā after Moses, because according to legend this was where he lived when he went on his mission to Pharaoh. Al-Maqrīzī (d. 1442), an Arab historian, mentions the miracles observed there and writes that the Jews of Egypt customarily visited the synagogue on Shavuot. Joseph Sambari (17th century) says that they came there on the seventh of Adar, the anniversary of Moses' death. Regulations were initiated to ensure proper conduct and, especially, that men and women should be separated. The leaders of Egyptian Jewry issued appeals for donations for the upkeep of the synagogue.

A 12th-century document reports that the elders of the Cairo community rented a plot of land in the vicinity of the synagogue to a Jew who wished to erect a building there so that the synagogue would not be isolated. Obadiah of *Bertinoro (end of 15th century) reports that there were two synagogues, one belonging to the Rabbanite Jews and the other to the Karaites. On Sabbaths and festivals, Jews went specially there to pray; thus it seems that Jews were still not living there. At the beginning of 1498 the sultan al-Malik al-Nāṣir Muhammad II ordered that the synagogue should be destroyed and this order was carried out in his presence; the synagogue may have been rebuilt, however. Sambari mentions some families who were named "Dumūhī," because of their origin.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Mann, Texts, 2 (1935), 206; Ashtor, Toledot, 1 (1944), 245–6; 2 (1951), 385, 503; Assaf, in: Melilah, 1 (1944), 18–25; Goitein, in: Homenaje a Millás-Vallicrosa, 1 (1954), 718.

[Eliyahu Ashtor]


Source: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.