Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Jewish history in Malta

TRAVEL: Jewish roots in Malta run deep (eTurboNews).
Jewish roots in Malta date back to the 4th and 5th Century during the Roman period as evidenced by several Jewish Catacombs with drawings depicting the Jewish Menorah (candelabra) that can be found at the St. Paul’s Catacomb site near Rabat. The long Jewish history includes periods of enrichment as well as slavery, depending on who was ruling Malta at the time.


Malta, an archipelago located in the sunny Mediterranean, has been one of the best kept secrets for a Jewish Heritage Experience. Not anymore! The Malta Tourism Authority (MTA), in partnership with North American based Exclusively Malta, a destination marketing company with expertise in developing exclusive and unique experiences for visitors to Malta, announced the launch of a Malta program infused with Jewish history that dates back to the Roman Period to the present.


Even the Island of Comino, almost uninhabited today but famous for the Blue Lagoon, has Jewish roots. Comino is where the well-known Jewish Mystic Avraham Abulafia lived from 1285 until his death in the 1290s. During this period, he compiled his Sefer ha Ot "Book of the Sign" as well as his last, and perhaps his most intelligible, work, the meditation manual Imrei Shefer "Words of Beauty".

Malta has shown up in PaleoJudaica from time to time, but always before, if memory serves, in connection with its Phoenician and Punic history and archaeology. See here and links.