Amaterasu Emerging From Exile

Amaterasu Emerging From Exile

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Amaterasu, in full Amaterasu Ōmikami, (Japanese: “Great Divinity Illuminating Heaven”), the celestial sun goddess from whom the Japanese imperial family claims descent, and an important Shintō deity. She was born from the left eye of her father, Izanagi, who bestowed upon her a necklace of jewels and placed her in charge of Takamagahara (“High Celestial Plain”), the abode of all the kami. One of her brothers, the storm god Susanoo, was sent to rule the sea plain. Before going, Susanoo went to take leave of his sister. As an act of good faith, they produced children together, she by chewing and spitting out pieces of the sword he gave her, and he by doing the same with her jewels. Susanoo then began to behave very rudely—he broke down the divisions in the rice fields, defiled his sister’s dwelling place, and finally threw a flayed horse into her weaving hall. Indignant, Amaterasu withdrew in protest into a cave, and darkness fell upon the world.

The other 800 myriads of gods conferred on how to lure the sun goddess out. They collected cocks, whose crowing precedes the dawn, and hung a mirror and jewels on a sakaki tree in front of the cave. The goddess Amenouzume (q.v.) began a dance on an upturned tub, partially disrobing herself, which so delighted the assembled gods that they roared with laughter. Amaterasu became curious how the gods could make merry while the world was plunged into darkness and was told that outside the cave there was a deity more illustrious than she. She peeped out, saw her reflection in the mirror, heard the cocks crow, and was thus drawn out from the cave. The kami then quickly threw a shimenawa, or sacred rope of rice straw, before the entrance to prevent her return to hiding.

Amaterasu’s chief place of worship is the Grand Shrine of Ise, the foremost Shintō shrine in Japan. She is manifested there in a mirror that is one of the three Imperial Treasures of Japan (the other two being a jeweled necklace and a sword). The genders of Amaterasu and her brother the moon god Tsukiyomi no Mikato are remarkable exceptions in worldwide mythology of the sun and the moon. See also Ukemochi no Kami.


Amaterasu produces black flames at the focal point of the user's vision. Α] In most situations, this makes Amaterasu impossible to avoid. However, techniques of extreme speed allow the avoidance or interception of the jutsu after it has been cast. Β] Γ] Once created, the flames will not stop burning until their target is completely incinerated. The flames cannot be extinguished with water, the passage of time or any other normal methods Δ] only the user can put the flames out. Ε] Said to be "the fires from hell" and to burn as hot as the sun itself, Ώ] Amaterasu burns any material — other flames included — until nothing but ash remains. Ζ] Throughout the series some objects have shown some degree of imperviousness to the flames such as Gaara's chakra-infused sand, Η] and Naruto's Version 1 chakra cloak. ⎖]

Amaterasu does not ordinarily require hand seals to be performed, though Sasuke Uchiha once used the Tiger hand seal, which is common for fire techniques. ⎗] This technique can also be sealed within the Sharingan of another person. ⎘] Beyond mere offence, Amaterasu's flames can be used as a deterrent, with users surrounding themselves in its flames to discourage physical attacks. ⎙]

Use of this technique puts a great deal of strain on the user, usually causing their eyes to bleed. Though the user can make Amaterasu incinerate things near instantly when focusing on it, Amaterasu burns fairly slowly normally, allowing targets to remove burning clothes before their body is caught ablaze or, if it's too late for that, remove the burning body part(s) before it spreads. ⎚] Other defensive options are pushing the flames away, ⎛] absorbing them, ⎜] certain space–time ninjutsu, ⎝] or being the jinchūriki of the Ten-Tails. ⎞] While impractical as a defence, Amaterasu can also be sealed.

Amaterasu: Goddess of the Month, September 2019

A word of notice: The belief that the Sun is to embody the masculine while the Moon is to be viewed as feminine is a concept held in many various pantheons and beliefs. The Shinto pantheon, amongst few others, do not view either the sun or moon to be completely associated with one or the other. Many of their deities take on aspects and roles that other pantheons may not. Amaterasu is the solar deity of Fertility, fertility being another aspect highly associated by the moon. She was warm, protective, loving and giving of life. When Amaterasu cast herself away into a cave, due to her younger brother Susanoo becoming overwhelmed with power , the other gods became stricken with an unbearable sadness, as she was the light that gave hope and joy to them all!

This makes Amaterasu one of the most important, if not most important Goddesses of the Shinto religion!

Amaterasu, meaning “Great Divininity Alluminating Heaven,” was formed from the left eye of her father, Izanagi. Izanagi, left Amaterasu to be in charge of essentially what is viewed as Heaven in the Shinto pantheon! She is also the goddess of peace, agriculture, fertility, and protection. While her spirit is relatively joyus, and loving, she is also a fierce warrior and protector of the lands, with her symbols being the bow & arrow, and her sword “the Kusanagi no Tsurugi.”

Her other symbols are the pearl necklace, which was bestowed upon her from her father and her magick mirror (Yata no Kagami), which we will talk more about in the ritual bellow.

Amaterasu is the ONLY Supreme Goddess in all of the religions and pantheons! What does this mean? Essentially it means that her roles and her position made her just as important as any male deity regarded, in any pantheon! Obviously we know this is also just the Patriarchal system that’s been instilled, as there are plenty of Goddesses who deserve the title of Supreme! Either way this makes Amaterasu one hell of a Goddess and definite feminist icon!

We see the importance that Amaterasu held over the Shinto as the memorable “ rising sun “ flag is symbolic of this Goddess!

What I Love About Amaterasu :

Obviously I am obsessed. With her gender defying roles of being the goddess of the Sun, we gain the motivation to overcome our adversities or constructs that society lays upon us due to our be-it, gender, orientation or ethical backgrounds.

Amaterasu also holds literally so much power over people and other deities, and she rules such with love, poise and balance- another gender defying role as many cultures fear women in power far too much, insisting that women will rule with their emotions rather than practicality. *Eye roll* So this is a serious STAN for me on this incredible Goddess.

  • Statues of the Sun, paintings or drawings will do just lovely as well!
  • Yellow, Gold and White Candles
  • Grain or rice as an offering, inside a brass or gold offering dish/bowl would be great!
  • A magick mirror dedicated to Amaterasu
  • Sandalwood oil
  • A special cloth, like silk

A Simple Ritual: Mirror Magick with Amaterasu

You’ll want the following items listed above for this ritual.

  • Start by anointing your candles with sandalwood oil.
  • On your altar, light your candles and place in the direction of the rising sun.
  • Grab the magick mirror you have decided to devote to Amaterasu. The mirror doesn’t need to be large, it can be small and compact, but I would prefer to use one with a handle.
  • Raise your magick mirror in the direction of the sun, and slowly draw your mirror down until it is reflecting the sky above. As you are pulling your mirror down, ask Amaterasu for inner strength to overcome a situation you are dealing with. Or, maybe you need the regenerative powers of the sun to heal an aspect of your mind & spirit. Whatever it is, Amaterasu will fill your mirror with hope, love and the power to fight! Note: y ou don’t need to point the mirror in the sun directly, as it will be capturing all of Amaterasu’s light from the sky.
  • Next, lift the mirror so that you are now looking right into it, right into the essence of Amaterasu. Focus on the intent and the power now embodying the mirror.
  • Cover your mirror with the cloth and place on your altar, pick this up again whenever you need to harness the strength of this Goddess again.
  • Give thanks to this Goddess by offering her the grain or rice you have brought for her, and calm your candles, allowing the Goddess to rest or continue her work elsewhere!!

Pogo of J Southern Studio is a Brujx living in Los Angeles, California who has been practicing various forms of divination, healing and spellwork for a greater part of the last decade. Their abilities and intuition come from a bloodline of healers that they walk in gratitude with daily. Read their bio here.


Read more on astrology, horoscopes, occultism, magick & ritual on our blog, Esoteric Insights!


In the Elephantine papyri, caches of legal documents and letters written in Aramaic amply document the lives of a community of Jewish soldiers stationed there as part of a frontier garrison in Egypt for the Achaemenid Empire. [7] Established at Elephantine in about 650 BCE during Manasseh's reign, these soldiers assisted Pharaoh Psammetichus I in his Nubian campaign. Their religious system shows strong traces of Babylonian polytheism, something which suggests to certain scholars that the community was of mixed Judaeo-Samaritan origins, [8] and they maintained their own temple, functioning alongside that of the local deity Chnum. The documents cover the period 495 to 399 BCE.

The Hebrew Bible also records that a large number of Judeans took refuge in Egypt after the destruction of the Kingdom of Judah in 597 BCE, and the subsequent assassination of the Jewish governor, Gedaliah. (2 Kings 25:22–24, Jeremiah 40:6–8) On hearing of the appointment, the Jewish population that fled to Moab, Ammon, Edom and other countries returned to Judah. (Jeremiah 40:11–12) However, before long Gedaliah was assassinated, and the population that was left in the land and those that had returned ran away to Egypt for safety. (2 Kings 25:26, Jeremiah 43:5–7) The numbers that made their way to Egypt are subject to debate. In Egypt, they settled in Migdol, Tahpanhes, Noph, and Pathros. (Jeremiah 44:1)

Further waves of Jewish immigrants settled in Egypt during the Ptolemaic era, especially around Alexandria. Thus, their history in this period centers almost completely on Alexandria, though daughter communities rose up in places like the present Kafr ed-Dawar, and Jews served in the administration as custodians of the river. [9] As early as the 3rd century BCE, there was a widespread diaspora of Jews in many Egyptian towns and cities. In Josephus's history, it is claimed that, after the first Ptolemy took Judea, he led some 120,000 Jewish captives to Egypt from the areas of Judea, Jerusalem, Samaria, and Mount Gerizim. With them, many other Jews, attracted by the fertile soil and Ptolemy's liberality, emigrated there of their own accord. An inscription recording a Jewish dedication of a synagogue to Ptolemy and Berenice was discovered in the 19th century near Alexandria. [10] Josephus also claims that, soon after, these 120,000 captives were freed from bondage by Philadelphus. [11]

The history of the Alexandrian Jews dates from the foundation of the city by Alexander the Great, 332 BCE, at which they were present. They were numerous from the very outset, forming a notable portion of the city's population under Alexander's successors. The Ptolemies assigned them a separate section, two of the five districts of the city, to enable them to keep their laws pure of indigenous cultic influences. The Alexandrian Jews enjoyed a greater degree of political independence than elsewhere. While the Jewish population elsewhere throughout the later Roman Empire frequently formed private societies for religious purposes, or organized corporations of ethnic groups like the Egyptian and Phoenician merchants in the large commercial centers, those of Alexandria constituted an independent political community, side by side with that of the other ethnic groups. [12]

During the period of Roman occupation, there is evidence that at Oxyrynchus (modern Behneseh), on the west side of the Nile, there was a Jewish community of some importance. Many of the Jews there may have become Christians, though they retained their Biblical names (e.g., "David" and "Elizabeth," who appear in litigation concerning an inheritance). Another example was Jacob, son of Achilles (c. 300 CE), who worked as a beadle in a local Egyptian temple.

The Hellenistic Jewish community of Alexandria translated the Old Testament into Greek. This translation is called the Septuagint. The translation of the Septuagint itself began in the 3rd century BCE and was completed by 132 BCE, [13] [14] [15] initially in Alexandria, but in time elsewhere as well. [16] It became the source for the Old Latin, Slavonic, Syriac, Old Armenian, Old Georgian and Coptic versions of the Christian Old Testament. [17]

The Jewish community of Alexandria was "extinguished" by Trajan's army during the Kitos War of 115–117 CE, also known as the Diaspora Revolt. [18] The Jewish revolt, which is said to have begun in Cyrene and spread to Egypt, was largely motivated by religious zealotry, aggravation after the failed Great Revolt and destruction of the Temple, and anger at discriminatory laws. [19]

The greatest blow Alexandrian Jews received was during the Byzantine Empire rule and the rise of a new state religion: Christianity. There was an expulsion of a large amount of Jews from Alexandria (the so-called "Alexandria Expulsion") in 414 or 415 A.D. by Saint Cyril, following a number of controversies, including threats from Cyril and supposedly (according to Christian historian Socrates Scholasticus) a Jewish-led massacre in response. Later violence took on a decidedly anti-Semitic context with calls for ethnic cleansing. Before that time, state/religious-sanctioned claims of a Jewish pariah were not common. [20] In The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Edward Gibbon describes the Alexandria pogrom:

Without any legal sentence, without any royal mandate, the patriarch (Saint Cyril), at the dawn of day, led a seditious multitude to the attack of the synagogues. Unarmed and unprepared, the Jews were incapable of resistance their houses of prayer were leveled with the ground, and the episcopal warrior, after rewarding his troops with the plunder of their goods, expelled from the city the remnant of the unbelieving nation. [21]

Some authors estimate that around 100 thousand Jews were expelled from the city. [22] [23] The expulsion then continued in the nearby regions of Egypt and Palestine followed by a forced Christianization of the Jews [ citation needed ] .

The Arab conquest of Egypt at first found support from Jewish residents as well, disgruntled by the corrupt administration of the Patriarch Cyrus of Alexandria, notorious for his Monotheletic proselytizing. [24] In addition to the Jewish population settled there from ancient times, some are said to have come from the Arabian Peninsula. The letter sent by Muhammad to the Jewish Banu Janba in 630 [25] is said by Al-Baladhuri to have been seen in Egypt. A copy, written in Hebrew characters, has been found in the Cairo Geniza.

Many Jewish residents had no reason to feel kindly toward the former masters of Egypt. In 629 the Emperor Heraclius I had driven the Jewish population from Jerusalem, and this was followed by massacres of Jewish residents throughout the empire—in Egypt, often aided by the Coptic population, who may have been trying to settle old grievances against Jewish groups, dating from the Persian conquest of Amida at the time of Emperor Anastasius I (502) and of Alexandria by the Persian general Shahin Vahmanzadegan (617), when some of the Jewish residents sided with the conquerors. [ citation needed ] The Treaty of Alexandria (November 8, 641), which sealed the Arab conquest of Egypt, expressly stipulated that the Jewish residents were to be allowed to remain in that city unmolested and at the time of the capture of that city, 'Amr ibn al-'As, in his letter to the caliph, relates that he found there 40,000 Jews. [ citation needed ]

Of the fortunes of the Jewish population of Egypt under the Umayyad and Abbasid Caliphates (641–868), little is known. Under the Tulunids (863-905), the Karaite community enjoyed robust growth.

Rule of the Fatimid Caliphs (969 to 1169) Edit

At this time, Jews from North Africa came to settle in Egypt after the Fatimid conquest of Egypt in 969. [26] These Jewish immigrants made up a significant amount of the population from all the Jews living in Egypt. Due to the discovery of the Cairo Geniza documents at the end of the 19th century, a lot is known about Egyptian Jews. From private records, letters, public records, and documents, these sources held the information about the society of the Egyptian Jews.

The rule of the Fatimid Caliphate was in general favorable for the Jewish communities, except the latter portion of al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah's reign. The foundation of Talmudic schools in Egypt is usually placed at this period. One of the Jewish citizens who rose to high position in that society was Ya'qub ibn Killis.

The caliph al-Hakim (996–1020) vigorously applied the Pact of Umar, and compelled the Jewish residents to wear bells and to carry in public the wooden image of a calf. A street in the city, al-Jawdariyyah, was designated for Jewish residency. Al-Hakim, hearing allegations that some mocked him in verses, had the whole quarter burned down.

In the beginning of the 12th century, a Jewish man named Abu al-Munajja ibn Sha'yah was at the head of the Department of Agriculture. He is especially known as the constructor of a Nile sluice (1112), which was called after him "Baḥr Abi al-Munajja". He fell into disfavor because of the heavy expenses connected with the work, and was incarcerated in Alexandria, but was soon able to free himself. A document concerning a transaction of his with a banker has been preserved. Under the vizier Al-Malik al-Afḍal (1137) there was a Jewish master of finances, whose name, however, is unknown. His enemies succeeded in procuring his downfall, and he lost all his property. He was succeeded by a brother of the Christian patriarch, who tried to drive the Jews out of the kingdom. Four leading Jews worked and conspired against the Christian, with what result is not known. There has been preserved a letter from this ex-minister to the Jews of Constantinople, begging for aid in a remarkably intricate poetical style. [27] One of the physicians of the caliph Al-Ḥafiẓ (1131–49) was a Jew, Abu Manṣur (Wüstenfeld, p. 306). Abu al-Faḍa'il ibn al-Nakid (died 1189) was a celebrated oculist.

As for government power in Egypt, the highest legal authority who was called chief scholar was held by Ephraim. [28] Later on in the 11th century, this position was held by a father and son with the names of Shemarya b. Elhanan and Elhanan b. Shemarya. Soon the chief of the Palestinian Jews took over the position of chief scholar for the Rabbinates after the death of Elhanan. Around 1065, a Jewish leader was recognized as ráīs al-Yahūd meaning the head of the Jews in Egypt. Later for a sixty-year rule, three family members of court physicians took the position of ráīs al-Yahūd whose names were Judah b. Såadya, Mevorakh b. Såadya, and Moses b. Mevorakh. The position was eventually handed down from Moses Maimonides in the late 12th century to early 15th centuries and was given to his descendants.

As for the Jewish population, there were over 90 Jewish habitations known during the 11th and 12th centuries. [29] These included cities, towns, and villages, contained over 4,000 Jewish citizens. Also for the Jewish population, a little more light is thrown upon the communities in Egypt through the reports of certain Jewish scholars and travelers who visited the country. Judah Halevi was in Alexandria in 1141, and dedicated some beautiful verses to his fellow resident and friend Aaron Ben-Zion ibn Alamani and his five sons. At Damietta Halevi met his friend, the Spaniard Abu Sa'id ibn Ḥalfon ha-Levi. About 1160 Benjamin of Tudela was in Egypt he gives a general account of the Jewish communities which he found there. At Cairo there were 2,000 Jews at Alexandria 3,000, whose head was the French-born R. Phineas b. Meshullam in the Faiyum there were 20 families at Damietta 200 at Bilbeis, east of the Nile, 300 persons and at Damira 700.

From Saladin and Maimonides (1169 to 1250) Edit

Saladin's war with the Crusaders (1169–93) does not seem to have affected the Jewish population with communal struggle. A Karaite doctor, Abu al-Bayyan al-Mudawwar (d. 1184), who had been physician to the last Fatimid, treated Saladin also. [30] Abu al-Ma'ali, brother-in-law of Maimonides, was likewise in his service. [31] In 1166 Maimonides went to Egypt and settled in Fostat, where he gained much renown as a physician, practising in the family of Saladin and in that of his vizier al-Qadi al-Fadil|Ḳaḍi al-Faḍil al-Baisami, and Saladin's successors. The title Ra'is al-Umma or al-Millah (Head of the Nation or of the Faith), was bestowed upon him. In Fostat he wrote his Mishneh Torah (1180) and The Guide for the Perplexed, both of which evoked opposition from Jewish scholars. From this place he sent many letters and responsa and in 1173 he forwarded a request to the North African communities for help to secure the release of a number of captives. The original of the last document has been preserved. [32] He caused the Karaites to be removed from the court. [33]

In the mid thirteenth century the Ayyubid empire was plagued with famine, disease, and conflict a great period of upheaval would see the Golden Islamic Period come to a violent end. Foreign powers began to encircle the Islamic World as the French endeavored on the 7th crusade in 1248 and the Mongol campaigns in the east rapidly making its way into the heartland of Islam. These internal and external pressure weakened the Ayyubid empire. [34]

In 1250 following the death of Sultan Al Alih Ayyub, slave soldiers, Mamluks, rose up and slaughtered all the Ayyubid heirs and the Mamluk leader Emir Aybak became the new sultan. The Mamluks were quick to consolidate power using a strong spirit of defense growing among Muslim faithfuls to rally victoriously against the Mongols in 1260 and consolidating the remnants of the Ayyubid Syria in 1299. [34]

In this period of aggressive posturing the ulema were quick to denounce foreign influences to safeguard the purity of Islam. This led to unfortunate situations for Mamluk Jews. In 1300 Sultan Al-Nasir Qalawan ordered all Jews under his rule to wear yellow headgear to isolate the Egyptian Jewish community. This law would be enforced for centuries and later amended in 1354 to force all Jews to wear a sign in addition to yellow head-wear. On multiple occasions the ulema persuaded the government to close or convert synagogues. Even major places of pilgrimage for Egyptian Jews such as the Dammah Synagogue were forced to close in 1301. Jews subsequently were excluded from bath houses and were prohibited to work in the national treasury. This repression of the Jewish community would continue for centuries, but it would be relatively infrequent to Jews living in Christendom. [34]

In all the religious fervor of the period the Mamluks began to adopt Sufi Islam in an attempt to assuage dissatisfaction with traditional Sunni Islam facilitated solely by the Sultan. At the same time the Mamluk government was unwilling to relinquish control of religion to a clerical class. They endeavored on a massive project of inviting and subsidizing Sufi clerics in an attempt to promote a new state religion. [34] All throughout the country new government-backed Sufi brotherhoods and saint cults grew almost overnight and was able to quell the disapproval of the population. The Mamluk Sultanate would become a safe haven for Sufi mystics all throughout the Islamic world. Across the empire state-sponsored Sufi ceremonies were a clear sign of the full-fledged shift that took hold. [34]

Jews who for the most part were kept segregated from Arab communities first came into contact with Sufism in these state sponsored ceremonies, as they were obliged to attend out of a show of loyalty to the sultan. It is in these ceremonies where many Egyptian Jews first came into contact with Sufism and it would eventually spark a massive movement amongst the Mamluk Jews. [34]

Now most Egyptian Jews of the time were members of the Karaite sect. This was a 1st-century anti-Pharisee movement who rejected the teachings of the Talmud. It is believed by historians such as Paul Fenton that the Karaites settled in Egypt as early as the 7th century, and Egypt would remain a bastion for Karaites all the way through the 19th century. As time passed in contact with these relatively new Sufi ideas many Karaites began to push towards reform. Admiration for the structure of Hanaqas, Sufi schools, and its doctrinal focus on mysticism begin to make many Egyptian Jews long to adopt something similar. [34]

Abraham Maimonides (1204-1237), who was considered to be the most prominent leader and government representative of all Mamluk Jews, advocating reorganizing Jewish schools to be more like Sufi Hanaqas. Abraham would be the first to attempt borrow ideas and practices from Sufism in his Guide for the Perplexed. [ dubious – discuss ] His heir Obadyah Maimonides(1228-1265) writes the Treatise of the Pool which is a mystical manual written in Arabic and filled with Sufi technical terms. In the book Obadyah lays out how one may obtain union with the unintelligible world showing his full adherence and advocacy of mysticism. He also began to reform practices advocating for celibacy and Halwa, solitary meditation, to better tune yourself to the spiritual plane. [34] These were imitations of long held Sufi practices. In fact, he would often portrayed Jewish patriarchs such as Moses and Issac as hermit who relied on isolated meditation to remain in touch with God. The Maimonides dynasty would essentially spark a new movement amongst Egyptian Jews and thus the Pietist movement was formed. [34]

Peitism gained a huge following, mainly amongst the Jewish elite, and it would continue to gain momentum until the end of the Maimonides dynasty in the 15th Century. Additionally forced conversions in Yemen, Crusader and Almohad massacres in North Africa, and the collapse of Islamic Andalusia forced large number of Jews to resettle in Egypt many of whom would join the Pietist movement enthusiastically. [34] This enthusiasm may have been largely practical as the adoption of Sufi ideas did much to ingratiate the Mamluk Jewish community with their Muslim overlords which may have appealed to many of these refugees, as some historians state that the Maimonides dynasty itself originated from Al Andalus and resettled in Egypt. [34]

Pietist would in some ways become indistinguishable from Sufism. They would clean their hands and feet before praying in the temple. They would face Jerusalem as they prayed. They frequently practiced daytime fasting and group meditation or muraqaba. [34]

There was vehement opposition to the revisionism of Pietism just as there was with Hasidism. In fact opposition was so strong there are records of Jews reporting fellow Jews to Muslim authorities on the ground that they were practicing Islamic heresy. David Maimonides brother of Obadyah and his heir was eventually exiled to Palestine at the behest of other leaders in the Jewish community. Eventually Pietism fell out of favor in Egypt as its leaders were exiled and Jewish immigration into Egypt slowed. [34]

Per Fenton, the influence of Sufism is still present in many Kabbalist rituals and some of the manuscripts authored under the Maimonides Dynasty are still read and revered in Kabbalist circles. [34]

On January 22, 1517, the Ottoman sultan, Selim I, defeated Tuman Bey, the last of the Mamelukes. He made radical changes in the governance of the Jewish community, abolishing the office of nagid, making each community independent, and placing David ibn Abi Zimra, at the head of that of Cairo. He also appointed Abraham de Castro to be master of the mint. It was during the reign of Salim's successor, Suleiman I, that Aḥmad Pasha, Viceroy of Egypt, revenged himself upon the Jews because De Castro had revealed (1524) to the sultan his designs for independence (see Aḥmad Pasha Abraham de Castro). The "Cairo Purim," in commemoration of their escape, is still celebrated on Adar 28.

Toward the end of the 16th century, Talmudic studies in Egypt were greatly fostered by Bezaleel Ashkenazi, author of the "Shiṭṭah Meḳubbeẓet." Among his pupils were Isaac Luria, who as a young man had gone to Egypt to visit a rich uncle, the tax-farmer Mordecai Francis (Azulai, "Shem ha-Gedolim," No. 332) and Abraham Monson (1594). Ishmael Kohen Tanuji finished his "Sefer ha-Zikkaron" in Egypt in 1543. Joseph ben Moses di Trani was in Egypt for a time (Frumkin, l.c. p. 69), as well as Ḥayyim Vital Aaron ibn Ḥayyim, the Biblical and Talmudical commentator (1609 Frumkin, l.c. pp. 71, 72). Of Isaac Luria's pupils, a Joseph Ṭabul is mentioned, whose son Jacob, a prominent man, was put to death by the authorities.

According to Manasseh b. Israel (1656), "The viceroy of Egypt has always at his side a Jew with the title 'zaraf bashi,' or 'treasurer,' who gathers the taxes of the land. At present Abraham Alkula holds the position." He was succeeded by Raphael Joseph Tshelebi, the rich friend and protector of Shabbatai Zevi. Shabbetai was twice in Cairo, the second time in 1660. It was there that he married the ill-famed Sarah, who had been brought from Leghorn (Livorno). The Shabbethaian movement naturally created a great stir in Egypt. It was in Cairo that Miguel (Abraham) Cardoso, the Shabbethaian prophet and physician, settled (1703), becoming physician to the pasha Kara Mohammed. In 1641 Samuel b. David, Karaite, visited Egypt. The account of his journey (G. i. 1) supplies special information in regard to his fellow sectaries. He describes three synagogues of the Rabbinites at Alexandria, and two at Rashid (G. i. 4). A second Karaite, Moses ben Elijah ha-Levi, has left a similar account of the year 1654 but it contains only a few points of special interest to the Karaites (ib).

Sambari mentions a severe trial which came upon the Jews, due to a certain "ḳadi al-'asakir" (="generalissimo," not a proper name) sent from Constantinople to Egypt, who robbed and oppressed them, and whose death was in a certain measure occasioned by the graveyard invocation of one Moses of Damwah. This may have occurred in the 17th century (S. 120, 21). David Conforte was dayyan in Egypt in 1671. Blood libels occurred at Alexandria in 1844, in 1881, and in January 1902. In consequence of the Damascus Affair, Moses Montefiore, Crémieux, and Salomon Munk visited Egypt in 1840 and the last two did much to raise the intellectual status of their Egyptian brethren by the founding, in connection with Rabbi Moses Joseph Algazi, of schools in Cairo. At the turn of the 20th century, a Jewish observer noted with 'true satisfaction that a great spirit of tolerance sustains the majority of our fellow Jews in Egypt, and it would be difficult to find a more liberal population or one more respectful of all religious beliefs.’ [35]

According to the official census published in 1898 (i., xviii.), there were in Egypt 25,200 Jews in a total population of 9,734,405.

Since 1919 Edit

During British rule, and under King Fuad I, Egypt was friendly towards its Jewish population although between 86% and 94% of Egyptian Jews did not possess Egyptian nationality whether they had been denied it or opted not to apply. Jews played important roles in the economy, and their population climbed to nearly 80,000 as Jewish refugees settled there in response to increasing persecution in Europe. Many Jewish families, such as the Qattawi family, had extensive economic relations with non-Jews. [36]

A sharp distinction had long existed between the respective Karaite and Rabbanite communities, among whom traditionally intermarriage was forbidden. They dwelt in Cairo in two contiguous areas, the former in the harat al-yahud al-qara’in, and the latter in the adjacent harat al-yahud quarter. Notwithstanding the division, they often worked together and the younger educated generation pressed for improving relations between the two. [36]

Individual Jews played an important role in Egyptian nationalism. René Qattawi, leader of the Cairo Sephardi community, endorsed the creation in 1935 of the Association of Egyptian Jewish Youth, with its slogan: 'Egypt is our homeland, Arabic is our language.' Qattawi strongly opposed political Zionism and wrote a note on 'The Jewish Question' to the World Jewish Congress in 1943 in which he argued that Palestine would be unable to absorb Europe's Jewish refugees. [36]

Nevertheless, various wings of the Zionist movement had representatives in Egypt. Karaite Jewish scholar Mourad Farag [fr] (1866–1956) was both an Egyptian nationalist and a passionate Zionist. His poem, 'My Homeland Egypt, Place of my Birth', expresses loyalty to Egypt, while his book, al-Qudsiyyat (Jerusalemica, 1923), defends the right of the Jews to a State. [37] al-Qudsiyyat is perhaps the most eloquent defense of Zionism in the Arabic language. Mourad Farag was also one of the coauthors of Egypt's first Constitution in 1923.

Another famous Egyptian Jew of this period was Yaqub Sanu, who became a patriotic Egyptian nationalist advocating the removal of the British. He edited the nationalist publication Abu Naddara 'Azra from exile. This was one of the first magazines written in Egyptian Arabic, and mostly consisted of satire, poking fun at the British as well as the ruling Muhammad Ali dynasty, seen as puppets of the British. Another was Henri Curiel, who founded 'The Egyptian Movement for National Liberation' in 1943, an organization that was to form the core of the Egyptian Communist party. [36] Curiel was later to play an important role in establishing early informal contacts between the PLO and Israel. [38]

In 1937, the Egyptian government annulled the Capitulations, which gave foreign nationals a virtual status of exterritoriality: the minority groups affected were mainly from Syria, Greece, and Italy, ethnic Armenians, and some Jews who were nationals of other countries. The foreign nationals‘ immunity from taxation (mutamassir) had given the minority groups trading within Egypt highly favourable advantages. [39] Many European Jews used Egyptian banks as a vehicle for transferring money from central Europe, not least those Jews escaping the Fascist regimes. [40] In addition to this, many Jewish people living in Egypt were known to possess foreign citizenship, while those possessing Egyptian citizenship often had extensive ties to European countries.

The impact of the well-publicized Arab-Jewish clash in Palestine from 1936 to 1939, together with the rise of Nazi Germany, also began to affect the Jewish relations with Egyptian society, despite the fact that the number of active Zionists in their ranks was small. [41] The rise of local militant nationalistic societies like Young Egypt and the Society of Muslim Brothers, who were sympathetic to the various models evinced by the Axis Powers in Europe, and organized themselves along similar lines, were also increasingly antagonistic to Jews. Groups including the Muslim Brotherhood circulated reports in Egyptian mosques and factories claiming that Jews and the British were destroying holy places in Jerusalem, as well as sending other false reports stating that hundreds of Arab women and children were being killed. [42] Much of the anti-Semitism of the 1930s and 1940s was fueled by a close association between Hitler's new regime in Germany and anti-imperialist Arab powers. One of these Arab authorities was Haj Amin al-Husseini, who was influential in securing Nazi funds that were appropriated to the Muslim Brotherhood for the operation of a printing press for the distribution of thousands of Anti-Semitic propaganda pamphlets. [42]

By the 1940s, the situation worsened. Sporadic pogroms took place in 1942 onwards. The Jewish quarter of Cairo was severely damaged in the 1945 Cairo pogrom. As the Partition of Palestine and the founding of Israel drew closer, hostility towards the Egyptian Jews strengthened, fed also by press attacks on all foreigners accompanying the rising ethnocentric nationalism of the age. In 1947, the Company Laws set quotas for employing Egyptian nationals in incorporated firms, requiring that 75% of salaried employees, and 90% of all workers, must be Egyptian. As Jews were denied citizenship as a rule, this constrained Jewish and foreign-owned entrepreneurs to reduce recruitment for employment positions from their own ranks. The law also required that just over half of the paid-up capital of joint stock companies be Egyptian.

The Egyptian Prime Minister Nuqrashi told the British ambassador: “All Jews were potential Zionists [and] . anyhow all Zionists were Communists". [43] On 24 November 1947, the head of the Egyptian delegation to the UN General Assembly, Muhammad Hussein Heykal Pasha, said that “the lives of 1,000,000 Jews in Moslem countries would be jeopardized by the establishment of a Jewish state." [44] On 24 November 1947, Dr Heykal Pasha said: "if the U.N. decide to amputate a part of Palestine in order to establish a Jewish state. Jewish blood will necessarily be shed elsewhere in the Arab world… to place in certain and serious danger a million Jews. Mahmud Bey Fawzi (Egypt) said: "Imposed partition was sure to result in bloodshed in Palestine and in the rest of the Arab world". [45]

After the foundation of Israel in 1948 Edit

After the foundation of Israel in 1948, and the subsequent 1948 Arab–Israeli War, in which Egypt participated, difficulties multiplied for Egyptian Jews, who then numbered 75,000. That year, bombings of Jewish areas killed 70 Jews and wounded nearly 200, while riots claimed many more lives. [46] During the Arab-Israeli war, the Cicurel department store near Cairo's Opera Square was firebombed. The government helped with funds to rebuild it, but it was again burnt down in 1952, and eventually passed into Egyptian control. As a result, many Egyptian Jews emigrated abroad. By 1950, nearly 40% of Egypt's Jewish population had emigrated. [47] About 14,000 of them went to Israel, and the rest to other countries.

The 1954 Lavon Affair was an Israeli sabotage operation designed to discredit and overthrow the then Egyptian president Gamal Abdel Nasser and to end secret negotiations with Egypt being pursued by then Israeli prime minister Moshe Sharett, who did not know of the operation. Sharett did not learn the truth until after he had denounced the charges by the Egyptian government in a speech in the Knesset as a blood libel, which caused him to feel deep humiliation that he had lied to the world, and was one factor in Sharett's resignation as prime minister. The operation blew up Western targets (without causing any deaths), led to deeper distrust of Jews—key agents in the operation had been recruited from the Egyptian Jewish community—and led to sharply increased emigration of Jews from Egypt. In his summing up statement Fu’ad al-Digwi, the prosecutor at the trial of captured operatives, repeated the official government stance: "The Jews of Egypt are living among us and are sons of Egypt. Egypt makes no difference between its sons whether Moslems, Christians, or Jews. These defendants happen to be Jews who reside in Egypt, but we are trying them because they committed crimes against Egypt, although they are Egypt's sons." [36]

Two members of the ring, Dr. Moussa Marzouk and Shmuel Azzar, were sentenced to death (six members of Marzouk's extended family had been killed in the 1948 massacres, for which no arrests had been made [ citation needed ] ). In 1953, a cousin of Marzouk, Kamal Massuda, was killed, and the authorities did not make arrests. [ citation needed ] Other members of the sabotage rings had families who lost their livelihood after the 1947 Company Laws, which severely restricted the right to work and to own companies of non-Egyptian citizens (Jews were not in general allowed citizenship), were implemented.

In the immediate aftermath of trilateral invasion on 23 November 1956 by Britain, France, and Israel (known as the Suez Crisis), a proclamation was issued stating that 'all Jews are Zionists and enemies of the state' [ citation needed ] , and it promised that they would be soon expelled. Some 25,000 Jews, almost half of the Jewish community left for Israel, Europe, the United States, and South America, after being forced to sign declarations that they were leaving voluntarily, and agreed with the confiscation of their assets. Some 1,000 more Jews were imprisoned. Similar measures were enacted against British and French nationals in retaliation for the invasion. In Joel Beinin's summary: "Between 1919 and 1956, the entire Egyptian Jewish community, like the Cicurel firm, was transformed from a national asset into a fifth column." [36] After 1956, prominent families, like the Qattawis, were left with only a fraction of the social clout they had once enjoyed, if they could remain in Egypt at all. Ironically Jews like Rene Qattawi were in full support of establishing an Arab-Egyptian nationalism, and were opposed to the rise of Zionism and the establishment of the State of Israel. Nonetheless, even this social elite of the Jewish population was not believed to have any place in the new Egyptian regime.

Among those Jews deported, Dr. Raymond F. Schinazi who was born in Alexandria left Egypt with his family to an Italian refugee camp at the age of thirteen. Later Schinazi, working for Gilead Sciences, agreed to provide Egypt with the drug Sovaldi at US$300, 1% of its market price. In 2014 about 12 million Egyptians were infected with hepatitis C. [48]

UN High Commissioner for Refugees Auguste Lindt stated in his Report to the UNREF Executive Committee's Fourth Session (Geneva 29 January to 4 February 1957) “Another emergency problem is now arising: that of refugees from Egypt. There is no doubt in my mind that those refugees from Egypt who are not able, or not willing, to avail themselves of the protection of the Government of their nationality fall under the mandate of my office.” [49]

The last chief Rabbi of Egypt was Haim Moussa Douek, who served from 1960 until he left Egypt in 1972. After the Six-Day War in 1967, more confiscations took place. Rami Mangoubi, who lived in Cairo at the time, said that nearly all Egyptian Jewish men between the ages of 17 and 60 were either thrown out of the country immediately, or taken to the detention centers of Abou Za'abal and Tura, where they were incarcerated and tortured for more than three years. [50] The eventual result was the almost complete disappearance of the 3,000-year-old Jewish community in Egypt the vast majority of Jews left the country. Most Egyptian Jews fled to Israel (35,000), Brazil (15,000), France (10,000), the US (9,000) and Argentina (9,000). [ citation needed ] A letter published by the Jerusalem Post from Dr. E. Jahn, of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees stated: “I refer to our recent discussion concerning Jews from Middle Eastern and North African countries in consequence of recent events. I am now able to inform you that such persons may be considered prima facie within the mandate of this Office.” [49]

According to a 2009 report by the Anti-Defamation League, anti-semitic [51] and anti-Israel sentiments continued to run high. Israel and Zionism were frequently associated with conspiracy theories of subverting and weakening the state. [52] The last Jewish wedding in Egypt took place in 1984.

The Jewish population of Egypt was estimated at less than 200 in 2007, [53] less than 40 in 2014, [52] [54] and as of 2017, is estimated at 18 (6 in Cairo, 12 in Alexandria). [5] In 2018 the estimated Jewish population was 10 [55] Marriage restriction has caused many members to convert to other religions, mainly Jewish women who convert to Islam, due to being married to Egyptian Muslim men. Because a Jewish man cannot marry an Egyptian Muslim woman, but an Egyptian Muslim man may marry a Jewish woman, the community has lost many male members who are no longer Jewish on official documents.

  • Matalon, Ronit. Zeh 'im ha-panim eleynu ('The one facing us') (novel of life in an Egyptian Jewish family.
  • Misriya (pseudonym of Giselle Littman, Bat Ye'or), Yahudiya (1974) [1971]. in the Hebrew trans.Yehudei mitzrayim (ed.). Les juifs en Egypte: Aperçu sur 3000 ans d'histoire (Editions de l'Avenir ed.). Geneva. the author is called Bat-Ye’or).
  • Teboul, Victor (2002). Éditions les Intouchables (ed.). "La Lente découverte de l'étrangeté". Montreal.
  • Lucette Lagnado. The Man in the White Sharkskin Suit . (an autobiography of a Jewish family during their years in Egypt and after they emigrated to the United States)
  • Mangoubi, Rami (May 31, 2007). "My Longest 10 Minutes". The Jerusalem Post Magazine. A Cairo Jewish boyhood during and after the Six-Day War.
  • Aciman, Andre (1994). Out of Egypt. Picador.
  • Carasso, Lucienne (2014). Growing Up Jewish in Alexandria: The Story of a Sephardic Family's Exodus from Egypt. New York.
  • Mizrahi, Dr Maurice M. (2004). "Growing Up Under Pharaoh".
  • Mizrahi, Dr Maurice M. (2012). "History of the Jews of Egypt" (PDF) .
  • Dammond, Liliane (2007). The Lost World of the Egyptian Jews: First-person Accounts from Egypt's Jewish Community In the Twentieth Century. (oral history project based on interviews with more than two dozen exiled Egyptian Jews)
  • Teboul, Ph.D., Victor. "Revisiting Tolerance. Lessons Drawn from Egypt's Cosmopolitan Heritage".
    's Gamal trilogy (Diary of a Jewish Muslim, Days in the Diaspora, and Menorahs and Minarets) portrays the life of an Egyptian boy, son of a Jewish mother.

Genesis and Exodus Edit

The Hebrew Bible, especially the Books of Genesis and Exodus, describes a long period during which the children of Israel, also called Israelites, lived in the Nile Delta of ancient Egypt. The Egyptians appear to have called them Hebrews and enslaved them. The Israelites, by then organised into twelve tribes, escaped servitude, spending forty years wandering in the wilderness of Sinai. [56]

It has been claimed that the Hebrews/Israelites were a federation of Habiru tribes of the hill-country around the Jordan River. According to this interpretation, this federation presumably consolidated into the kingdom of Israel, and Judah split from that, during the Dark Age that followed the Bronze. The Bronze Age term "Habiru" was less specific than the Biblical "Hebrew", and it included Levantine people of various religions and ethnicities. Mesopotamian, Hittite, Canaanite, and Egyptian sources describe the Habiru largely as bandits, mercenaries, and slaves. Certainly, there were some Habiru slaves in ancient Egypt, but native Egyptian kingdoms were not heavily slave-based. [57]


The term Israelite is the English name for the descendants of the biblical patriarch Jacob in ancient times, which is derived from the Greek Ἰσραηλῖται, [33] which was used to translate the Biblical Hebrew term b'nei yisrael, יִשְׂרָאֵל as either "sons of Israel" or "children of Israel". [34]

The name Israel first appears in the Hebrew Bible in Genesis 32:29. It refers to the renaming of Jacob, who, according to the Bible, wrestled with an angel, who gave him a blessing and renamed him Israel because he had "striven with God and with men, and have prevailed". The Hebrew Bible etymologizes the name as from yisra "to prevail over" or "to struggle/wrestle with", and El (God). [35] [36] However, modern scholarship interprets El as the subject, "El rules/struggles", [37] [38] [39] from sarar (שָׂרַר) 'to rule' [40] (cognate with sar (שַׂר) 'ruler', [41] Akkadian šarru 'ruler, king' [42] ), which is likely cognate with the similar root sara (שׂרה) "fought, strove, contended". [43] [44]

The name Israel first appears in non-biblical sources c. 1209 BCE, in an inscription of the Egyptian pharaoh Merneptah. The inscription is very brief and says simply: "Israel is laid waste and his seed is not" (see below). The inscription refers to a people, not to an individual or a nation-state. [45]

Three Egyptologists have suggested that the name 'Israel' appears in a topographical relief that either dates to the period of the Nineteenth Dynasty (perhaps during the reign of Ramses II) or even earlier during the Eighteenth Dynasty. [46] This reading remains controversial. [47] [48]

Judahite, Judaean, Jew

The Greek term Ioudaios (Jew) was an exonym originally referring to members of the Tribe of Judah, and by extension the inhabitants of the Kingdom of Judah and the Judean region, and was later adopted as a self-designation by people in the Jewish diaspora who identified themselves as loyal to the God of Israel and the Temple in Jerusalem. [49] [50] [51] [52]


The Samaritans, who claim descent from the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh (plus Levi through Aaron for kohens), are named after the Israelite Kingdom of Samaria, but many Jewish authorities contest their claimed lineage, deeming them to have been conquered foreigners who were settled in the Land of Israel by the Assyrians, as was the typical Assyrian policy to obliterate national identities. The terms "Jews" and "Samaritans" largely replaced the title "Children of Israel" [53] as the commonly used ethnonym for each respective community.

The Israelite story begins with some of the culture heroes of the Jewish people, the patriarchs. The Torah traces the Israelites to the patriarch Jacob, grandson of Abraham, who was renamed Israel after a mysterious incident in which he wrestles all night with God or an angel. Jacob's twelve sons (in order of birth), Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph and Benjamin, become the ancestors of twelve tribes, with the exception of Joseph, whose two sons Manasseh and Ephraim, who were adopted by Jacob, become tribal eponyms (Genesis 48). [55]

The mothers of Jacob's sons are:

    : Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun : Joseph (Ephraim and Manasseh), Benjamin (Rachel's maid): Dan, Naphtali (Leah's maid): Gad, Asher (Genesis 35:22–26) [55]

Jacob and his sons are forced by famine to go down into Egypt, although Joseph was already there, as he had been sold into slavery while young. When they arrive they and their families are 70 in number, but within four generations they have increased to 600,000 men of fighting age, and the Pharaoh of Egypt, alarmed, first enslaves them and then orders the death of all male Hebrew children. A woman from the tribe of Levi hides her child, places him in a woven basket, and sends him down the Nile river. He is named Mosheh, or Moses, by the Egyptians who find him. Being a Hebrew baby, they award a Hebrew woman the task of raising him, the mother of Moses volunteers, and the child and his mother are reunited. [56] [57]

At the age of forty Moses kills an Egyptian, after he sees him beating a Hebrew to death, and escapes as a fugitive into the Sinai desert, where he is taken in by the Midianites and marries Zipporah, the daughter of the Midianite priest Jethro. When he is eighty years old, Moses is tending a herd of sheep in solitude on Mount Sinai when he sees a desert shrub that is burning but is not consumed. The God of Israel calls to Moses from the fire and reveals his name, Yahweh, and tells Moses that he is being sent to Pharaoh to bring the people of Israel out of Egypt. [58]

Yahweh tells Moses that if Pharaoh refuses to let the Hebrews go to say to Pharaoh "Thus says Yahweh: Israel is my son, my first-born and I have said to you: Let my son go, that he may serve me, and you have refused to let him go. Behold, I will slay your son, your first-born". Moses returns to Egypt and tells Pharaoh that he must let the Hebrew slaves go free. Pharaoh refuses and Yahweh strikes the Egyptians with a series of horrific plagues, wonders, and catastrophes, after which Pharaoh relents and banishes the Hebrews from Egypt. Moses leads the Israelites out of bondage [59] toward the Red Sea, but Pharaoh changes his mind and arises to massacre the fleeing Hebrews. Pharaoh finds them by the sea shore and attempts to drive them into the ocean with his chariots and drown them. [60]

Yahweh causes the Red Sea to part and the Hebrews pass through on dry land into the Sinai. After the Israelites escape from the midst of the sea, Yahweh causes the ocean to close back in on the pursuing Egyptian army, drowning them. In the desert Yahweh feeds them with manna that accumulates on the ground with the morning dew. They are led by a column of cloud, which ignites at night and becomes a pillar of fire to illuminate the way, southward through the desert until they come to Mount Sinai. The twelve tribes of Israel encamp around the mountain, and on the third day Mount Sinai begins to smolder, then catches fire, and Yahweh speaks the Ten Commandments from the midst of the fire to all the Israelites, from the top of the mountain. [61]

Moses ascends biblical Mount Sinai and fasts for forty days while he writes down the Torah as Yahweh dictates, beginning with Bereshith and the creation of the universe and earth. [62] [63] He is shown the design of the Mishkan and the Ark of the Covenant, which Bezalel is given the task of building. Moses descends from the mountain forty days later with the Sefer Torah he wrote, and with two rectangular lapis lazuli [64] tablets, into which Yahweh had carved the Ten Commandments in Paleo–Hebrew. [ citation needed ] In his absence, Aaron has constructed an image of Yahweh, [65] depicting him as a young golden calf, and has presented it to the Israelites, declaring "Behold O Israel, this is your god who brought you out of the land of Egypt". Moses smashes the two tablets and grinds the golden calf into dust, then throws the dust into a stream of water flowing out of Mount Sinai, and forces the Israelites to drink from it. [66]

Moses ascends Mount Sinai for a second time and Yahweh passes before him and says: 'Yahweh, Yahweh, a god of compassion, and showing favor, slow to anger, and great in kindness and in truth, who shows kindness to the thousandth generation, forgiving wrongdoing and injustice and wickedness, but will by no means clear the guilty, causing the consequences of the parent's wrongdoing to befall their children, and their children's children, to the third and fourth generation' [67] Moses then fasts for another forty days while Yahweh carves the Ten Commandments into the second set of stone tablets. After the tablets are completed, light emanates from the face of Moses for the rest of his life, causing him to wear a veil so he does not frighten people. [68]

Moses descends Mount Sinai and the Israelites agree to be the chosen people of Yahweh and follow all the laws of the Torah. Moses prophesies if they forsake the Torah, Yahweh will exile them for the total number of years they did not observe the shmita. [69] Bezael constructs the Ark of the Covenant and the Mishkan, where the presence of Yahweh dwells on earth in the Holy of Holies, above the Ark of the Covenant, which houses the Ten Commandments. Moses sends spies to scout out the Land of Canaan, and the Israelites are commanded to go up and conquer the land, but they refuse, due to their fear of warfare and violence. In response, Yahweh condemns the entire generation, including Moses, who is condemned for striking the rock at Meribah, to exile and death in the Sinai desert. [70]

Before Moses dies he gives a speech to the Israelites where he paraphrases a summary of the mizwoth given to them by Yahweh, and recites a prophetic song called the Ha'azinu. Moses prophesies that if the Israelites disobey the Torah, Yahweh will cause a global exile in addition to the minor one prophesied earlier at Mount Sinai, but at the end of days Yahweh will gather them back to Israel from among the nations when they turn back to the Torah with zeal. [71] The events of the Israelite exodus and their sojourn in the Sinai are memorialized in the Jewish and Samaritan festivals of Passover and Sukkoth, and the giving of the Torah in the Jewish celebration of Shavuoth. [55] [72]

Forty years after the Exodus, following the death of the generation of Moses, a new generation, led by Joshua, enters Canaan and takes possession of the land in accordance with the promise made to Abraham by Yahweh. The land is allocated to the tribes by lottery. Eventually, the Israelites ask for a king, and Yahweh gives them Saul. David, the youngest (divinely favored) son of Jesse of Bethlehem would succeed Saul. Under David, the Israelites establish the united monarchy, and under David's son Solomon they construct the Holy Temple in Jerusalem, using the 400-year-old materials of the Mishkan, where Yahweh continues to tabernacle himself among them. On the death of Solomon and reign of his son, Rehoboam, the kingdom is divided in two. [73]

The kings of the northern Kingdom of Israel are uniformly bad, permitting the worship of other gods and failing to enforce the worship of Yahweh alone, and so Yahweh eventually allows them to be conquered and dispersed among the peoples of the earth and strangers rule over their remnant in the northern land. In Judah some kings are good and enforce the worship of Yahweh alone, but many are bad and permit other gods, even in the Holy Temple itself, and at length Yahweh allows Judah to fall to her enemies, the people taken into captivity in Babylon, the land left empty and desolate, and the Holy Temple itself destroyed. [55] [74]

Yet despite these events, Yahweh does not forget his people but sends Cyrus, king of Persia to deliver them from bondage. The Israelites are allowed to return to Judah and Benjamin, the Holy Temple is rebuilt, the priestly orders restored, and the service of sacrifice resumed. Through the offices of the sage Ezra, Israel is constituted as a holy nation, bound by the Torah and holding itself apart from all other peoples. [55] [75]


Several theories exist proposing the origins of the Israelites in raiding groups, infiltrating nomads or emerging from indigenous Canaanites driven from the wealthier urban areas by poverty to seek their fortunes in the highland. [76] Various, ethnically distinct groups of itinerant nomads such as the Habiru and Shasu recorded in Egyptian texts as active in Edom and Canaan could have been related to the later Israelites, which does not exclude the possibility that the majority may have had their origins in Canaan proper. The name Yahweh, the god of the later Israelites, may indicate connections with the region of Mount Seir in Edom. [77]

The prevailing academic opinion today is that the Israelites were a mixture of peoples predominantly indigenous to Canaan, although an Egyptian matrix of peoples may also have played a role in their ethnogenesis (giving birth to the saga of The Exodus), [78] [79] [80] with an ethnic composition similar to that in Ammon, Edom and Moab, [79] and including Habiru and Shasu. [81] The defining feature which marked them off from the surrounding societies was a staunch egalitarian organisation focused on the worship of Yahweh, rather than mere kinship. [79]

The origin of the god Yahweh are currently uncertain, since the early Israelites seemed to worship the Caanaanite god El as their national deity, only to later replace it with Yahweh. It has been speculated by some scholars that the cult of Yahweh may have been brought into Israel by a group of Caananite slaves fleeing from Egypt, who later merged with the Israelites. [82] [83] [84] [85] [86]


The language of the Canaanites may perhaps be best described as an "archaic form of Hebrew, standing in much the same relationship to the Hebrew of the Old Testament as does the language of Chaucer to modern English." [ citation needed ] The Canaanites were also the first people, as far as is known, to have used an alphabet, as early as the 12th century BCE [87]

The name "Israel"

The name Israel first appears c. 1209 BCE, at the end of the Late Bronze Age and the very beginning of the period archaeologists and historians call Iron Age I, on the Merneptah Stele raised by the Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah. The inscription is very brief:

Plundered is Canaan with every evil,
Carried off is Ashkelon,
Seized upon is Gezer,
Yeno'am is made as that which does not exist
Israel lies fallow, it has no seed
Ḫurru has become a widow because of Egypt. [77]

As distinct from the cities named (Ashkelon, Gezer, Yenoam) which are written with a toponymic marker, Israel is written hieroglyphically with a demonymic determinative indicating that the reference is to a human group, variously located in central Palestine [77] or the highlands of Samaria. [88]

Pre-state (Iron Age I) and monarchies (Iron Age II)

Over the next two hundred years (the period of Iron Age I) the number of highland villages increased from 25 to over 300 [10] and the settled population doubled to 40,000.

According to the Hebrew Bible, the various tribes of Israel united in the 10th century BCE and formed the Kingdom of Israel and Judah, under the leadership of Saul, who was later overthrown by David after the death of David, his son Solomon ascended to the throne and reigned until his death, after which the Kingdom split into the Kingdom of Israel and the Kingdom of Judah.

The historicity of the formation of the Israelite state is heavily debated among archaeologists and biblical scholars: biblical maximalists and centrists (Kenneth Kitchen, William G. Dever, Amihai Mazar, Baruch Halpern and others) believe that the biblical account can be considered as more or less accurate, biblical minimalists (Israel Finkelstein, Ze'ev Herzog, Thomas L. Thompson and others) believe that the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah developed as separated states and there was never a United Monarchy.

The debate has not yet been resolved, although recent archaeological discoveries by Israeli archaeologists Eilat Mazar and Yosef Garfinkel seem to support the existence of a united monarchy. [92] From 850 BCE onwards a series of inscriptions are evidence of a kingdom which its neighbours refer to as the "House of David." [93] [94]

From the downfall of the two kingdoms to Bar Kochba

In the pre-exilic First Temple Period the political power of Judea was concentrated within the tribe of Judah, Israel was dominated by the tribe of Ephraim and the House of Joseph, while the Galilee was associated with the tribe of Naphtali, the most eminent tribe of northern Israel. [95] [96]

After the destruction of the kingdom of Israel and kingdom of Judah in 720 and 586 BCE respectively, [97] [98] the concepts of Jew and Samaritan gradually replaced Judahite and Israelite. [ citation needed ]

At the time of the Kingdom of Israel, the Galilee was populated by northern tribes of Israel, but following the Babylonian exile the region became Jewish. [ citation needed ]

Four centuries after the Jews returned from the Babylonian captivity, the Hasmonean kingdom was established, consisting of three regions, Judea, Samaria, and the Galilee.

During the Second Temple period relations between the Jews and Samaritans remained tense. In 120 BCE the Hasmonean king Yohanan Hyrcanos I destroyed the Samaritan temple on Mount Gerizim, due to the resentment between the two groups over a disagreement of whether Mount Moriah in Jerusalem or Mount Gerizim in Shechem was the actual site of the Aqedah, and the chosen place for the Holy Temple, a source of contention that had been growing since the two houses of the former united monarchy first split asunder in 930 BCE and which had finally exploded into warfare. [99] [100] [ dubious – discuss ] 190 years after the destruction of the Samaritan Temple and the surrounding area of Shechem, the Roman general and future emperor Vespasian launched a military campaign to crush the Jewish revolt of 66 CE, which resulted in the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE by his son Titus, and the subsequent exile of Jews from Judea and the Galilee in 135 CE following the Bar Kochba revolt. [101] [102]

In 2000, M. Hammer, et al. conducted a study on 1371 men and definitively established that part of the paternal gene pool of Jewish communities in Europe, North Africa and Middle East came from a common Middle East ancestral population. [103] Another study (Nebel et al. 2001) noted "In comparison with data available from other relevant populations in the region, Jews were found to be more closely related to groups in the north of the Fertile Crescent (Kurds, Turks, and Armenians) than to their Arab neighbors. The authors found that "Palestinian Arabs and Bedouin differed from the other Middle Eastern populations studied, mainly in specific high-frequency Eu 10 haplotypes not found in the non-Arab groups." and suggested that some of this difference might be due to migration and admixture from the Arabian peninsula during the last two millennia. [104] A 2004 study (by Shen et al.) comparing Samaritans to several Jewish populations (including Ashkenazi Jews, Iraqi Jews, Libyan Jews, Moroccan Jews, and Yemenite Jews, as well as Israeli Druze and Palestinians) found that "the principal components analysis suggested a common ancestry of Samaritan and Jewish patrilineages. Most of the former may be traced back to a common ancestor in what is today identified as the paternally inherited Israelite high priesthood (Cohanim) with a common ancestor projected to the time of the Assyrian conquest of the kingdom of Israel." [17]


Amaterasu is a daughter of Izanagi, born of his left eye during his purification ritual after visiting Thanatos. Izanagi, preoccupied with the challenge of his former wife, gave control over the realm of Takamagahara to Amaterasu and her siblings. Amaterasu married her brother Tsukuyomi and the two together ruled over the skies while Susanoo was given control over the seas and oceans.

To celebrate their control over the heavens they invited all of their kin to a feast. When everything was underway, the goddess Uke Mochi came to Amaterasu and Tsukuyomi to give a gift, and she pulled a bounty of food from her nose, mouth, and rectum (a party trick that disgusted everyone in attendance). Tsukuyomi killed Uke Mochi on the spot and Amaterasu, disgraced by his behavior, cast him out of the heavens for his evil.

Susanoo's Rivalry [ edit | edit source ]

Susanoo was jealous of Amaterasu's rule over their heavenly realm and refused to recognize her rule. Izanagi, tired of the dissent, exiled him to the Plane of Elemental Water to watch over the oceans. He wished Amaterasu a goodbye and wished her good luck, but she questioned his sincerity leading to his suggestion of a contest in good faith. They took an object from the other's possession and used it to birth new beings. Susanoo's sword was used to make three women of beauty and skill, while Amaterasu's necklace was used to make five men of impressive speed and cunning. Considering the men to be the better, Amaterasu declared herself the winner since the object taken was her's, which enraged Susanoo. He led his forces in battle against heaven, he destroyed Takamagahara and he destroyed Sendoru as well, ending the united empire of Sendoru and splintering both heaven and earth into chaos. Discouraged, Amaterasu went into hiding, only emerging after centuries at the request of Omoikane and Ame no Uzume who threw her a party to coax her out for they were so tired of the darkness and chaos of the land. When she emerged she cast Susanoo out of the heavens once again and this time he was forced to confront the destruction he caused in Sendoru. He saw where once there was an empire there was now rubble and ruins, and he felt ashamed. He roamed the land as a ronin, a lone swordsman, and set himself to making things right, culminating in his destruction of Yamata no Orochi and retrieval of the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi which he tore from the serpent's corpse. The legendary sword was given to Amaterasu as an apology, in the hopes that one day it will be in the hand of the rightful Emperor of Amaterasu's Earthly kingdom. It is said that her true heir will come to possess the sword, Yata no Kagami the mirror, and Yasakani no Magatama the jewel.

Worship [ edit | edit source ]

Amaterasu is one of the eight million Kami spirits but is also the greatest and most enshrined. There are some who worship only Amaterasu exclusively, devoting themselves purely to the sun.


Ferdinand Edralin Marcos began his political life as a convicted murderer and ended it branded the world`s biggest thief. But in between he achieved power unmatched by anyone in his native Philippines.

When he died a broken man in exile in Hawaii Thursday, it was easy to dismiss Mr. Marcos, 72, as just another Third World strongman who richly deserved his comeuppance. He was far more than that.

Like all notable figures of history, Mr. Marcos evoked either contempt or devotion. Passion was the norm, indifference impossible.

His followers would, and did, give their lives to keep him in power. His enemies would, and did, die to topple him.

Mr. Marcos ruled the Philippines for 20 years-longer than all five of his predecessors combined after the country gained independence from the U.S. in 1946.

The fact that the Philippine constitution limited a president`s tenure to two consecutive four-year terms never hampered the ambitious Mr. Marcos. He won election twice, then declared martial law and rewrote the constitution to meet his needs.

During a decade of martial law, Mr. Marcos imprisoned thousands of political enemies, stifled the most aggressive media in Southeast Asia and enriched himself and a coterie of friends by simply taking over the nation`s most profitable businesses.

Such actions are common among despots of the world. What set Mr. Marcos apart-what made him historic at home and abroad-was the political acumen he displayed time and again in explaining away his sins.

Mr. Marcos managed to rule his country as a dictator, yet he was hailed by none other than George Bush, a future president of the United States, as a champion of democratic principles.

He managed to systematically steal billions of dollars, yet still somehow portrayed himself as the benevolent spokesman of an impoverished people.

He imposed martial law on freedom-loving people and, at least for a while, convinced them he had done it for their own good.

An early indication of the gap between the perceived Marcos and the real Marcos came in 1966 when Time magazine put the new president on its cover and hailed his ''dynamic, selfless leadership.''

Twenty years later, Time was one of a long list of prominent publications and political observers admitting that ''Marcos the Magnificent'' had taken them in.

In truth, Mr. Marcos changed little during his years in power. It was Filipinos` and the world`s understanding of him that changed.

Mr. Marcos married Imelda, a member of the politically prominent Romualdez family, in 1954 when he was a congressman. She had just completed her reign as Miss Manila of 1953 and was working in a bank.

After Mr. Marcos won his first presidential term, the new first lady began a series of projects to beautify Manila and promote Philippine culture. But she drew more attention for her free-spending ways and extravagant parties with jet-set friends, the pace of which increased after martial law was declared in the 1970s.

Mr. Marcos made his wife the governor of metropolitan Manila, a position from which she wielded political power that was second only to his. But her legendary shopping sprees-she reportedly spent $3 million in one day on jewelry and antiques-did not always sit well among residents of the impoverished nation.

The resentment over the couple`s lavish lifestyle was evident after Mr. Marcos was deposed in 1986 and the new Philippine government invited the poor into Malacanang Palace to view some of the possessions left behind when the Marcoses fled. The display included nearly 3,000 pairs of Imelda`s shoes, quart bottles of expensive perfume and jewels the size of cherry tomatoes.

Mr. Marcos had let it be known from his earliest days that his ambition was boundless and that he had the intelligence, cunning and determination to fuel his drive.

In 1949, during his first campaign for Congress, Mr. Marcos spelled out his ambitions to voters in his native province of Ilocos Norte:

''If you are electing me just to get my services for the pittance of 7,500 pesos a year, don`t vote for me at all,'' he shouted. ''This is only a first step. Elect me a congressman now, and I pledge you an Ilocano president in 20 years.''

Mr. Marcos won that election, as he did-by hook or by crook-every election he ever ran in. He became president just 16 years after his first congressional race.

But Mr. Marcos almost didn`t get the chance to enter public life.

He was a promising law student at the University of the Philippines in 1939 when he was arrested and charged with the murder, four years earlier, of a candidate who had defeated and embarrassed his father in an election.

The candidate, Julio Nalundasan, was shot to death with a single bullet from a competition pistol fired through a window of his home. On the day of the killing, Nalundasan`s followers had celebrated their victory over Mr. Marcos` father by hauling around a coffin with the Marcos name scrawled across the lid.

Ferdinand Marcos, 18 at the time of the shooting, was a star marksman on the ROTC shooting team. He became a prime suspect in the killing immediately but wasn`t arrested until four years later.

A court convicted Mr. Marcos of murder and sentenced him to 10 to 17 years in prison, a relatively mild sentence, because of his youth.

While in jail, Mr. Marcos finished his legal studies and passed the bar exam with what at the time was the highest score ever. That score, the political nature of the killing and Mr. Marcos` emerging oratorical skills made his case front-page news.

Mr. Marcos handled his own defense and, in the process, built a reputation for brilliance that lasted a lifetime. At one point during arguments before the Supreme Court, he was asked by the justices if newspaper reports were true that he could recite the Philippine constitution backward. He could, and did.

In October, 1940, the Supreme Court overturned his murder conviction after one of the justices, Jose P. Laurel, in a personal appeal to his colleagues, said the country desperately needed young people with the leadership potential and intellect Mr. Marcos had just displayed.

The court decision granted Mr. Marcos a new lease on life and changed the course of Philippine history. It was a strange twist of fate that 45 years later, Salvador P. Laurel, son of the Supreme Court justice who saved him, would reluctantly join forces with a dynamic housewife to topple Mr. Marcos from power.

Mystery, controversy, deception and coincidence followed Mr. Marcos all his life.

He was born on Sept. 11, 1917, to Josefa Edralin, the daughter of a Filipino merchant and a Chinese woman.

In ''The Marcos Dynasty,'' published in 1988, author Sterling Seagrave recounts rumors that Mr. Marcos` real father was Ferdinand Chua, a Chinese judge who later played an important role in convincing the Supreme Court to overturn young Ferdinand`s murder conviction. The man Mr. Marcos` mother married (although perhaps not Mr. Marcos` father) was Mariano Marcos, who was executed by Filipino guerrillas during World War II for collaborating with Japanese occupiers.

Ferdinand Marcos, too, was accused by some guerrillas of collaborating with the Japanese, but he dispelled those allegations. After the war, when he became politically powerful, he was able to perpetuate a reputation as a wartime hero.

By the mid-1960s, Mr. Marcos was billing himself as the most-decorated guerrilla leader of World War II and proudly displaying a sheaf of medals including the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and Purple Heart.

Alfred W. McCoy, an American professor working in Australia, later proved most of Mr. Marcos` medal claims were fraudulent, but not before U.S. Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger had presented Mr. Marcos with duplicates of some of the awards he claimed to have won.

Mr. Marcos earned a special place in the heart of the U.S. defense establishment for his strong support of the United States during the Vietnam War.

The U.S. maintains its largest overseas military posts, Clark Air Base and Subic Bay Naval Base, in the Philippines. During the Vietnam War, supplies for American fighting forces were shipped through those bases, just across the South China Sea from Vietnam.

U.S. warplanes that bombed North Vietnam took off from Guam, rather than Philippine bases, to avoid any Vietnamese retribution against the Philippines. But Mr. Marcos allowed the United States to refuel its planes secretly on the southern island of Cebu on the return leg of their missions so they could carry more bombs on their outward journey. To this day, Cebu airport has some of the longest and the best runways in the region.

From his first days in office, Mr. Marcos promoted himself as an ardent anticommunist, which was perhaps the chief reason Bush hailed him as a guardian of democracy. But his corruption and strong-arm political tactics contributed to the staggering growth of a home-grown communist insurgency during his regime.

On Dec. 26, 1968, the anniversary of the birth of China`s revolutionary leader Mao Tse-tung and less than two years into the Marcos regime, 11 Filipino radicals formed the Communist Party of the Philippines, dedicated to the violent overthrow of the government. A little more than 17 years later, when a civilian-backed military uprising chased Mr. Marcos from power, intelligence experts estimated there were more than 20,000 full-time and part- time communist fighters roaming the countryside.

Mr. Marcos had come to power in 1966 with the campaign promise that

''this nation can be great again.''

He lost power 20 years later when a generation of Filipinos who never knew greatness took to the streets shouting ''Sobra na, tama na!'' (''Enough is enough!'').

A still-grateful U.S. military helped Mr. Marcos and his family flee, shuttling them aboard helicopters and jet planes to Hawaii and pulling Navy ships up to the back of the presidential palace to haul off piles of personal treasure.

When the Marcoses arrived at their home in exile in Hawaii, U.S. customs agents catalogued piles of crates and luggage stuffed with $1.4 million worth of Philippine pesos and $5 million to $10 million worth of jewelry.

Few knew it at the time, but the haul in Hawaii was only a tiny fraction of the wealth Mr. Marcos and his minions had pilfered from the Philippines. Estimates of what Mr. Marcos allegedly stole and hid away in banks in Switzerland or in art treasures and real estate around the world run into the billions of dollars. The ''hidden wealth'' charges haunted him to his grave.

Twice in December, 1988, Mr. Marcos entered the hospital in Honolulu for treatment of what aides said was congestive heart failure. His supporters claimed he was a sick and dying man and begged both the Philippine and U.S. governments to let him return home to die. Both refused.

He was never indicted by the Philippine government, but U.S. officials accused him and his wife of using $103 million in stolen funds to buy four Manhattan buildings and defrauding banks of $165 million to refinance the properties.

Shortly before Mr. Marcos was due to be arraigned on those charges, he appeared in a wheelchair wearing a brace around his neck. It did little to help his claim to be critically ill when a doctor who viewed the videotapes of Mr. Marcos entering the hospital for an examination pointed out that the cervical collar was on upside down.

In the end, Mr. Marcos seemed almost a tragic figure.

While in exile, he was accused of funding or masterminding a half-dozen failed coup attempts against his successor and nemesis, President Corazon Aquino.

Marcos loyalists held scores of demonstrations outside the U.S. Embassy in Manila demanding that he be allowed to come home, while Mr. Marcos himself vacillated between trying to portray himself as a strong leader in waiting or a dying, docile Filipino in exile.

His most poignant plea to come home came in May, 1988, when his 95-year-old mother died.

The death of Dona Josefa put Aquino in an awkward political position because Mr. Marcos had allowed her to return home from exile in 1983 after her husband, Benigno Aquino, Mr. Marcos` chief political rival, was assassinated. Aquino, however, refused to yield to sentiment and maintained that Mr. Marcos could not return for fear he might undermine the political stability she had struggled so hard to build since his ouster.


Early history Edit

Facundo Bacardí Massó, a Catalan wine merchant, was born in Sitges, Catalonia, Spain, in 1814, and emigrated to Santiago, Cuba in 1830. At the time, rum was cheaply made and not considered a refined drink, and rarely sold in upmarket taverns or purchased by the growing emerging middle class on the island. [5] Facundo began attempting to "tame" rum by isolating a proprietary strain of yeast harvested from local sugar cane still used in Bacardi production today. This yeast gives Bacardi rum its flavour profile. After experimenting with several techniques for close to ten years, Facundo pioneered charcoal rum filtration, which removed impurities from his rum. Facundo then created two separate distillates that he could blend together, balancing a variety of flavors: Aguardiente (a robust, flavorful distillate) and Redestillado (a refined, delicate distillate). Once Facundo achieved the perfect balance of flavors by marrying the two distillates together, he purposefully aged the rum in white oak barrels to develop subtle flavors and characteristics while mellowing out those that were unwanted. The final product was the first clear, light-bodied and mixable "white" rum in the world. [6]

Moving from the experimental stage to a more commercial endeavour as local sales began to grow, Facundo and his brother José purchased a Santiago de Cuba distillery on February 4, 1862, which housed a still made of copper and cast iron. In the rafters of this building lived fruit bats – the inspiration for the Bacardi bat logo. [7] It was the idea of Doña Amalia, Facundo's wife, to adopt the bat to the rum bottle when she recognized its symbolism of family unity, good health, and good fortune to her husband's homeland of Spain. This logo was pragmatic considering the high illiteracy rate in the 19th century, enabling customers to easily identify the product. [8]

The 1880s and 90s were turbulent times for Cuba and the company. Emilio Bacardí, Don Facundo's eldest son, known for his forward thinking in both his professional and personal life and a passionate advocate for Cuban Independence was imprisoned twice for having fought in the rebel army against Spain in the Cuban War of Independence. [9]

Emilio's brothers, Facundo and José, and their brother-in-law Enrique 'Henri' Schueg, remained in Cuba with the difficult task of sustaining the company during a period of war. With Don Facundo's passing in 1886, Doña Amalia sought refuge by exile in Kingston, Jamaica. At the end of the Cuban War of Independence during the US occupation of Cuba, "The Original Cuba Libre" and the Daiquiri cocktails were both created, with the then Cuban based Bacardi rum. [10] In 1899, Emilio Bacardí became the first democratically elected mayor of Santiago, appointed US General Leonard Wood.

During his time in public office, Emilio established schools and hospitals, completed municipal projects such as the famous Padre Pico Street and the Bacardi Dam, financed the creation of parks, and decorated the city of Santiago with monuments and sculptures. [9] In 1912, Emilio and his wife travelled to Egypt, where he purchased a mummy (still on display) for the future Emilio Bacardi Moreau Municipal Museum in Santiago de Cuba. [11] In Santiago, his brother Facundo M. Bacardí continued to manage the company along with Schueg, who began the company's international expansion by opening bottling plants in Barcelona (1910) and New York City (1916). [12] The New York plant was soon shut down due to Prohibition, yet during this time Cuba became a hotspot for US tourists, kicking off a period of rapid growth for the Bacardi company and the onset of cocktail culture in America. [13]

In 1922 the family completed the expansion and renovation of the original distillery in Santiago, increasing the sites rum production capacity. In 1930 Schueg oversaw the construction and opening of Edificio Bacardí in Havana, regarded as one of the finest Art Deco buildings in Latin America, as the third generation of the Bacardí family entered the business. In 1927, Bacardi ventured outside the realm of spirits for the first time, with the introduction of an authentic Cuban Malt beer: Hatuey beer.

Bacardi's success in transitioning into an international brand and company was due mostly to Schueg, who branded Cuba as "The home of rum", and Bacardi as "The king of rums and the rum of Kings". Expansion began overseas, first to Mexico in 1931 where it had architects Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe and Felix Candela design office buildings and a bottling plant in Mexico City during the 1950s. The building complex was added to the tentative list of UNESCO's World Heritage Site list on 20 November 2001. [14] In 1936, Bacardi began producing rum on U.S. territory in Puerto Rico after Prohibition which enabled the company to sell rum tariff-free in the United States. [15] The company later expanded to the United States in 1944 with the opening of Bacardi Imports, Inc. in Manhattan, New York City. [16]

During World War II, the company was led by Schueg's son-in-law, José "Pepin" Bosch. Pepin founded Bacardi Imports in New York City, and became Cuba's Minister of the Treasury in 1949.

Cuban Revolution Edit

During the years of the Cuban Revolution, the Bacardí family (and hence the company) supported and aided the rebels. [17] However, after the triumph of the revolutionaries, and turn to Communism, the family maintained a fierce opposition to Fidel Castro's policies in Cuba in the 1960s. In his book Bacardi and the Long Fight for Cuba, Tom Gjelten describes how the Bacardí family and the company left Cuba in exile after the Cuban government confiscated the company's Cuban assets without compensation on 14 October 1960, particularly nationalizing and banning all private property on the island as well as all bank accounts. [18] However, due to concerns over the previous Cuban leader, Fulgencio Batista, the company had started foreign branches a few years before the revolution the company moved the ownership of its trademarks, assets and proprietary formulas out of the country to the Bahamas prior to the revolution and already produced Bacardi rum at other distillery sites in Puerto Rico and Mexico. This helped the company survive after the Cuban government confiscated all Bacardí assets in the country without any compensation. [19]

In 1965, over 100 years after the company was established in Cuba, Bacardi established new roots and found a new home with global headquarters in Hamilton, Bermuda. In February 2019, Bacardi's CEO, Mahesh Madhavan, stated that Bacardí's global headquarters would remain in Bermuda for the next "500 years" and that "Bermuda is our home now." [20]

In 1999, Otto Reich, a lobbyist in Washington on behalf of Bacardí, drafted section 211 of the Omnibus Consolidated and Emergency Appropriations Act, FY1999 (Pub.L. 105–277 (text) (pdf)), a bill that became known as the Bacardi Act. Section 211 denied trademark protection to products of Cuban businesses expropriated after the Cuban revolution, a provision sought by Bacardí. The act was aimed primarily at the Havana Club brand in the United States. The brand was created by the José Arechabala S.A. and nationalised without compensation in the Cuban revolution, the Arechabala family left Cuba and stopped producing rum. They therefore allowed the US trademark registration for "Havana Club" to lapse in 1973. Taking advantage of the lapse, the Cuban government registered the mark in the United States in 1976. [21] [22] This new law was drafted to invalidate the trademark registration. Section 211 has been challenged unsuccessfully by the Cuban government and the European Union in US courts. It was ruled illegal by the WTO in 2001 and 2002. [23] The US Congress has yet to re-examine the matter. The brand was assigned by the Cuban government to Pernod Ricard in 1993.

Bacardi rekindled the story of the Arechabala family and Havana Club in the United States when it launched the AMPARO Experience in 2018, an immersive play experience based in Miami, the city with the highest population of Cuban exiles. AMPARO “is the story of the family’s entire history being erased and their heritage ‘stolen’” according to playwright Vanessa Garcia. [24]

Bacardi and Cuba today Edit

Bacardi drinks are not easily found in Cuba today. The main brand of rum in Cuba is Havana Club, produced by a company that was confiscated and nationalized by the government following the revolution. Bacardi later bought the brand from the original owners, the Arechabala family. The Cuban government, in partnership with the French company Pernod Ricard, sells its Havana Club products internationally, except in the United States and its territories. Bacardi created the Real Havana Club rum based on the original recipe from the Arechabala family, manufactures it in Puerto Rico, and sells it in the United States. Bacardi continues to fight in the courts, attempting to legalize their own Havana Club trademark outside the United States. [25]

Bacardi Limited has made numerous acquisitions to diversify away from the eponymous Bacardi rum brand. In 1993, Bacardi merged with Martini & Rossi, the Italian producer of Martini vermouth and sparkling wines, creating the Bacardi-Martini group.

In 1998, the company acquired Dewar's scotch, including Royal Brackla and Bombay Sapphire gin from Diageo for $2 billion. Bacardi acquired the Cazadores tequila brand in 2002 and in 2004 purchased Grey Goose, a French-made vodka, from Sidney Frank for $2 billion. In 2006 Bacardi Limited purchased New Zealand vodka brand 42 Below. In 2018, Bacardi Limited purchased tequila manufacturer Patrón for $5.1 billion. [26]

Other associated brands include the Real Havana Club, Drambuie Scotch whisky liqueur, DiSaronno Amaretto, Eristoff vodka, Cazadores Tequila, B&B and Bénédictine liqueurs.

    : Bacardi, Havana Club (USA only), Castillo, Banks, Pyrat XO Reserve, Oakheart Spice Rum : Patrón, Corzo, Cazadores, Camino Real : Dewar's, Aberfeldy, Craigellachie, Royal Brackla, Aultmore, The Deveron, Glen Deveron, William Lawson's
  • Bourbon: Angel's Envy, Stillhouse Black Bourbon
  • American Whiskey: Stillhouse [27] : Otard, D'ussé Cognac, Gaston De LaGrange : Leblon Cachaça : Grey Goose, Eristoff, Ultimat Vodka, Russian Prince, Stillhouse Classic American Vodka, 42 Below, Plume & Petal [28] : Bombay Sapphire, Bosford, Oxley : Martini & Rossi, Noilly Prat : Martini Prosecco, Martini Asti, Martini rosé : Bénédictine, St-Germain, Get 27, Get 31, Nassau Royale, Martini Spirito, Patrón liqueurs

Since the creation of the rum brand in 1862, Bacardi remains the world's most awarded rum, with hundreds of medals awarded for quality and taste. [29] Emblems of gold medals and the Spanish Coat of Arms awarded during the formative years of the business appear on the bottle.

Bacardi rums have been entered for a number of international spirit ratings awards. Several Bacardi spirits have performed notably well. [30] [31] [32] [33] In 2020, Bacardi Superior, Bacardi Gold, Bacardi Black, Bacardi Añejo Cuatro were each awarded a gold medal by the International Quality Institute Monde Selection. In addition, both Bacardi Reserva Ocho and Bacardi Gran Reserva Diez were awarded the top honor of Grand Gold quality award. [34]

Ernest Hemingway lived in Cuba from 1939 until shortly after the Cuban Revolution. He lived at Finca Vigía, in the small town of San Francisco de Paula, located very close to Bacardi's Modelo Brewery for Hatuey Beer in Cotorro, Havana.

In 1954, Compañía Ron Bacardi S.A. threw Hemingway a party when he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature – soon after the publication of his novel The Old Man and the Sea (1952) – in which he honored the company by mentioning its Hatuey beer. Hemingway also mentioned Bacardi and Hatuey in his novels To Have and Have Not (1937) and For Whom the Bell Tolls (1940). Guillermo Cabrera Infante wrote an account of the festivities for the periodical Ciclón, titled "El Viejo y la Marca" ("The Old Man and the Brand", a play on "El Viejo y el Mar", the book's Spanish title). In his account he described how "on one side there was a wooden stage with two streamers – Hatuey beer and Bacardi rum – on each end and a Cuban flag in the middle. Next to the stage was a bar, at which people crowded, ordering daiquiris and beer, all free.” [35] A sign at the event read "Bacardi rum welcomes the author of The Old Man and the Sea".

In his article "The Old Man and the Daiquiri", Wayne Curtis writes about how Hemingway's "home bar also held a bottle of Bacardi rum". Hemingway wrote in Islands in the Stream, ". this frozen daiquirí, so well beaten as it is, looks like the sea where the wave falls away from the bow of a ship when she is doing thirty knots." [36]

In 1964 Bacardi opened its new US offices in Miami, Florida. Exiled Cuban architect Enrique Gutierrez created a building that was hurricane-proof, using a system of steel cables and pulleys which allow the building to move slightly in the event of a strong shock. The steel cables are anchored into the bedrock and extend through marble-covered shafts up to the top floor, where they are led over large pulleys. Outside, on both sides of the eight-story building, more than 28,000 tiles painted and fired by Brazilian artist Francisco Brennand, depicting abstract blue flowers, were placed on the walls according to the artist's exact specifications.

In 1973, the Company commissioned the square building in the plaza. Architect Ignacio Carrera-Justiz used cantilevered construction, a style invented by Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright observed how well trees with taproots withstood hurricane-force winds. The building, raised 47 feet off the ground around a central core, features four massive walls, made of sections of inch-thick hammered glass mural tapestries, designed and manufactured in France. The striking design of the annex, affectionately known as the 'Jewel Box' building, [37] came from a painting by German artist Johannes M. Dietz.

In 2006, Bacardi USA leased a 15-story headquarters complex in Coral Gables, Florida. Bacardi had employees in seven buildings across Miami-Dade County at the time. [38]

Bacardi vacated its former headquarters buildings on Biscayne Boulevard in Midtown Miami. The building currently serves as the headquarters of the National YoungArts Foundation. Miami citizens began a campaign to label the buildings as "historic". The Bacardi Buildings Complex has been a locally protected historic resource since Oct. 6, 2009, when it was designated by unanimous decision by the Historic and Environmental Preservation Board. [39] University of Miami professor of architecture Allan Schulman said "Miami's brand is its identity as a tropical city. The Bacardi buildings are exactly the sort that resonate with our consciousness of what Miami is about". [40] In 2007 Chad Oppenheim, the head of Oppenheim Architecture + Design, described the Bacardi buildings as "elegant, with a Modernist [look combined with] a local flavour." [41]

The current American headquarters is in Coral Gables, Florida. [42] The 300 employees occupy 230,000 square feet (21,000 m 2 ) of leased office space. [43]

9. The Iceman Tapes: Conversations with a Killer (1992)

For years, Richard Kuklinski satisfied his homicidal urges by taking on contract killings for organized crime families in New York and New Jersey. Following his arrest and conviction, he agreed to sit down and elaborate on his unusual methodologies for disposing of victims and how he balanced his violent tendencies with a seemingly normal domestic life that included marriage and children. (You can see an example of Kuklinski's chilling disposition in the clip above.) In addition to The Iceman Tapes, which originally aired on HBO, Kuklinski participated in two follow-ups: The Iceman Confesses: Secrets of a Mafia Hitman in 2001 and The Iceman and the Psychiatrist in 2003.

Where to watch it: HBO

Watch the video: Amaterasu u0026 The Cave: Emerging From Trauma u0026 Depression in Japanese Mythology (August 2022).