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Dating jewish toronto

Take three well-positioned, sun-dappled islands between Italy and north Africa, add input from pretty much every major power through history – Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Spain, the Knights of St.John, France, and Britain – an enveloping Roman Catholic presence, towering fortresses, citadels, and rock temples; an azure sea and some of the freshest fish you’ll ever savour, and you have a rough idea of Malta.

Galizia’s family pointedly insisted that no government leaders attended her funeral. Though there are only about 200 Jews here, of whom roughly half are native-born, the nation is redolent with Jewish history (in case you were wondering, Christopher Marlowe’s 1590 play, The Jew of Malta, is never brought up).

Catholics here smile at the mention of the first Jew in Malta.

Saul of Tarsus had been a wealthy tent-maker until his blinding conversion to Christianity. A complex of interconnected, underground Roman burial chambers that were used up to the 4th century CE, they’re a half-hour drive east of Valletta, in Mdina.

En route to Rome to face trial, Saul, now named Paul, was shipwrecked in Malta around 60 CE and stayed a few weeks. Four of the catacombs hold Jewish remains and are identified by faint, seven-branched menorahs etched into the stone entranceway, confirming a continuous Jewish presence here for nearly two millennia.

It’s estimated that 30,000 Israelis visit Malta each year, and this summer, Air Malta began flying direct from Tel Aviv. S.-Canada tour agency Exclusively Malta, working with the Malta Tourism Authority, created a “Jewish culture” package.

Our bold and brassy guide, Nadine Fenech, a proud Maltese and Zionist, informs us of several Jewish place names: Wied Sansun (Samson’s Valley), Ghar Lhudin (Jewish Fountain), and Misrah Lhudi (Jews’ Square).

In the walled city of Mdina, we find a sign for “the Old Jewish Silk Market.” And in the capital, free Jews – those who were not enslaved by the Knights of St.

John – had to enter and leave from “Jews sally port.” Don’t forget to visit the “Jews Sally Port Snack Bar.” Even Malta’s smallest island, Comino, almost uninhabited today, is famous as the home of Spanish mystic and kabbalist Avraham Abulafia, who is said to have composed his best-known works around 1290 while in exile here.

The community prospered until 1492, when the Edict of Expulsion forced out all Jews from Malta and Sicily. The Knights Hospitaller, who still form a huge footprint here, were finally thrown out of Malta by Napoleon.

They were replaced by Jews from the Ottoman Empire and other places. Jews then arrived from Gibraltar, England, Italy, Portugal, and North Africa.

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