The Probability Is That Mr.
Davidson's Informant Refers To The Jews Of The Oasis Of Sahara, Where
There Certainly Are Some Families Of Jews Living In Comparative Freedom
As to the peculiarities of the religion of the Atlas Jews, they are said
not to have the Pentateuch and the law in the same order as Jews
They are unacquainted with Ezra, or Christ; they did not go
to Babylon at the captivity, but were dispersed over Africa at that
period. They are a species of Caraaites, or Jewish Protestants. Shadai
is the name which they apply to the Supreme Being, when speaking of him.
Their written law begins by stating that the world was many thousand
years old when the present race of men was formed, which, curiously
enough, agrees with the researches of modern geology. The present race
of men are the joint offspring of different and distinct human species.
The deluge is not mentioned by them. God, it is said, appeared to
Ishmael in a dream, and told him he must separate from Isaac, and go to
the desert, where he would make him a great nation. There would ever
after be enmity between the two races, as at this day there is the
greatest animosity between the Jews and Mahometans.
The great nucleus of these Shelouh Jews is in _Jebel Melge_, or the vast
ridge of the Atlas capped with eternal snows; and they hold
communications with the Jews of Ait Mousa, Frouga or Misfuva.
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