JUBAR


JUBAR (Djobar), village N.E. of *Damascus; settled by an ancient Mustarabian (Arabic-speaking) Jewish community which was frequently mentioned by early travelers, such as *Pethahiah of Regensburg (1180) and Samuel b. Samson (1211). The community owned fields, orchards, and vineyards; in addition to farming, the Jews of Jubar worked as artisans and were engaged in commerce and peddling in the nearby villages. After the expulsion of the Jews from Spain, several families settled in Jubar. At the beginning of the 16th century the village had a population of approximately 60 families. There is an ancient synagogue located on top of a cave which tradition associates with the prophet Elisha. Damascus Jews attributed special powers to the synagogue and it was customary for them to hold Sabbath prayers there. The synagogue possessed a "Tāj," or "Keter Torah," i.e., an illuminated Hebrew Bible on vellum, written in 1252. The place is sacred to the *Karaites also. In the 20th century Jews ceased living there, but a beadle remained in charge of the synagogue and the large cemetery. Residents of Damascus and Jewish visitors from abroad continued their pilgrimages to the synagogue and the village; according to reports, there are several deeper layers of graves and tombstones underneath the visible tombstones in the cemetery, which date back to the early Jewish settlement.

BIBLIOGRAPHY:

I. Ben-Zvi, Meḥkarim u-Mekorot (1966), 578–81; idem, She'ar Yashuv (1965), 484–8.

[Abraham Haim]


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