Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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Arzila (Aṣīla)
(558 words)

Arzila (Ar. Aṣīla), a town on the Atlantic coast of Morocco about 50 kilometers (31 miles) southwest of Tangier, was conquered by Portugal’s monarch Dom Afonso V in 1471. A number of Portuguese Jews participated in the conquest, among them Master Abraham, chief rabbi of Portugal and royal physician. This did not prevent the Portuguese from enslaving 250 local Jews, a number that reveals the importance of the town’s Jewish community at the end of the fifteenth century. They were liberated, however, thanks to the intervention of Dom Isaac Abravanel.

After the expulsion from Spain in 1492…

Cite this page
Jose Alberto Tavim, “Arzila (Aṣīla)”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 20 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_COM_0002320>
First published online: 2010

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