Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World

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(479 words)

Yefrenis situated in the Jebel Nafusa mountains in the northwestern region of Tripolitania in Libya. Its name comes from the same Berber root (afri, ifri; cave, grotto) as the town in Morocco called Ifrane and the name Africa itself.

According to one tradition, the Jewish presence in Yefren was the oldest in Tripolitania, because in 70 c.e., after the destruction of the Temple and the defeat of the First Revolt, one of Titus’s generals sold thirty thousand Jewish captives to Bedouins in Yefren. Mordechai ha-Kohen (1856–1929), the chronicler of  Libyan Jewry, claimed that the Je…

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Maurice Roumani, “Yefren”, in: Encyclopedia of Jews in the Islamic World, Executive Editor Norman A. Stillman. Consulted online on 24 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1878-9781_ejiw_SIM_0022300>
First published online: 2010

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