SARŪJ (Suruc), small town near the southern border of *Turkey. Sarūj was a thriving town during the rule of the *Abbasid caliphs and in the crusader period. For many years a Jewish community existed in Sarūj, and its name appears among the communities of northern *Babylonia and *Syria to which the head of the *Baghdad academy, *Samuel b. Ali, addressed an iggeret ("circular letter") in 1197. A letter from the middle of the 12th century gives the name of a Jewish merchant from Saruj who traveled to Sicily on business. Judah Al-Ḥarizi, who visited the town at the beginning of the 13th century, reported on his meeting with R. Eleazar ha-Bavli (Abū Manṣūr Ibn Abī Yāsir), a wealthy and hospitable philanthropist, and noted that the Jewish community was small (Taḥkemoni, ed. by A. Kaminka (1899), 367).
G. Le Strange, Lands of the Eastern Caliphate (1930), 108, 125; S. Assaf, in: Tarbiz, 1 (1930), no. 1, 124; 1 (1930) no. 2, 63. ADD. BIBLIOGRAPHY: M. Gil, Be-Malkhut Ishma'el, 1 (1997), 295–96.
Sources: Encyclopaedia Judaica. © 2008 The Gale Group. All Rights Reserved.